I worry my autism will stop me finding a girlfriend

DEAR DEIDRE: AUTISM stops me getting a girlfriend but as a single man of 35, I’d like to find my life partner.

I found out I had high-functioning autism last year.

It was quite a shock but I have always found it difficult to read people’s expressions and also to make connections.

I do speed dating at times and I try to do hobbies that will bring me into contact with women.

I think perhaps I need to be more spontaneous – to just be myself.

I tend to plan what ­questions I am going to ask but it doesn’t work.

It would mean so much to me if I could find a girlfriend.

DEIDRE SAYS: It is natural that you want to find a loving relationship but speed dating is unlikely to work well for someone who can’t read emotional signals quickly.

Better look for a friendship that can then lead to more.

The National Autistic Society has an online community and social groups to help you make contact with others (autism.org.uk, 0808 800 4104).

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