A mutual friend introduced us, but it’s not what you’re thinking. We weren’t being set up on a date or in a romantic way of any kind.
Our mutual friend, who I like to call the Notorious KSW, (similar to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s alter ego, the Notorious RBG), set us up because Shannon is on the spectrum and wanted to talk about blogging and social media as it pertained to autism.
We set a time to meet, then I canceled last minute. Then we finally got together and when she entered the room, it seemed to light up with the radiance of her smile and her flowing red hair, I knew she was the person I was supposed to be meeting.
That was almost six months ago.
I was also at once simultaneously happy it was her and nervous as hell because I would be talking to this beautiful woman and I was expected to sound coherent.
We talked for more than an hour, mostly about ourselves. In retrospect, It did really feel more like the obligatory coffee first date than a meeting about blogging and social media, though it wasn't
I somehow managed to find out that she was in an on-again-off-again thing with some guy who lived near her. In my mind that took any chance, I had to ask her out and threw it in the recycle bin.
We had several more of these meetings and each time I wished more and more that the on-again-off-again guy stayed permanently off. Then something funny happened.
We were over at her place one afternoon working on some social media projects, when we sat on the couch and suddenly realized how close we were. Yet neither of us chose to move away from the other.
Keeping in mind that we’re both on the spectrum and we don’t read each other’s signals very well, things have had a tendency to go slow, which is perfectly fine. we grew closer as friends and that's how I wanted to get to know her.
A few days later we were having coffee at Starbucks and I mentioned that I would like to go out with her and her response was that she didn't want to ruin the friendship.
Though completely bummed, I understood that and would rather have her in my life as a friend, than not at all.
Fast forward a week after being told I was stuck in the dreaded Friend Zone, and we were at IHOP around 9 PM eating pancakes and waffles. We both felt the same attraction and as we discussed a couple of weeks later,we consider that our first official date.
The really cool thing is that I can now say that I am dating an amazing woman with several artistic talents who, l like me, has Asperger's Syndrome. She knows my service dog and she likes me (now loves me) for exactly who I am.
How awesome is that?