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If I don’t understand people from the social perspective, then I analyze them intellectually.
I categorize people in relation to me, sometimes in highly-questionable ways — for instance, I notice that my bullies somehow made it into the “friendly acquaintance” or “friend” lists of my teen years.
Just the other day, my social worker at a recreational program I attend asked me if I wanted dating support.
He was just a fifth grader who was also in the church choir. It’s just the way I am, part and parcel of my autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
I went off on a long and vague tangent before stopping, staring at her, and admitting, “Honestly, I’m not even sure what dating is!
” Activities that are entrenched in our social world mystify me.
When I started college, I didn’t have any dating experience. I ended up having a “boyfriend” for three weeks freshman year, counting the five-day Thanksgiving vacation. My reasoning was, “Nobody else will ever want me anyway, so if somebody shows interest, jump in.” It was a “relationship”, if you can call it that, for the sake of having a relationship — all surface.
’ I went out, crying.” “Philip the Bad” wasn’t my friend, much less a grade-school love. I do my best to tread them and I think I have the important parts down pat, like how to love people and be kind to them, but the subtleties of body language, the knowledge of appropriate responses, and the idea of being in touch with my feelings escapes me. He Yelled an ear-deafing Yell and said to me ‘NEVER STEP ON THE MASTER’S FOOT!