SOME POINTERS FOR AUTISTICS WANTING LOVE.
34 years ago, my father worked with a man (for convenience sake, we'll call him John Doe) and part of their job would entail travelling to regional cities and towns to see how sales were progressing and to attend to issues with staff. John Doe fancied himself as a Lothario, even though he was a short, corpulent man who vainly attempted to cover his follicle challenge by plastering his hair from one side of his head to the other. As was customary, John Doe and my father would stay in motels at company expense, and each had their own room. There were times when they ate at cafeterias attached to motels, and John Doe was notorious for believing that female staff members who called him by name were, rather than fostering good guest relations, flirting with him. There was an incident where Mr Doe took a waitress's comment that she was working that night as she was bored at home because her husband was working away to be an invitation for him to go around to her house for what Paul Lekakis seemed to be alluding to in "Boom, Boom, Boom (Let's Go Back To My Room)".
Mr Doe was renowned for seeing what he wanted to see, but now, I turn my attention to autistic folks. Many of us tend to fell confused if somebody is flirting with us, and we may fall into the trap of being fooled by unscrupulous people or, alternatively, we may miss signals. There are, however, some things to be mindful of.
The most important, and I cannot stress this enough, particularly for male autistics around females be they autistic or neuro-typical, is, listen for how they speak to others. Sexual harassment is a hot button topic, and rightly so, too, and it is not uncommon these days for a young girl or woman, if a man she doesn't know approaches her and calls her "Love" to feel uncomfortable and not seek out his company. I have known women (one who turned out to be my age) who would call me, "Love", "Darl", or even "Sweets" and as she was married, I knew she was just being friendly. If a male hears a woman call him "Love" and she is old enough to be his mother, obviously, she is just being friendly, and if a woman calls every person, be they male or female or non-binary, by that term, you can take it as a greeting as if two males called each other "Mate" or "Buddy".
Also, if you enter a retail establishment, and a staff member, particularly female, and you're male, says, "I'm generally here on such and such a day or night," you should only ever take it that they value you as a customer and they might be happy to serve you. But don't turn up to see them every day or night, yes, you can go to their register, but don't make it too obvious. After all, they might only like you as a customer, and they may not want you as a lover. And if you see someone as a friend, but they don't reciprocate, it doesn't mean you're not likeable or lovable, just that they may not have the compatibility you think they do, or they may not have the time and space for another person.
What I say to a neuro-typical who may be dealing with an autistic person is, "Be nice, assume competence, but, and this is important, don't hurt the autistic person's feelings, but don't lead them on." That doesn't mean that if you accidentally touch their hand when giving them change that you have to say, "Oops, sorry, I accidentally touched your hand, don't read too much into it," we can often figure that out.
The most important thing I can say to an autistic person who is hoping to find love is, finding a partner is nothing like finding a brand new car, you can know what make or model you want, and the colour, too, and unless it's a model runout, there will be plenty more to come. Also, in that vein, you know how much you can afford to spend, or how much the bank will lend you, but, you may not obtain your new car as quickly as you might hope. You may want to set out your life and say that you want to get married at 25, but you may not meet your partner until you're 40. You can, however, look at a potential partner a bit like a second hand car in that, you may fall in love with a car you see, only to have a mechanic you trust tell you that it has hidden defects and would cost a lot of money to repair (i.e. you may develop loving feelings for someone you find attractive, but once you get to know them better, you might find that they're not so likeable after all). Also, when buying a car, you may believe in buying American, Australian or whatever, only to find that the car that best suits you, and you find you like, is Japanese, Korean or something else. Or, if you believe in buying American, you may want Chevrolets or Cadillacs, only to find that you fall in love with and buy a Ford or a Chrysler, instead. The same applies to a person. You may think your ideal partner is tall and slim, only to find that your ideal partner is short and slightly tubby.
Above all, an important tip I can give to any autistic person looking for a partner is don't. Be patient, and the partner you hope for may just come along. After all, you can be sitting by a river hoping to catch the perfect bream, only to find that the fish you do catch is of a different species. And if you sit there, impatiently willing a fish to jump onto your line, unless you're starving that is, you could be frustrated, but if you sit there, line in your hand, eating your picnic lunch, whiling the time away, one may jump onto the hook, and there you are.
Oh, and just quietly, many of Mr Doe's extramarital relationships (or liaisons) occurred in his own mind, and his rampant desires did not lead to everlasting love.