I just created this new blog page today. It's been brewing a while.
I started dating a man with Asperger's Syndrome in late January. It was right after I'd been PERMANENTLY banned from Tinder (so disappointed about that but simultaneously so very proud of myself for being such a badass BITCH!).
At about the same time, I started posting links to my writing on the subreddit r/herpes, and was starting to get a lot of traffic to my posts about coming to terms with my herpes diagnosis. So that's all well and good, by the way, my coming along with coming to terms with the herpes diagnosis.
A man messaged me, and he sounded interesting. He lived about an hour away, so it was actually a potential IRL connection. I didn't think much of it, and I assumed he messaged me because I'd posted a link to A Completely Boring Herpes Educational Blog Post That You Should Absolutely Read Anyway, and he'd read it. From our exchanges, he was obviously a very smart guy, and I was certain that post was what had drawn him to my presence on Reddit.
I went on assuming that was the basis of our initial connection for a very very long time, until I started to know him better. He's not a big reader. He hasn't much time, and, as with many of my friends, reading my writing is not highest on his list of downtime pleasures. I thought to ask him one day how I'd gotten his attention, why he'd messaged me on Reddit.
"You read the Completely Boring Blog Post About Herpes, right? I asked. "That's how come you messaged me, right?"
Nope, that wasn't why he messaged me. He messaged me because I randomly, without much thought at all, posted this on the subreddit r/herpespersonals:
January 19, 2022
58-year-old BBW, rural part of Washington State. Would love to find like minded folks (read: liberal) to chat, carpool to functions in Seattle and Portland. Any gender, any age, focus on friendship. It’s lonely here in Lewis County 😢
We've been dating now for four months, although he doesn't agree with the term "dating" to define our friendship. A whole separate blog post right there.
I'm learning a lot, about myself, about Asperger's, but mostly about myself. It's frustrating as FUCK, and I wonder, moment by moment, if the effort I'm committing, and keep recommitting, to investing in this friendship is really worth the distress. It's not anything to do with Don. Don is just being his Asperger self, Don. The storm is all in me.
I'm seeing the places where I thought I had it all going on with regards to communication - and seeing those "skills" disintegrate into dust. They are completely ineffective in this relationship. Not only ineffective, but unusable. The success of this friendship requires an entirely new and different set of tools.
Can I do this? I don't know the answer to that question. But let me make it very clear, if I walk away, it won't be because of him. Don is just being his Asperger self, Don. The storm is all in me.
[Initial publication date: 6/6/2022.]