In early February the stores begin to fill with pink, red, and white hearts. Memories of elementary school come flooding in. Suddenly I’m sitting in a small-town classroom, peering down into an empty Valentine box.
I’ve never attracted a mate who was into giving me jewelry, flowers, or chocolates and that’s fine since I’m not into any of those things. Nothing against love, but if I’m honest – I don’t really care for Valentine’s Day. Diamonds are a waste of money, and chocolate is delicious not romantic.
I’m not the sentimental type or someone who remembers how long I’ve been in a relationship. I don’t keep track of anniversaries and I remember very few birthdays. I’m a workaholic and tend to be so focused and passionate about the projects I take on that I often neglect the people I care about most.
Although I’m currently in a long-term relationship, I’m no relationship expert, so for this month’s question, I turn back to the internet. As I’ve done many times before, I open Twitter and type #ActuallyAutistic #AskingAutistics, before entering my question.
This is for anyone who’s ever had a broken heart:
#ActuallyAutistic #AskingAutistics – are you in a romantic relationship? What is the most difficult part of being involved with someone?
Here are some responses I think you’ll appreciate:
Routine. I have a way of doing things -everything- that my wife doesn’t share. And she likes to make plans at the last minute, both of which can lead to a great deal of anxiety.
Chris Chandler, @CDanChan
Yes, I am….the most difficult is being able to communicate…especially if there is anxiety/stress or a need to rush. Besides that, we pretty much give each other what we need.
I’m married. The hardest thing has been being mindful of sensory processing. Ex. My hearing is hypersensitive. If I go sleep, he starts something on television or phone, it’s not loud to him, but I can hear it and I get cranky. Just one example.
Amy M, @amygetslit
Married 30 yrs. Late adult Dx so my answer might be skewed from someone who grew up dx’d. The hardest part has been not understanding what a NT spouse needs intuitively, when I can figure out so many other things. NTs sometimes need things I need a list to remember!
I’m married. I think one of the most difficult things for me is having to force myself to speak sometimes when my spouse or kid want a conversation. I’m often borderline non-verbal and it’s a struggle to find words.
I have a hard time telling details in a linear fashion, and sometimes I have to go through it 4 or 5 times before it all gets out. It’s also hard to live with a LOUD human. Any noise not made by me= loud. But 22 years of marriage later, we still like each other.
Amy Munson, @Amyluvzcoffee
I’m #ActuallyAutistic and in a long-term relationship. And still often feel painfully alone. And simultaneously deeply in love.
Magnus Hedemark, @Magnus919
TBH my relationship is the easiest part of my life right now (and for a while, we’re going on a decade together) but having family life with kids and partner is very hard with auditory processing. The multiple voices in the house, even when not speaking to me, is stressful.
Me, Just Me, @LInkIsAGirl
Check out the responses for Christa’s #AskingAutistics: What’s One Thing You Wish You Would Have Known?
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