Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

If There's Any Jobs Going in the GEC (Giant Earwigging Centre), I Might Apply'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

If There's Any Jobs Going in the GEC (Giant Earwigging Centre), I Might Apply'

Article excerpt

Byline: KATE FOX

DURING my phase of internet dating a few years ago, I went on about 15 dates. I would say approximately 50% of the men I chose had either mild or full-on Aspergers traits.

This is because my own mildly autistic traits meant I acted as a magnet for them and vice versa.

These men spelled things properly, were funny and clever and gave lots of quirky detail. They were the antidote to the emails I got from some "Normal" men which could be summarised as "I like beer and sitting on a settee, do you have breasts and some of your own hair?" However, our mutual body language would often be awkward and we would spend far too much time discussing the fascinating rules and systems of internet dating.

When I decided not to reply to a man who had "Jedi Knight" in his email address, this marked my own breakthrough in moving on from fellow Spectrum-ites and finding somebody who could introduce me to that mysterious concept known as "Going with the flow".

These charming, interesting men were certainly not, however, "undateable", and neither was I. Though I'm sure some of the men who met me would have felt relief on subsequent dates not to be greeted with a Jeremy Paxman-style barrage of questions ranging from "How would you describe your relationship with your parents?" to "Who was the best Doctor Who?" Everybody I know who has gone on internet dates has, however, met people who could be described as "undateable". Not because of a disability, but because they were carrying more emotional baggage than Terminal Five during a strike. Sadly, I am sure there are now disabled teenagers asking "But people will want to date me, won't they?" because of Channel Four's new show "The Undateables".

It's all very well for programme makers to say the title is an ironic play on what society thinks but it just reinforces the prejudices the shows themselves say they want to question. …

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