Have you ever struggled to find a date? Or you somehow ended up on a date with someone and found yourself lost and a bit hopeless?
Being single can be a nerve-wracking experience. So much of dating is based on initial impressions. How you look, how you dress, your facial expressions, and social cues determine whether talking turns into a date and whether one date turns into two.
It can be vulnerable to put yourself out there long enough to establish a real connection with someone where attraction is based more on conversation and less on looks.
For 22-year-old James and 34-year-old Tammy, dating is especially hard. The two want so badly to find people to love, but neither of them can make it past the first date.
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James lives with Asperger Syndrome, which is a developmental disorder that’s on the autism spectrum. A person with Asperger’s may have difficulty reading social cues like facial expressions and other nonverbal forms of communication.
This has made dating nearly impossible for James.
He struggles to understand whether someone else is enjoying his company. If you can imagine, James faces the pressure of coming off as charming and flirtatious while having no clue whether the other person is the least bit interested in him unless they say it outright.
He’s been on a handful of dates, but he’s never had a romantic relationship. He’s never been able to get past that already awkward first date.
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Tammy, on the other hand, struggles to date after surviving meningococcal septicaemi, a severe infection that left her face disfigured. Pictures in the video show that Tammy’s face used to look very different before the infection.
Tammy never found it difficult to date before, but now she finds it hard to get past that initial impression.
Online dating, though popular, is prohibitive since, as Tammy points out, no one is going to look at her face and think about what a great personality she has. Dating apps focus heavily on pictures and less on personal content.
Tammy often forgets what she looks like, but sometimes has sobering realizations when she hears other people talking about her or taking double-takes of her face. This has seriously impacted her confidence.
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James and Tammy are brave to speak up about their dating hardships. Few people want to admit that they can’t find love because of their personality or looks.
While it might not offer them much solace, many people find dating miserable, whether they have medical conditions or not. Hearing their stories is likely very helpful for the many people out there who can empathize.