Romance with an Aspie
Relationships aren’t easy for a person on the spectrum. Day to day relationships with friends and family members in itself take a toll on an aspie, a romantic relationship is a dream, it’s like trying to catch the rainbow, you will keep chasing it but will never be able to touch it.
I have been brought up in the stupid world of Bollywood romance where one person chases the other and they end up together, in real life this may become a case of stalking and there is a good chance that one may end up behind bars (jail and not daaru bar).
As an aspie, if I like someone from the opposite sex, I tend to feel too much for them. The feeling is hard to explain but it's mostly like love at first sight and this happens a lot. I remember there was a time few years back when I was falling head over heels for almost every girl in the college. Just because I like them doesn’t mean I would go and talk to them, I am happy being away from them because I know personally how much of a work it will be for me.
As an aspie I come with a book of conditions, the kind of conditions they run after an advertisement for a mutual fund. I am not an easy person, believe me when I say this. I have been told this by my parents and friends as well but for some reason most of them planned to stick around me no matter what and I really appreciate them for this.
It’s not like I have never dated anyone, I have (something my friends don’t believe) but like I said, I come with lots of conditions and issues. It’s not easy for the opposite sex to stick around with me. I rarely find such kind of people. I have dumped few and have been dumped by few in the past and feel this will continue in the future as well.
My current girlfriend gave me a book (22 Things a Woman Must Know If She Loves a Man with Asperger's Syndrome) but sometimes I feel she herself forgot to read the book. It’s physically and emotionally draining to be in a relationship.
I know I am not the only one with such issues and other people on the spectrum would also agree to it. I recently joined a facebook matrimonial group for parents looking for suitable match for their autistic children. I realised that finding love on our own is going to be equivalent to conquering Russia. You will lose or freeze to death while they go skinny dipping in cold arctic water holding beer right in front of you.
Relationships in general becomes difficult for an aspie because of number of reasons, for example:
How neurotypicals (non autistic) interact with each other is not how it works for people on the spectrum. I have had numerous fights in the past for things my GF wanted to hear and I was not saying it. How can I know? But, eventually in a neurotypical world both the sexes know what it is and they are comfortable in communicating. It’s like their is a primary conversation and a secondary conversation happening at the same time. The primary one is happening using mouth and facial expressions while secondary one is not being said physically or vocally at all. It is actually the underlying theme of the conversation.
For those who are not able to get what I said above, it’s like the english teacher is asking “decipher the poem where the poet is saying that when he looks up he see the blue sky with wind in his hair” for me it means the sky is blue and it’s windy. But I won’t get marks for this answer, I would be failed which usually happen in all my relationships.
Actually everything revolves around communication, to describe what I am feeling, to understand my partner’s feeling, socialising, being cosy etc.
Once you somehow manage to go beyond the communication part, then follows other kind of troubles, like intimacy. For me to be physical with anyone is very difficult, it took me years to understand that I am a demisexual, that is, I can be physical with only the person with whom I connect emotionally which rarely happens. The intimacy also is determined by many external factors, I need the environment where I can relax and be close to someone. I have rarely got that moment and it also becomes a major issue of embarrassment. I believe that my partner needs to know these things beforehand but once the person starts getting to know me they don’t actually want to be with me.
I feel once I develop that emotional bonding with someone I get comfortable to dangerous extent with them. After getting comfortable I can be me, I don’t have to pretend or wear a mask and that sometimes comes as a shock to the partner.
Life beyond the partner
A spouse or GF is an additional responsibility on the existing life that an individual on the spectrum will be living. Sometime when I am involved in some external crisis or something big is happening in my life I tend to resolve the issue and find a solution on my own rather than sharing it with anyone, while I do this, I tend to slip into solitude and remain there till I resolve it completely. My partner doesn’t understand that I have spent most of my life in that solitude and if they have to be part of my life they have to make me believe that being with them is better than the loneliness I had befriended. Life in general is so overwhelming that at the end of the day I keep searching for a place where I can heal, I can rest and rejuvenate, so that I can be prepared for the next day because it will be a fresh struggle.
I miss the need for a partner but the idea of an ideal partner that I have made in my head is a dream. I realised that I can’t have such vague expectations and the other person will be as human as I am. They will also have needs, wants, expectations, so it’s me who need to adjust according to them and to keep it as real as possible.
I have been told by my friends and family that relationships are a give and take thing and you can’t have everything like you want, which I understand clearly and believe that life is a two way street and you have to respect the person coming from the opposite direction or else you will get hurt.
All I want and look forward towards is peace and happiness, I haven’t asked for anything else but have been craving for this for ages. What the future holds for me is uncertain but I don’t want other people on the spectrum to suffer like me.