To the Person on the Autism Spectrum Going Through a Breakup
Breakups are never easy, no matter what side you are on. As someone on the autism spectrum who has been in and out of relationships for the past decade now, I can tell you it can be quite daunting at times — like nothing else in this world will ever make sense again. Many of us on the spectrum also have heightened challenges with sensitivity and transition, and breakups can have a negative effect on us both physically and mentally.
But today I want to let those on the spectrum who have experienced a breakup or are currently going through a breakup to know you are not alone.
For the time being, I want you to remember these five things.
1. You have someone out there who will love you for exactly who you are. I often tell my mentees who are in high school and going through their first relationships that there are many fishes in the sea. You are unique, and you have interests and qualities someone out there will adore. Never forget that.
2. Take some time to grieve before even thinking about going into a new dating situation/relationship. No matter if the relationship lasted five years or five minutes, take the time to grieve. Don’t bottle things up. Let it out. Cry if you need to as well. After some time has passed, I’d ask you to reflect on the five stages of grieving. Think about it as your structure. Understand what went wrong in the relationship and what you can potentially do in the next one. Setting up this schedule might help you through it.
3. Rely on others to help you through this difficult time. It may be difficult to express your feelings to others, but this goes back to not bottling things up. They will be able to tell you that this happens all the time. Talk to your family and friends. If enough time has passed and you are feeling down, consider seeking a therapist to help you, too. They can help you through some of the things that may be going on and help you move on.
4. There are truly many fishes in the sea. Don’t let one relationship stop you from pursuing future relationships when you think you’re ready. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2014 that 124.6 million Americans 16 years and older were single!
5. It may not seem like it right at this moment, but you are going to get through this. Relationships are a lot of hard work. Some of them will work out and others won’t. Regardless, take satisfaction in the things you enjoy and the strengths you have out there. Know you are worthy. People will love you in the future.
If you ever need someone to talk to about this process, I’m one click away on my Facebook page here. We have a community that will be here for you and support you.
Hang in there, keep improving as a person every single day and continue to build on your social skills. I hope only for happiness for you in the future.
For more on dating and autism, please read my other article 10 Things I Wish People Knew About Dating Someone on the Autism Spectrum. In 2014, I wrote a book called “Autism and Falling in Love” based on my experiences finding love on the autism spectrum. You can read more about the book here.
A version of this post originally appeared on Kerrymagro.com.
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