People on the spectrum can be—and often are or want to be—in romantic relationships just like those who are neurotypical. And those two groups can also successfully intermingle and fall in love with one another.
While it’s absolutely possible, being in a relationship with a person whose brain works differently than yours can be a unique challenge. So if you’re a non-autistic person who is in a relationship with an autistic person, you may like to have a few pointers as to how your partner’s mind works.
As we often recite, if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism. So read these 10 tips with a grain of salt; they may apply to your autistic partner, but perhaps they won’t. If you’re not sure, talk to your partner and find out. In any case, we hope you learn something helpful.
10. Cut Them Some Slack in Social Situations
Due to struggles with social interaction, small talk, and sensory issues, people on the spectrum may not enjoy parties or large gatherings. These events can be overwhelming and a source of stress or anxiety.
If this describes your significant other, talk with them and decide if big social outings are something to avoid altogether or to be attended with accommodations. Typically, autistic individuals like to know what will happen ahead of time so that they can mentally prepare and avoid being caught off guard, so you might want to tell them who will be there, what will be happening, possible subjects to talk about, and how long you plan on staying. It’s also a good idea to establish a way that your significant other can escape the pandemonium if it gets to be too overwhelming.
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A. Stout received a Bachelor of Arts in Writing through Grand Valley State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2015. In addition to being a passionate autism advocate, she is a member of various fandoms, a study abroad alumna, and an animal lover. She dreams of publishing novels and traveling all over the world someday.