Ask Amy: Man faces dating challenge

FresnoMarch 27, 2014 

Dear Amy: I am attracted to a younger woman who goes to my church. I have known her for about two years. She is attractive, sweet and talented. Whenever we see each other, we say hello and exchange hugs.

I got the courage to ask her out, but she told me that she has too many things going on with her family and that she is kind of seeing someone. She did say we can be friends and I said sure.

I know what I should not do: Don't call her incessantly. Don't drive by her residence and don't send flowers, gifts, etc. This would make her feel that I am obsessed with her and that I am stalking her.

I am not sure if I should tell her that I have Asperger Syndrome. What would be the best way for me to interact with her?

— Wondering out West

 

Dear Wondering: So far you seem to have a good sense of what to do, and what not to do. It takes a lot of courage to tell someone you're romantically interested. It can be challenging — especially for people who have Asperger's — to also read the other person's cues and to react in a way that won't make her uncomfortable.

You have to trust her when she says she wants to be friends.

The fact that you have Asperger's seems like something your friend would want to know about, and I think it's a good idea to tell her.

It might be a good idea for you to connect with other "Aspies" who can give you information, advice and support — about dating and everything else. One Internet site you could check is aspiescentral.com.

Dear Amy: I have never felt I had anything monumental to contribute until I read the letter from "Anxious" and your response. Your suggestion for this couple to sit down weekly for a formal "check-in" triggered the following thought.

I suggest the couple's formal check-in has a specific agenda, just like a real status meeting. I am a project manager and we have check-ins all the time. Here's the agenda: 1) Each attendee tells of three things that went well during the week; 2) Then each attendee tells of three things that didn't go quite as well (as you said, it's not a gripe session; be positive about the negatives); and 3) Discuss together only two ways to improve during the following week. — PM

Dear PM: I really like the idea of being "positive about the negatives."

You can contact Amy Dickinson via email at askamy@tribune.com.

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