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Rant: autistic and trying to be a good host.

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WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Rant: autistic and trying to be a good host.

This is basically a rant, I guess.

I have been hosted at several adresses in Belgium, the United Kingdom and Germany and I really like to return this kind of favor graciously.

I have read the FAQ and it says: Say "no" to any hosting request if you're uncomfortable or for any other reasons.
Right now, I feel uncomfortable and have changed my status from available to non-available.

I am autistic and have been trying to be a good host.

I have hosted one person so far. She liked to stay at my appartment. So far so good.

However, my reasons for changing my status are three aborted hosting requests in a row for asking hospitality.

On the first two occasions I have cleaned my entire appartment, pumped up an airbed for the guest and prepared by doing some extra shopping (drink, meals, extra bread etc.), just like a good hotel manager would do. Hygiene ready, bed ready, food and drinks ready, everything ready. Then, at the last moments, these people aborted their request, wishing me all the best and so on.

The third time the request was aborted at an earlier moment and I did not make all these preparations, but still, I found myself to feel troubled about expecting someone and then have to "switch off" this expectation. If you know about autism, you know how difficult this can be for autistic people.

Right now, I feel kind of guilty. I am expecting other people to host me and I am not willing to return the favor. It does not feel fair. But I feel that I just can't handle all these aborted requests all the time. I can't sleep because of this.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Hi Ivo. It does sound like

Hi Ivo. It does sound like quite a frustrating experience. I think if people cancelling due to change of plans upsets you so much, then the best thing is to not host. Don't feel bad about that. You have tried. You have to look after yourself.

I understand the desire to give back after having received so much hospitality and good will from people you meet on the road. Hosting does involve some potential for disappointment. I've just experienced it too.

The only other thing you can do up if you are really keen to host people and there's not much else available in your area for cyclists is to be very open about yourself and your expectations on your profile. This will ensure that only the right people will come to your place - ie people who are sensitive and not so likely to create upset. That is to say, put it on your profile that you are autistic and get very anxious and upset if people cancel so ask them to only agree to say if they are certain they will be there. Also put it on your profile why you want to host people.

Anyhow those are the ideas that i would suggest you try if you really don't want to just quit.

Anyhow, i will say this, hosting is not as straightforward as you'd think it would be.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Good host

Ivo, I totally agree with Andrea. Put it in your profile or mention it in your email when you accept to host that it would give you so much stress when people cancel. When I speak for myself: I would do everything in my power to show up when I know that it will make you feel bad when I don't. The people I have met so far on WS, are really nice and understanding people, so I'm sure many of the cyclist will appreciate it when they know why you try to host and will show up.

Unregistered Imagen de anon_user
I also changed my status on

I also changed my status on couchsurfing to "not hosting" after a series of cancellations/no-shows. But later, after a very nice WS cyclist I remembered other very nice weekends with guests. Now I am "maybe available" there.

I changed my expectations. I do not really count on people coming unless they are really approaching. And some things (like putting the bed in order) I will only do once they have arrived. I do not clean as carefully as the maids in hotels. I won't start preparing food until they are really here.

When they don't show up, I will still be annoyed, but I also know that it is not rational. The house needs tidying up anyway, and I will have the time to myself.

PS: I should have added that there is no reason to feel guilty. I completely agree with the post below.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
to host or not to host

You are an excellent member of WSL -- the agreement is to request what you need and offer what you can. Others have made suggestions of how you might work on changing your expectations or methods. That's good, if you want or are ready to engage in that kind of self-improvement project. But, it's ok if you just be who you are. Remain "not available." Or, write something really absolute in your profile so only serious prospects contact you. But, your personal limits and abilities don't require an apology or alteration in order to participate on the Warm Showers List. (Note that there are members who live in places where hosting is impossible; they may offer advice, a drink, or nothing -- we all have limits.)

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
What a wonderful community

The quality of replies to Ivo's very honest posting remind me why I am a part of this wonderful community. Thank you all for your caring honesty. :-) Ivo, it sounds like your heart is in the right place and that you have the curiosity and perseverance to figure out how to make it work.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
I have had similar

I have had similar experiences. Now, when I reply to the first contact from a potential guest, I do not give my address. I answer that I am available and that I will send along the address and directions when they confirm their stay. So far, this has worked out quite well and has prevented me from preparing and having no one show up.

Sometimes people travelling by bike seem to have made a bunch of requests and who answers will determine their route. If no one has accepted for the night before my place then the cyclist may have gone a totally different way and doesn't even remember that I was asked.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Hello everyone,

Hello everyone,

Thank you for your understanding and polite comments. I have changed my status back to "available" and have changed my description text according to the tips that were given to me in this forumthread:

I am a 41-year male experienced adventure cyclist with an appartment in the beautiful city Groningen.

My travels have been to/through Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Austria, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Luxemburg and the Czech Republic.

Usually I am at home from work at 18:00 (six o'clock in the evening).

There are two supermarkets on the other side of the road. Both of them are usually open until 21:00 (nine o'clock in the evening).

You are ONLY welcome to send me a request if you really are planning to stay at my address. I am an autistic person and therefore I am very sensitive for false expectations. I do not like to expect you for a few hours and then find out that you have cancelled your request for whatever reason. This has happened three times to me and it caused me to have sleepless nights.

So please be so kind to make up your mind really, really good, before sending your request to me.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Hi Ivo. I think that's a nice

Hi Ivo. I think that's a nice profile. I would make one slight suggestions though.

I would change the word travel in the second paragraph to "tours" so that people know your travels are by bike. Although you've said in the first para that you're a cycling tourist, i think it is clearer to say where you have ridden by bike because currently, it is not clear that all those places you've visited were by bike.

Its not a big consideration, just something that i would do on my own profile. On my profile i don't mention my other travels at all and I suspect that you've ridden to all these places too but currently, it is vague as "travels" is not a word people commonly use to describe their "tours".

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Well said

I think you explained it very well!
Hope you will receive some great guests

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
good profile

thank you for being open and honest in your profile. I hope the folks that contact you in the future will be understanding and that you can have a wonderful time sharing your home with them.
I have a 14 yr old nephew who is autistic and am learning how to interact with him as a teen.

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