• Darcy Reed

Love on the spectrum

I was asked a really good question today about relationships when you are neurodivergent. So much depends on boundaries and respect and actually being understood as you really are. Manyof the behaviors get personalized by the neurotypical folks. If you rock back and forth or something, they wonder what they did wrong, they don’t stop and think your behaviors don’t always relate to them at all. The actual things that scare people do require explanation.


Yes, it’s tedious but if you don’t tell people they will continue to make assumptions about you whether you are autistic or not. You have to explain yourself so people will understand. This is an unfortunate reality but chances are if you can explain that your behaviors are what they are, and not likely to change, then maybe others can simply cope with them. If they cannot, why would you want to be pals with them, anyway?

It’s not unlike normal relationships; it just requires more explanation. It is especially hard to live a life as an undiagnosed aspie because no one wants to forgive you if you present as mostly normal. No one makes excuses for you; they just revile your unfortunate habits thinking you could easily change. Not always true. It’s really hard being so incredibly functional and dysfunctional in those cases because those folks get no slack whatsoever.

I, myself, don’t even expect to have a romance or even a sexual encounter, but I really don’t care, anyway. Not that it shouldn’t matter to me, it just doesn’t. I like intellectual and spiritual relationships and I’m extremely tactically defensive, so it isn’t something I worry about. In fact, I actually don’t especially care about romance because so much of it is so beyond my comprehension, such as why people live for love.


Romantic love is just a tiny sliver of the real deal but how would I really know? Just guessing. I have no baseline for that, but I do know that it is possible for folks if that’s their goal. It doesn’t have to be a goal for all of us.

Someone very dear to my heart is an aspie who is all alone in the world of romance. Everyone saw how incredibly talented and smart he is and assumed that he was just a quirky artist. People take stuff personally and you have to be aware of what it was you said or did to hurt them, and often you don’t even know.


I think it would be best to just tell it up front to potential partners. Just say, this is the deal, I really am not just quirky, I am an aspie and here are my needs, here are my rules and here is where you might misunderstand me. Then explain your dear self in detail and ask the person if they can live with that.

I think that love is always possible, and if romantic love is something you want and you are falling for someone different than you, like a non-autistic person, then go for it. But please just explain yourself. There’s nothing to be ashamed of and if you are afraid, tell it. Say I’m afraid to love. Say it to the person you want to love you. Tell them it’s scary but you like them so much, so that if they have a heart worthy of your love you will find them no matter how long it takes.

You can manifest a partner who is perfect for you. Create the possibility in your mind first. Without that possibility that you can find true love and without a belief that that could happen, it probably won’t because you will tell yourselves it doesn’t matter, it will never happen and then it won’t. It is imperative to believe that it can happen.


I love it when people don’t give up on me. It’s a great privilege to be loved, even if it is over time and space and largely on social media. I believe, however, that love and partnership are extremely important in life. My parents started out as friends first. That was a real good idea. Thirty-eight years later, they are still together and one could say that is a miracle.


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