#30DaysofAutismAcceptance – Day 3 : Relationships

Day 3.      Talk about relationships, both platonic and romantic.  Do you have anyone special in your life?  Have your relationships been affected by your being autistic?  Have you found it hard to make and maintain friendships?  Do you have a lot of friends or very few?


Relationships are always complicated whether you are autistic or not. But for me, relationships have always been one of the more difficult things I’ve dealt with.

The best way I can explain my experience of relationships is this … imagine that you are and your partner are in a relationship where both of you are trying to speak to each other in a language that neither of you truly understand.

The result of this is you both get insulted and confused quite a lot. But the person doing the insulting  and confusing doesn’t always understand how they have insulted or confused the other person.

Me and my partner, Lizzy, have been together nearly 7 years. Somethings are easier than they used to be, but somethings cause as many problems now as they always have.

Sometimes when I am not in a sociable mood it can be hard to interact with her. Which then causes me to either ignore or snap at her with no visible reason. If she gets upset, and I have no experience of what is upsetting her I can come across as quite uncaring. Sometimes she will want to go out, but I’m having a day, where the idea of leaving the house sounds like the worst thing in the world to me.

We both try our best to understand each other but when both of us are talking a different language, there is always going to be somethings lost in translation.

I love her, and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. Sometimes my love comes across intensely, other times I act like I couldn’t care if she is around or not. But at the end of the day, she is one of the few constants in my life. She helps keep me grounded. For this I love her dearly. Even if I can’t show it all the time.

Friendships are even more difficult for me, if I’ve spoken to you once, I normally consider you a friend. This usually ends up with me thinking someone is my friend, but they view me as more an acquaintance. Some people find me difficult to deal with, I’m brutally honest and sometimes if my filter (the part of your brain that tells you not to say something) isn’t working I can be extremely offensive without meaning too.

Since joining university I’ve finally met other autistics that aren’t children and are on a similar level of functioning to me, I really like interacting with these two as it’s a lot simpler than interacting with non-autistics.

I’m quite naïve too, so I trust quite easily. This means I get really upset if I find one of my friends has been slagging me off behind my back. I would do anything for my friends, and not expect much back in return.

As I age friendships are easier than they were back in school, but I still don’t consider myself to have loads of friends. Its hard to maintain close friendships, when some days you don’t want to be around people.


One thought on “#30DaysofAutismAcceptance – Day 3 : Relationships

  1. I’m married, going on seven months now. My past relationships have always maxxed out arounf the two- or three-year mark, and my relationship with my now-wife is coming up on that point. I’m a little nervous, and I hope awareness of my autism (and my response to it) will be enough to end that pattern repeating itself.

    Part of the problem is my introversion: when I hit my limit for other people, I think I’m not always consciously aware of it myself…I don’t necessarily get a chance to warn others and can wind up ghosting or turning a little shitty on them. Once I manage to retreat to a quiet space, it takes me a lot of time to recharge. Living with your SO can make it difficult to get the space you need to recover.

    But I also feel that spending enough time with a person also lets you see flaws and details that you were blind to previously. When enough of those details add up, and you’re not the most adept at ignoring, rationalizing, or resolving the ones that get on your nerves or are less attractive to you, a critical mass builds up. I’m given to feeling guilty about focusing on what may be petty little things, and that builds up, too.

    But it’s my wife who put me onto the idea that I may be autistic, which was confirmed in therapy. She’s aware of my issues, and sensitive to working around them where possible. I’m learning more and more, although there are still things I need to resolve, both with her and in my own head. It’s a challenge, but I think a noble one.


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