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To My Girlfriend Who Loves Me, Autism and All

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As a man with autism, finding a girlfriend who will fully accept me has been an incredibly difficult task. I used to wake up every morning and wonder why I was still single. I worried no girl would ever love me — until I met you.   The first time I cried in front of you, you comforted me.  Every time I felt down, depressed or stressed, I worried you’d leave like every other woman before you. But no matter how much my autism affected me, you stayed by my side.

I’m not a man that women usually stay with. In fact, I’ve heard the same excuses time after time:  “I met another guy.” “I just wasn’t feeling it.” “I love you as a friend, but…” Every time women rejected me, I bawled my eyes out, wondering if I would ever find love. But as soon as you entered my life, I fell in love with you, and you didn’t leave. I used to be afraid to admit I wasn’t “OK” because in the past, so many women had judged me for my emotions. But you never criticized me for my past, my struggles or my faults.  You stayed patient with me during my most difficult moments and always gave me a shoulder to cry on. Instead of judging me, you admired me for my strength and courage.

I still cry out of fear. I still struggle. I still try so hard to feel worthy of your love. But because of you, I know I have found a love that will last through my challenges. I know you will always love me, autism and all. Thank you for not being like all the women before you.  Thank you for staying by my side through thick and thin. Thank you for recognizing the good in me and always accepting that autism makes me who I am.  I’m lucky to have found such a beautiful, kind woman with whom to share my love.

Getty image by Josu Ozkaritz.

Originally published: April 2, 2019
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