Teaser for documentary "Aspie Seeks Love"

Julie Sokolow, who directed the excellent video about the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum that I posted yesterday, is making a documentary called Aspie Seeks Love. The teaser looks great!

David Matthews can’t get a date. He is a writer and artist with a great sense of humor and impeccable dry delivery. He has scored solo art shows around Pittsburgh, readings at coffee shops and acting gigs in a few short films. He’s got a nice job, house and car, and could even treat a lady to dinner. So what’s the problem?

At 41 years of age, David was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. This late-in-life diagnosis and lack of treatment in childhood has left David with a lot of catching up to do. Although David is highly intelligent, he has a major blind spot: empathy and understanding of the human, especially female, psyche.

Aspie Seeks Love follows David’s journey to understand his Asperger’s, improve as a person, writer, and artist, and find a meaningful relationship. We’ll watch David explore the world of online dating and we’ll also see his attempts to break out of his shell and connect with women in person. David’s quest for self-improvement will culminate in the Pittsburgh release party for his debut book Meltdown in the Cereal Aisle.

Aspie Seeks Love by Julie Sokolow


  1. good luck man!  toughest job in the world.  but considering i found someone to love and marry me with all my issues, there’s hope for everyone.

  2. David, just like everyone out there, can benefit from personalitymatch.net and find his special lady! The first impression may not be working in his favor but he has so much to offer than an average looking boring person. (I’m sure the movie will have the same effect and he’ll find someone soon!)

  3. Can anyone verify if David attended Edinboro University in PA back around 1988? As soon as I saw this clip, I immediately thought “That’s that guy who just
    wandered into my dorm room that one time!” Whoever it was, they just walked right in – the door was open and it was the middle of the day – and looked around for ten or fifteen seconds, muttered something, and then left. It almost seemed like some kind of strange, secret
    inspection. And then I was working in Squirrel Hill years later – maybe
    late 90′s – and I thought I saw him then, too.

    1. This would be the same David Matthews. I was at Edinboro at that time, too, and knew him casually as he was a neighbor of a friend in the honors dorm. 
      When I worked at the Barnes & Noble in downtown Pittsburgh in the 90’s and 00’s, he was a frequent browser, so it wouldn’t be a surprise that you would have seen him.

    1. Yeah… so I guess that “crash into me” song and all those frat boy devotees were just bullshit!

  4. Personally, I’m getting sick and tired of being called “an Aspie” in the media. We’re human beings with moderately atyptical neurology, not a dog breed.

    1. You make a good point. 

      Want a cookie?!  *holds cookie up*  Who’s a good Aspie, who’s a good Aspie?

      And your to late to tell me I’m going to hell.

  5. Why am I not interested in viewing the teaser shown above?  Because I have no empathy for those who have no empathy.  That’s fine so long as I don’t look in the mirror.

    1. People with Asperger’s are not sociopaths. There is a very big difference between being unable to express empathy in a socially acceptable manner and completely lacking empathy altogether. The problem with Asperger’s, especially in untreated cases like this, is that you can’t pick up on the subtle signs that someone is upset that would be obvious to someone with a more intuitive sense of facial and/or vocal cues. Someone like David would not be unable to play “games,” as he would have no idea of knowing the rules unless someone told him. Usually, if you are direct and honest about how you feel, or you directly express emotions like crying rather than passive aggressive banter or trying to hide it behind a smile, they will know that something is wrong and will immediately try to comfort you in the best way they know how.

    2. Yeah… if you had empathy you wouldn’t be able to choose to feel empathy or not based on people meeting your needs or criteria. 

      As some one who suffers from an excess of empathy, you’re probably better off without it.

      1. As some one who suffers from an excess of empathy, you’re probably better off without it.

        Tired of having to pull the car over for a crying jag every time you see a squirrel that’s been run over?

  6. I always feel a bit resentful when documentaries like this threat “Asperger’s” and “Female” as mutually exclusive categories. They aren’t. I would know.

    1. yeah, that bit bothered me. I’m hoping there is more context that explains why he told that woman he doubted she had Aspergers.

      1.  I think it’s because society assumes that women are ~*NATURALLY*~ good at social things because That’s What Women Do. People cannot seem to comprehend the idea of a woman who has trouble with social interaction or doesn’t understand the rules because women are often expected to do the emotional heavy lifting in relationships.

        This has caused me some grief, because sometimes it feels like everyone expects me to be able to read their mind by sole virtue of being female. When I was younger it felt like everything I said would insult someone, and everything I did was wrong. To compensate, I wound up becoming hypersensitive to rejection, and would often ruminate over what I said to see if any particular thing I did could possibly offend anyone. Often I would just wind up sitting in the corner not saying anything at all, since that was easiest, so I rarely had more than one friend at a time, and was pretty passive in my social interactions. I’m a bit better at it now, since I was diagnosed and early, had some therapy, and have had the benefit of life experience and the increased confidence adulthood brings, but it can still be difficult for me to really start interacting on a deeper level than “Hi, how are you?” when I’m meeting a new person. And don’t get me started on the whole nurturing thing. I’m good with animals, because animals don’t ask for much, relationship maintenance with them is uncomplicated, and animal emotional cues are very easy to read. I have trouble with children, not because I dislike them, but because I need a certain degree of personal space and quiet, and very young kids don’t usually have a good grasp of either. The amount of attention that a child requires makes me nervous, and on top of that is the constant fear that they will interpret my hesitation or awkwardness as a dislike of them, hurting their feelings and possibly scarring them for life. I can’t stand hurting another person’s feelings, and feeling like I’ve done so causes me much anxiety, especially if I have no way of knowing what the other person actually thinks of me. All too often my brain goes to the worst case scenario, even though I know it’s irrational.

        There’s also the fact that whenever anyone talks about What Women Want, almost none of it applies to me, my wants or my needs. I end up feeling either like I should turn in my Woman Card, or that I’m some sort of alien. Gender roles have never made much sense to me, because they have absolutely nothing to do with my own wants or needs. I don’t want to constantly spend my time emotionally supporting someone else, I can’t stand shopping for more than 15 minutes, I hate makeup (anything that goes too close to my eyes from contacts to eye liner pencils makes me extremely physically uncomfortable), and I’m awful at figuring out my own feelings. But I don’t have a “male brain” like some “researchers” claim Asperger’s is to get page views. I’m a woman, and I have always seen myself as a woman, even if I don’t act like a woman is supposed to.

        1. Diagnoses aren’t often cut and dry. The reason Asperger’s is going to be be reabsorbed into Autism Spectrum Disorder is because, like autism and most other diagnosable disorders, it doesn’t manifest in the exact same way between everyone who has a diagnosis. There are many factors that go into disorders beyond just genetics. Different people can have differing severity of expression because of environmental/genetic/individual factors. Just because that woman doesn’t have as much trouble as him doesn’t mean she doesn’t have Asperger’s. She could have been diagnosed early and had cognitive behavioral therapy since she was little, or she inherited a less severe form of the disorder, or she could have learned how to create a “mask” of social scripts for acceptable behaviors because there’s more pressure on women to be socially adept, or she has a more extroverted personality which gave her a greater motivation to learn social skills on her own to get the level of social interaction that she craves, or all of those factors simultaneously. There’s really no way you can tell that from just a five second clip.

    2. Yeah, he actually reminds me A LOT of my cousin, whom we are all pretty sure has some kind of autism spectrum disorder. Because of her age she would never have been diagnosed. She’s actually married (at 45 or so she found some one and moved out of her parents’ house for the first time).

      That tells you a bit about her social skills and life skills. 

      Me, I was thought to be possibly autistic as a child but I’m just nuts. Yay!

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