This post is by Arman Khodaei, an adult with autism. This post is part of an initiative on our site called “In Our Own Words: Living on the Spectrum,” which highlights the experiences of individuals with autism from their perspectives. Have a story you want to share for the series? Email us at InOurOwnWords@Autismspeaks.org. You can learn more about Arman at http://empowerautismnow.com/
I found true love once. But, like with most relationships in the 21st century, our time together did not last. More than five years has passed since we broke up and I still yearn for that level of connection with someone again. Before we move on, let me introduce myself. My name is Arman Khodaei and I am adult male on the autism spectrum in my late twenties. My official diagnosis is autism, but an argument could be made that I am very high functioning or have Asperger’s Syndrome. Last year, 2013, I became a participant in the documentary “Autism in Love.” Being a part of that filming process was quite the experience and quite challenging. I really pushed myself when it came up to talking to the opposite gender. I think because of that experience, it is a lot easier for me to ask someone out. Although, I still find that hard to do sometimes.
Also, while in the documentary, I dated someone. That relationship came to an end, but served as an important stepping stone, helping me realize that I could find that special someone once again. And, that doesn’t just apply to me. It applies to almost everyone. We all have the capacity to find true love. It doesn’t matter whether or not we are on the autism spectrum.
What holds us back is our fears and beliefs about ourselves and love. If we feel sorry about ourselves and don’t think we are deserving, then no change will occur in our lives. We will remain stuck and never have that romantic connection. The key to dating success is to feel good about yourself. And, to show the world that you feel good about yourself by working out if you are out of shape, dressing well and also paying attention to the type of people you hang out with and the types of topics that you engage in.
By this, I mean, are the people in your life bringing you up? Do they believe in you, or themselves for that matter? What do you read on the Internet? Do you engage in petty arguments online, trying to prove someone else wrong or are you an Internet troll? If you want someone to love you, then you have to love yourself. Now, I admit that I have not found the One yet, but I know she is out there. Truthfully, I want to work on myself some more. I want to be a more positive person. I want to become more financially independent and I want to get in shape. Right now, I am underweight. I want to work on gaining some weight. Taking care of myself is about loving myself, and by loving myself, I open up to the possibility of meeting someone.
Now, there is a little more work to do. I have to look for someone and I have to believe she is out there. But when the time is right, I will find her and she will find me. I know someone special is out there for you as well. You just need to believe. Now, go out there and move forward! If you want something, make it come true!