Aspies are usually fairly "shy" beings - not just with the opposite sex but with everyone. This shyness is even more problematic with people in whom they have an interest. Often, the aspie will simply look or smile at their intended partner and assume that this is enough to "call" the other person's attention. If the aspie stares too long without proper conversation, it becomes "creepy" and they will lose any opportunity they may have had. Aspies generally need to be approached since they'll rarely do any approaching of their own.
The Naive Mind
Aspies tend to appear very naieve and sometimes, we are. More often however, while we are well aware of the scope of human endeavors, it is our ability to read expressions that lets us down. An aspie will usually not know if someone is "coming onto" them and will not respond as expected. Similarly, aspies often get themselves into trouble by mistaking approaches by others as simply friendly gestures. In female aspies, the latter can lead to particularly dangerous situations.
An aspie's life is governed by a complex series of rules. Most of the time, these rules apply only to the aspie themselves and are "invisible" to other participants. Aspies act on these rules constantly, auto-create additional rules constantly and usually assume that other people are mind-reading their rules and require no explanations whatsoever.
Aspies are often genuinely quite surprised when people around them break rules, particularly deep-seated moralistic ones. Often a simple action, like an NT taking a "sick day" at work when they aren't really sick, can cause an aspie great distress because of the way it breaks a rule. Such rule-breaking in their partner can cause an aspie to doubt their morals or honesty.
The rules applying to courtship are often overly complex and can be anything from "the number of smiles I get" through to how someone answers a given question. From the NT's point of view, you can't win but if you often ask the aspie direct questions, you might be able to glean just a few of the rules.
The Need to be Explicit
Many NTs who date aspies complain that the aspie doesn't know how to do anything by themselves or that they don't think before they act. In reality, aspies are often so oblivious to unspoken social rules that their partners need to provide them in the form of "aspie rules".
- "Whenever you are asked to go over to someone's house for dinner, you should bring a wine - or if they're not alcohol drinkers, some other drink"
- If you're visiting someone for lunch, bring a cake
In order to get past the telling stage and into the "rule" stage, you need to repeat it a bit until it starts happening.
One rule that my wife successfully managed to instill into me was the idea that "I'll only go out with someone very seriously for 2 years - after that, I'd expect to see an engagement ring". She mentioned this rule a few times right at the start of our "serious" relationship (never mind that we'd been going out less seriously for about 6 years prior). This was particularly useful to me because it made me plan without feeling threatened (since I had two years to decide).