Dating Tips for Neurodivergent Individuals
Many neurodivergent clients we work with at Bozeman Counseling Center have shared with us that the idea of dating is terrifying. They feel nervous about holding their own in a conversation with someone they’ve just met and can find small talk absolutely distasteful. They don’t know how to pick up romantic cues from the other person, and, well, sexual relations pose entirely different challenges!
Dating is hard for everyone, but neurodivergent individuals have their own specific challenges. And much of these stem from a childhood where they were bullied for being different. Neurodivergent individuals know the pain of rejection and often don’t want to put themselves “out there” for fear of being rejected all over again.
Here are some tips to help you feel more comfortable in your own skin as well as in different social situations that come with dating.
Identify Your Sensory Triggers
Only you can really know yourself and understand what exhausts and overwhelms you. What level of stimulation can you handle and enjoy? What may cause a meltdown?
The more you know about your triggers the more you can steer your dating experiences so they can be as successful as possible. For example, if noise exhausts and overwhelms you, then you may say something to a prospective date like, “I can’t really do concerts, but how about we take a picnic to the park during the afternoon?”
If you don’t know yourself, how can you share the important aspects of you with someone else?
Take the Time to Process Your Feelings
Most neurodivergent people are extremely sensitive, not only to environmental stimuli but also to emotions. Neurodivergents experience feelings and emotions in their own unique way. And it can often be incredibly hard to put feelings into words. For this reason, it’s important that you give yourself the space and time to process your emotions. Just be sure to tell the person you are dating that your silence only means you are trying to communicate more clearly.
Get Dating Advice
There is no shame in having a dating coach or counselor in your corner who understands you and your unique challenges. At Bozeman Counseling Center, we are therapists who specializes in helping neurodivergent people live and love to the fullest. We offer our clients a safe space to process their feelings and help them navigate those areas in life that can be a bit tricky.
If you’d like to get more information on what it would be like to work with a counselor at Bozeman Counseling Center, I invite you to give our office a call or drop us an email, whatever you’re more comfortable with. We look forward to hearing from you!
Until next time....Kittie