How Do I Approach The Topic Of Dating...
Broaching the subject of dating, love, sex or any of the above can be a little on the icky side if the conversation is between parents & children. You’re not alone.
According to a 2020 survey by Psychology Today, 97% of parents discuss dating & sex with their children. That leaves just 3% that feel too awkward to even start the dialogue. Join the in-crowd! https:// www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sex-sexuality-and-romance/202004/ should-parents-talk-their-girls-about-sex
Being a parent of an adult child living with ASD, or other special need, I tend to feel you have a leg up in this game...no pun intended! You have spent a lifetime teaching and informing your child in specialized ways. You have access to a barrage of materials for exceptional brains. Use those same tools for this topic.
1. if you have other children who are in close age to your child living with ASD - USE THEM! Remember all those years your typically developed child had a purpose of being a peer model...well now that child can be a peer who has experience with dating, romance & intimate relationships. The conversation will be MUCH LESS embarrassing coming from a sibling than a parent...we can all relate to that.
2. if you do not have other children who can help out with this situation then hopefully these suggestions help ease the process...
a. start off by casually watching a romantic comedy with your child - just make it a natural family time event - popcorn, cozy couch, movie
b. discuss the movie afterwards as you steer the conversation to dating, love & romance
c. refrain from personal questions, such as: did you ever have a crush on someone before or have you ever been on a date, etc. - use declarative statements I know today some people try online dating like uneepi.com or I would love for you to meet a special person to share your life with or something else
d. provide background stories about your own love life from teenager years to present day - keep it humorous & light...your child, who is loving with autism, will attentively listen & laugh
e. provide them useful sites, like uneepi.com, who can help support them with any questions they have - purchase a relationship coaching package for them https://uneepi.com/index.php?dll=coaching
f. give experience gifts instead of actual stuff...broadway show tickets for 2, gift cards for restaurants...allow them the opportunities to be out & about with friends & partners
g. stock them up with adult items...cologne, perfume, romance novels, adult pjs & more
h. LOSE YOUR FEAR - recognize that your parental fear may be the largest boulder in the way...start off safely so everyone gets their feet wet slowly...going on a double date but sitting at different tables or in different seats is a perfect way to casually observe while providing privacy
Remember you’re not alone. Remember you don’t want your child to end up all alone. Dating with autism is do-able. Stick to the do’s above & you should be OK. Check out uneepi.com for parental & sibling support if need be!