All of this started with a question.
A polite and honest question.
Neither prying nor judging.
Just a question from someone knowing that there was a blank spot in the knowledge.
And I firmly believe that the wisest of people are those, that know very well what they DON’T know.
But first a few clarifications of abbrevations used:
LOTS – Love on the Spectrum, the main title of the series you are about to dive into.
NT – Neurotypical, a person who is not considered to be neurodiverse, a “normal” person
ND – Neurodiverse, a person with e.g. autism, adhd or similar, where the mind works differently from what you’d expect.
Is it Hard for Autistics to be in a Relationship?
When you start reading these LOTS sessions, they will probably somehow be affected by me trying to focus on the brighter sides, the positives and the funny stuff. I will try to give a fair share of attention to the challenges too – but so many people already do that, focus on the challenges, I mean. But I like the sunny days a lot better than the rainy, gray ones.
This does not mean that autistics in relationships don’t struggle, nor that partners of autistics don’t sometimes want to pull their hair out – I’m quite certain that I have caused such hair pulling desires in all of my girlfriends over the years – but to be fair, so have they!….caused me to feel like banging my head against the wall, I mean! But because autistics are outnumbered, it is somehow the neurotypical way to do things that is deemed right. And yet, no one has yet provided a bullet proof and rational answer, as to why we attend distant family parties, when we don’t even want to (and the host(-ess) wouldn’t notice our absense anyway), or why we say everything is fine at that family party, when we are actually fantasizing about beforementioned hair pulling, because the laundry basket (with 3…THREE… compartments) apparantly is too fucking easy to miss. (Not that I would know anything about that…)
But suuuure, let’s put on those masks and go against our nature and lie to the people we care about and tell ourselves it makes perfect sense….I apologise for the snarky comment, but hoping that it somehow illustrates that autistic or not, mental illness or not, gay or not, footballer or not – we all deal with relationship issues. The couple celebrating their 25th anniversary and the newly wed’s and the friends with benefits.
Socialising is hard enough – add in love, different shades of odd feelings, lust and sex and consider the fact that in an NT/ND relationship you are talking similar, but still different languages… – see the point? Which is probably why a lot of people wonder about autistics and love and relationships – and sex.
How the fuck do we do it? No pun intended.
There is not ONE answer to that question.
There are multiples.
It’s Not What You Think!
Before I venture into the other sessions, particularly “Butterflies” and “Naked” which will go live later in Autism Awareness Month, you need to understand and remember something.
This is not going to be some steamy, x-rated recollection of memoirs with loads of details. If that’s what you are after, there are other sites for that.
I’d pimp up that firewall if you visit them though.
Neither is this going to be a massive rat out on My Lady and her dubious abilities to hit the laundry basket, but I’ll keep it as objective as possible – and should I slip, just you know, that she could tell equally (at least) annoying or embarressing anecdotes about yours truly.
What this IS going to be, is a balance between that personal insider point of view and the occasional case from real life experience and objectivity.
I may fail – balance isn’t a virtue of mine and my finer motoric skills suck. I have door frames that will testify to that!
I may succeed.
I may multitask and do both.
You ARE inevitably also going to get to know me on a more personal level, some more veil will be cast aside – whether that is a good or a bad thing, that’s for you to decide.
But first and foremost I hope these sessions will serve as a clarification, that they will break a few more bricks off of that wall of stereotypical misconceptions.
So – how is it like to be an autistic, when it comes to love and relationships?
Before we proceed, give yourself 5 minutes for the following question (and it may sound snarky, but I seriously would like you to give some thought to it)….
How Is It Like To Be a Neurotypical in Love and Relationships?
Have you given it 5 minutes of thought? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, even if it’s just a brain storm or a few seemingly random words. Why? Because whenever I talk about NT behaviour, it’s guess work – usually qualified from a shitload of experience but guess work nonetheless – so your thoughts on this particular question might help me on my endeavor later on in this project.
But if you have given it serious thought, let’s jump right ahead to the Debunking Session – the ride might get a little rough.
And don’t forget to Subscribe below to get the notifications on the upcoming LOTS-posts:
The Butterflies Session (falling in love)
The Steady Session (maintaining relationships)
The War Session (the conflicts and break ups)
The Family Session (being an autistic parent)
The Naked Session (the intimate side of things)
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