Written by: Danyla Etienne
I've watched the show, “Love on the Spectrum” seasons 1 and 2. Throughout the show, Jodi gives relationship advice to many people going on dates for the first time. Jodi was the autism relationship therapist, from “Love on the Spectrum.” I took notes on the things she said and compiled a list of 7 main ideas that she went over with her patients.
1. Initiating Conversation
Make sure when meeting someone new to initiating conversation. This can be done in different ways: pointing out something that you like that they are wearing, make a joke, ask them a relevant question, etc.
It is essential to let them know who you are when meeting someone new. But… don’t give everything away about yourself. Say something like, “ Hi, my name is ____”. Avoid saying, “ Hi, my name is ____. I like apples, oranges, and broccoli. I hate the color blue and soccer. My sister likes pink. My brother hates beans…..” and rambling from there. Keep the greeting short and sweet and only bring up other interests and likes when you need to change the topic or ask a new question.
It is essential to practice the date out. Maybe even visit where the date is going to be before going. This way, you feel more comfortable with the space. There is no shame in practicing.
And if the date doesn’t go well or there isn’t any “spark,” don’t view that date as a failure but more of a practice.
4. Finding common interest
When making conversation, try to find common interests. It is essential to listen to them carefully to think about what they might be interested in. For example: “ Hey, how was your day” “ great, I was at work at an animal shelter” “ Oh! What are your favorite animals? I like dogs.” “ I like dogs too, but my favorite animal is a cat.”
5. What if everything is wonderful
Anxiety is a scary thing. It is tough not to be a little scared when trying something new. Try your best to stay away from “ what if ” scenarios because we don’t know what will happen. Let’s just be optimistic and think, “ what if everything is wonderful.”
6. Be Yourself
It is very important to stay authentic when going on the first date. Bring your best self. Don’t just come in your pj’s just because that’s what you wear most of the time. Be your best self. Be kind, compassionate, understanding, slow to anger, patient, and fun! This leads us to our last point…
7. Have fun!
It is effortless to get in your head about every little step you have to do during the date. Don’t let the steps overwhelm you. Dating is a fun, life-changing event, and you don’t want to miss out. Have fun, smile, and laugh. If it doesn’t work out, see that as one step closer to who you are meant to be with.