Welcome to The Journey
A news magazine created to connect, inform & inspire
Issue: Fall 2022, Living, Inspired with IDD
A young smiling woman with light brown hair rests her forehead against the forehead of a taller, smiling young man with similarly colored hair. They are both looking down at the woman's engagement ring, and the horizon behind them shows a blue sky over a blue ocean.
Cheilaugh Garvey
Freelance contributor

Looking for your next binge-worthy TV series? “Love on the Spectrum” may be the only one you really need to watch. Follow six extraordinary people on their quest to find true love and partnership while navigating life on the autism spectrum. This poignant view into the tumultuous dating game is nothing short of uplifting and inspiring.

The first season focuses on Australian singles; the spin-off “Love on the Spectrum US” features singles like entrepreneurial animator Dani who is motivated to find someone who shares her passion for animation and “he must have good personal hygiene; I’m not a fan of bad breath.”

Other cast members this season include sweet animal lover Abbey who cherishes her collection of stuffed lions and Disney princesses, and James, an avid Renaissance faire fan who proudly shows off his preserved alligator head and swords to the crew. Kaelynn is willing to try the speed dating scene, while senior citizen Steve is looking “to meet a lovely lady. I think I’m meant to be with a person, a woman," he explains. "This loneliness thing is … it’s not for me."

Sabodh just wants a girlfriend.

The premise is that all stakeholders will find their perfect matches, but the journey is wrought with uncertainty, fear and frustration. Heartbreaking? No way. These intrepid souls have the remarkable ability to demonstrate behaviors and conversations many neurotypical singles can only wish for, sharing authentic feelings, genuine dreams and hopes for what they want in a partner.

“Love on the Spectrum” gives us more than a glance into the unscripted world of living with autism while wanting what everyone wants — a partner, a companion, a romantic relationship. It's easy to empathize with their cause; they seem genuinely incapable of being phony or insincere. With each episode, it is a true pleasure seeing how they navigate both the joy and sometimes defeat of finding a match.

Cian O'Clery, the show's creator, director, and executive producer, shares his insight.

"People on the spectrum want love just like everybody else does," O’Clery notes. “It's really refreshing and nice to be able to show people on an authentic dating journey who aren't picture-perfect people looking for Instagram followers."

The show has been described as “wholesome and endearing” without being patronizing or trite. Clearly the respect and affection these singles and couples show each other is more than superficial; it’s the real deal and we feel it all the way through. No games, no coy remarks or ghosting, just pure unadulterated affection for the ones who are lucky enough to get it.

Tune in to “Love on the Spectrum,” now streaming on Netflix. You won’t regret it.

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