Is it ok to talk about expectations when we’re in a relationship?

I just realised one thing: the fact that I didn’t want to talk to John about what I would like to be different between us was because deep in my heart I believe that those things shouldn’t be discussed when we are already in an established relationship. I imagine relationship as a contract that one needs to withdraw from before renegotiating. I wonder whether that is a clear explanation? I do admit, I don’t know exactly where I took it from? Possibly it has something to do with the fact that I see everything as a set of finite games? One game needs to finish before another one can start.

It seems logical to say to someone: ‘if you want to see him more often, tell him’ but for me that didn’t feel right at all.

I did try at the beginning of our relationship, but it was somehow not happening. I ended up explaining to myself that it’s because John is overwhelmed by my problems. And to be honest we quickly ended up in a situation where it was me who would say ‘sorry, I can’t meet you this weekend, I need to be on my own to recharge’ and then I’d spend loads of time exchanging emails with him instead.

I really didn’t see myself saying: ‘listen John, I know I had loads of issues and possibly you found it tiring and it caused you to withdraw but I’m much better now, so maybe we could think about how to spend more time together?’ Those words didn’t even cross my mind, but even if someone else suggested them to me, I would not feel like saying that at all.

At the same time acting out my feelings seemed perfectly fine. I can’t help it. I try to do this now in a way that involves as little drama as possible, but still this is acting out. I believe, if I made myself to focus on talking instead, I’d end up feeling suffocated as a result, even if I got what I wanted. I wonder if that’s true for every autistic person? But then, neurotypicals also break up sometimes when they are somehow dissatisfied with a relationship but still love that person, and after a while they get back together, so is it ok to say to autistics that we’re bad communicators because we didn’t talk and act out instead?

Or maybe, what we are constantly being told about how to manage relationship conflict is not true in general? What if emotions and sexual desire is not controlled by the part of brain that understands language? Is it, in that case, possible to control whether you want to be with someone by talking? I mean, ok, you can find out stuff about another person through conversation and then use what you know to decide if you want to get to know them better, but some parts of attraction are not controlled this way. Have you ever heard of a situation where someone met a prospective partner that seemed perfect and they both wanted to find someone for a serious relationship, yet they couldn’t make themselves to feel anything? It happens, even to neurotypicals.

I’m not sure what it is here that I’m trying to say and, what’s worse, I’m sure there was not enough research on that. Or possibly no research at all? And therefore, possibly we’re all getting this totally wrong? I don’t know, just saying how things work for me.

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