If Only

By Out of Sync Woman

It’s easy for me to think that “if only” I was dating or married, I would be just like everyone else. I sometimes feel like I’m missing out because I’m single. Wait a minute, is this an accurate feeling or thought? More importantly, is this thought helpful or hurtful? I mean, do these type of thoughts help me reach my goals or do they make things more difficult?

Oddly enough I don’t think it’s possible to be more like everyone else because who would I copy or model since there is no “perfect normal.” Everyone I have interacted with is different in their own way. I say that because my family and friends have shown me through actions and words that there is no such thing as “normal.” Trying to achieve this goal of “normalcy” doesn’t lead to to a better life. For better or worse my Autism is a part of who I am. Even if I was dating or married, I would still be on the Autism Syndrome and have ADD traits.

My friends and I talk like having a boyfriend or getting married is the beginning of “happily ever after.” I don’t think so, from what I have seen and experienced, being in a relationship involves effort, compromises, and tenacity. My siblings are all married with children, however, it’s not easy or simple for them. A family friend shared that most  people have a mixed relationship with good and bad parts, and that it take work to stay in a relationship.

I’m not sure I’m willing to put myself out there and put the effort into starting a romantic relationship. Yes, I had a long term relationship but unfortunately it didn’t work out because we wanted different things in life. I’m really glad we broke up since neither of us were in the right place to plan a future together. I haven’t been looking for another person to date. I wonder about the many reasons I’m so reluctant to start dating. Growing up, I often heard that I was at risk of being taken advantage of by other people, and even though I have learned many skills since then, it’s hard to move past that fear. I also don’t like bars and small talk is hard and I have a horrible memory for faces and names. I have a difficult time reading other people and I’m incredibly sensitive about this. Those are some of reasons I’m nervous about dating.

I’m pretty sure I would also need to give myself a hard look, starting with my clothes, hair, make up , etc. I’m not sure if I’m in a heathy enough place to start the dating process. Maybe I should start going new places just to explore and expand my social experiences without the added pressure of having to find a boyfriend. I would like to be more like Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story whose motto is “To infinity and beyond!” So in retrospect, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not like everyone else but that’s okay! I don’t need to be in a romantic relationship to be happy and heathy. Keep in mind this blog is based on my experiences so it might not apply to you. Learning from others is great but the best teacher is your own life experiences.