If Cupid Had Asperger’s – First Date Tips

Since it’s getting close to Valentine’s Day and because I’ve been on several coffee dates recently, I thought I would do a post with some tips on how to have a good first date. Although I’ve never been in a relationship myself, I feel like I’ve been on enough dates to at least give some advice on how to act and what to say, so, here are my tips:

  • Try and meet for coffee, soda or a drink on your first date, not for a full meal. I always prefer meeting for coffee or a drink on the first date for two reasons. First, it’s less time than a full meal would be and second, it’s more relaxed and casual than a meal. If you meet for coffee, the time it takes you to drink a cup of coffee is significantly less than ordering and eating a meal. This allows for a smaller introduction with just enough time to enjoy getting to know the person without spending too much time together. A first date is meant to be an introduction to someone and later dates are meant to be longer events. Also, a meal on the first date can feel more formal and if the date isn’t going well and you want to leave, it’s much easier to leave during coffee than it is during a meal, as coffee is a much more laid back, casual setting.
  • Have a few questions prepared ahead of time. You don’t have to have the entire conversation planned out, but have a few generic questions prepared ahead of time so you know what you want to say initially. If it helps you, write some questions on a note card. The questions can be as simple as, “What do you like to do for fun?” or “What kind of music do you like?” Those questions are simple and they are great because they cause the other person to ask you the same questions back, so they can learn about you.
  • Try and keep your question answers to 30 seconds or less. I know that sometimes I have a tendency to get long-winded on an answer and go into detail for a few minutes on a simple question. If you can try to answer your question in one or two sentences, that is usually a good rule. More in-depth questions that might come later on, allow for more detailed and longer answers. At first though, keep your answers short, so that you don’t overtake the conversation by mistake.
  • If you have a hard time with eye contact, try to look at the top of the person’s nose instead. This works because you are still looking eye level with them, without actually having to look directly at their eyes. Another good spot to look at is a person’s forehead, still close enough to the eyes, but not directly at them. Of course, if you are okay with eye contact, then by all means, look the person in the eyes as much as you can.

Although these tips may not fit every dating situation, I feel like they are simple enough to be applied to almost every first date. They are pretty easy to remember and if you practice them, I think you will have good success.

I am by no means an expert on dating or relationships, but I hope that these few tips will help you.

Happy Very Early Valentine’s Day!

Until next time…


– The ZEZ



2015: Big Plans Ahead!

Happy 2015!

I hope that your New Year is off to a great start. My 2015 has started nicely and I have many exciting things to look forward to this year. I’ve already been accepted to speak at two different autism conferences, one in Nebraska and one in Maine. In October, I will be headed back to Northern Ireland to speak at an event hosted by Autism NI, the great group that I met with last year when I traveled to Europe.

This month, I am proud to say that I have written an article for Fargo Monthly magazine, sharing my story about life on the autism spectrum. You can read the article by visiting Fargo Monthly online.


Also, I recently began a new job. Aside from my work at Specialisterne, as of November 2014, I am the new campus pastor for my church. In that role, I help the students at North Dakota State University with their faith walk and spiritual growth. I also help lead service projects with the students and focus on outreach to the campus community, through my church. I’m very happy with my new role and am excited to help students and other members of the university community grow in their faith.

In the church role and my many other roles, I’m excited to see what God has planned for me for the year ahead.

Currently, it is 0 degrees in Fargo with a windchill of -14. Overnight, it’s going to get to -18, with windchill values around -30 to -50. So yes, it’s cold.

I’m going to go make a cup of hot chocolate now.

Until next time…


– The ZEZ