Everyone wants to be loved. I make a living writing books about people falling in love and fighting everything to be together with the person, or persons, that they love. No matter where on the sexual or romantic spectrum you fall. The base emotion of loving and being loved is universal. Love comes in many forms, sometimes a lover or relationship, sometimes in the form of a very close friend. But the base emotion of love is something that we as humans require to feel protected and safe in the world.
But in communities where there are a lot of diverse people, especially of the neurodiverse variety, I also see so many comments that break my heart. So many people believe that because they’re not neuro-typical, that they may never find love, that they’re somehow broken, that they don’t deserve love. Or, worst of all, that because their brain is a little different from what we see on TV or read in most books, that they shouldn’t even expect to ever find someone who will love them for the rest of their lives.
This really breaks my heart because it’s such a painful thing to see someone so hurt and in pain that they believe that they’re not going to find someone that they love.
I’ve been together with my boyfriend for more than eight years now. I’m twenty-nine, so that’s a long time, and it’s not always been easy. But that doesn’t matter, easy or hard, things will always change.
As I’ve said before, I have ADD and autism, so my way of interacting with people, especially when I get to know them, is a little unusual.
We met on the first day of our first year doing a Computer Sciences degree.
I was wearing a black shirt, a bright green skirt and army boots. After our original introduction from the head of our sub-department, I walked up to the head and asked about special help because of my ADD and autism. She was lovely and actually moved me from one student advisor to someone who specifically dealt with people who needed more support. So, after that, we were split into groups based on our student advisor and we’d start exploring the university grounds. While waiting, a guy walked in, he wore a band-shirt (Nine Inch Nails if I recall), skater jeans, New Rock boots and he had beautiful long hair.
During the tour on the university grounds, I kept trying to walk near him, because I thought he looked cool, though I wasn’t confident enough to talk to him. He later admitted that it was the same for him.
It wasn’t until the next day and we had taken our Dutch and English language tests and we were waiting for the next class to start that we exchanged our first words. Just about how the tests sucked, before I kept browsing on my laptop and he played Pokemon on his Nintendo DS. Nothing much more on that day happened.
But when classes started a week later, and we were spending a break between classes with some other guys from our class. We did the first thing that would forever bind us. We were able to finish each other’s sentences, okay, slight insults to a guy who was trying way too hard to impress me with his computer skills while my skills were better than his, but still. We were able to connect on such a level without much interactions at all, because we got the other’s brain, mostly.
We were both not in a place where we expected this to happen, we both had given up trying to date at all. But we understood each other and we were able to build a relationship on not just respect or mutual understanding, but on supporting each other to follow our dreams.
He’s supported me through so many things, including me going to the UK to study there for three years, and we’ve been living together for the past four years. We have two insane cats and a house that’s a little unconventionally handled, but it’s ours.
I, for the longest time, thought that I’d forever have to try to fit other people’s expectations and conventions when it came to being in a relationship. This has left me with mental scars that still haven’t fully disappeared, but it has also given me the surety that there is someone out there who will understand you. That there is someone out there who will not love you despite your brain wackiness, but who will love, simply for who you are.
And sometimes, you find that someone because you always look at the floor, because groups and faces are scary, and you see a set of shoes that you can appreciate.