Spoilers ahead for Love on the Spectrum. Last week, the 2019 Australian docuseries Love on the Spectrum became available on Netflix. Even though it has a reality dating show premise, this is no The Bachelor or Too Hot to Handle: The cast members, some single and some couples, are all on the autism spectrum and seeking to find and secure love. The show serves as educational for them, as they learn how to go on dates and interact with others romantically, and educational for us as we begin to understand how few resources are available for the community.
The show has been lauded as respectful instead of judgmental, exploitative, or dismissive. Sarah Kurchak's article in TIME provides terrific context and an understanding of potential pitfalls on the subject. But the show, by and large, enables the individuals to speak for themselves, seek relationship counseling from experts, and advocate for what they need during dates and otherwise.
The question now on everyone's mind, if they've watched the series, is this: Where are the cast of 11 young people featured in the five-part series now? Have they found love, or are they still looking? We already know there'll be a season 2 of the show, but it'll cover totally new people, so this is what we know so far of the season 1 cast.
The 25-year-old stated at the beginning of the series that his goal was to be "the best husband" and that he was committed to looking for love. After the show, he says he's more confident in what he wants in a partner.
"I did learn that you have to feel some kind of connection with the person you are dating,” Michael said to Refinery29. “If it becomes clear that the person isn’t enjoying themselves, I don’t think the date should continue."
Chloe, who's open to dating people of many genders, told Refinery29 that she thinks the show helped her be more discerning. "Before the show, I would accept dates because I was asked. I thought it was rude to decline. However, being on the show made me realize what I’m looking for, and it’s okay to be picky. You don’t have to accept every offer you are given."
Chloe went on two dates, and says that she's ready to pursue more relationships. "Though I’m still nervous about dating and meeting new people, the show has taught me it’s okay to put myself out there...And I’m excited to start dating again when I meet the right person."
Thomas and Ruth
One of two couples in a relationship in the series, Thomas and Ruth had been in a relationship for four years—and had gotten engaged—by the time they appeared on the show. Ruth actually does have an Instagram in which she shares aspects of her life. In a lovely update, Ruth shared that she and Thomas had gotten married:
The extroverted, pop culture-loving Maddi goes on several dates throughout the series. Her ideal man is apparently "tall, blonde, green eyes, ripped" (which all sounds like some terrific attributes, to be honest). She also says she prefers to date someone on the spectrum because “similar personality traits is quite good.”
Paleontology-loving Mark went on dates with Maddi as well as a couple other girls, and went through the show's dating bootcamp. “I learned to ask a lot of questions and how to talk and behave when dating,” Mark said to Refinery29. “Having these skills has really built up my confidence, and it’s given me a new lease on the wonderful but complicated world of love and relationships.”
Jimmy and Sharnae
The second adorable couple on the show, Jimmy and Sharnae, had just moved in together at the time the show was filmed. They'd been together for three years. (Spoiler!) They actually get engaged at the end of the series, and the two laughingly suggested a trip to Las Vegas that might include a wedding. We don't have any updates on that, though—and travel during the pandemic might be challenging right now, anyways.
Kelvin sees his autism as his "special ability" and is an artist working on his own manga series while living at home with his single dad. Kelvin does have an Instagram that he updates, including his trips (and ongoing love of anime, of course):
Andrew, who goes speed dating on the series, loves teddy bears and jigsaw puzzles. He works in Newcastle and lamented on the series that he worried it might be too late for him to find love (he was 27 at the time of the series).
An actor at the Options Theater Company, Olivia says her friends there are part of her family. In interviews, she explained that she was excited to be on the show, saying, "I didn't really see many people with autism with partners...The stereotype is like, us weirdos living in our parents' basements until we're like 80, alone and single. So, I just assumed that would be my life."