|Date night…mmm pasghetti!|
If you are romantically involved with an Aspie, it can be difficult to find things to do on dates. I can speak from experience… I am kind of difficult to deal with at the best of times. I am surprised and thankful that my female friends want anything to do with me, let alone enjoy hanging out with me. Most of the time, NTs want to “do things” or “go out.” In short, they want to take their Aspie out of the comfort zone and that can be horrifying and dissonant for any Aspie.
Why is that, you ask?
Well… Most Aspies, over time, develop an aversion to stressful and uncertain social situations. Some of us develop full blown anxiety, or even panic over these situations… Let me tell you a little about why.
Let’s say you want to go to a bar and take your Aspie with you. To you, a bar is a place to enjoy some music, grab an alcoholic beverage, meet new people and relax. To your Aspie, a bar is drastically different place. First off… IT’S LOUD. The music is loud, the people are loud… Even if your Aspie doesn’t have sensory issues, it is a wall of sound that presses on your chest and is very unnerving. We are very sensitive to sensory stimuli and rely on it to take in the world. If we can’t hear anything beyond the loud, blaring musinc and yelling people… we can’t accurately experience the environment.
|Me… at a bar!|
Further… there are some pretty heinous scents in a bar. I have spoken to my NT friends, and they don’t notice them… but I do… And I REALLY don’t know how they can’t smell it. I used to work at a bar. The bar had several distinctive smells to it in layers. First off is alcohol… No matter how well the staff cleans the bar, they can’t get rid of that smell. To do so would require shampooing the carpet in the bar nightly. As the alcohol evaporates, the sugars and water in the drinks soak into the carpet and there is the faint smell of wet carpet, mildew and mold. Then there is the bathroom smell… Drunk people piss on the wall, the floor and more… this soaks into baseboards and plaster… no amount of cleaning will remove that faint smell of urine. Lastly… smoke… stale smoke lingers in every crevice of the place… And THAT is just an empty bar… add people actively smoking, loud music, people yelling and being packed in so tight that people are always TOUCHING YOU!
Really… I don’t know how you can do it. I know one Aspie that routinely goes to live music venues because one of her special interests is photographing live events. She has some problems with the noise, lights and people, but can do it. I am impressed that she can…I know I can’t.
|Not my place… I kinda wish it were, though|
There are many other places that NTs want to go… and most of them are problematic (at best) for your Aspie. I’m not going to go into them, because that’s really self defeating in the grand scheme of things. So… let’s look at the reality of the situation. In all probability, your Aspie is a bit of a recluse, and if they are not. They have specific places they want to go.
These are places that they feel comfortable with – home, a beautiful spot on the river, a favorite shop, or a specific restaurant. While we can be acclimated to a new location with some work, you need to remember that these places are the ones we’ve worked on. By inviting you share them with us, we are showing you an incredible amount of trust… which, for a lot of us is hard to give, especially to NTs.
Most of us are willing to experiment, to try new things and places, but you gotta work with us… but first… try going to our places. Try seeing what we see, why we like them… there is a simple beauty in it all.
|Simple beauty… like this|
Images in this issue SHAMELESSLY stolen from the following sources:
http://shermanave.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/datenight1.jpg (though this belongs to Disney)