I want to make John happy (my new relationship quest)

So, a couple of days ago I posted that after me and John got engaged, I started feeling confused and even got the idea that he needs to change! I was aware that could have been because I see relationships as a series of quests to complete and, after I completed one, I was looking for another one, but that didn’t help me to stop that thinking at all and I was getting really restless about that.

At some point I even had that strange conversation with John where I was hinting him that I’m dissatisfied with our relationship, and he got my intention right, even though I was refusing to say anything specific. I will not be copying this conversation in here as the post would be too long, but I can say John handled everything really well as, when I finished, he twisted the situation and gently hinted that he’d never done similar thing to me, which then made me think I can’t use the same behaviour again and that I need to be gentle with him.

Finally the feeling of restlessness went away and yesterday I came up with another quest: I want to make John happy. Doesn’t that sound cute? It feels like I can now be very creative with everything that I’m doing, constantly asking myself if my actions are going to make him more happy and what else I can do for him. I’m not talking here about making loads of effort and doing things that I’d normally find difficult, because that would make me unhappy as a result, so it wouldn’t be good for anyone; I’m talking here about changing my focus and noticing things that I can do easily but that would also benefit him.

So yesterday I thought I’ll get John some clothes. It’s really hot in the UK right now and John is oversensitive to heat. He should be wearing shorts in this weather but he doesn’t have any because he hates shopping, both in person and online. So I thought, I like going to shops and browsing, there’s no reason why I can’t buy things for him, he can then give me money back for what he wants to keep and I’ll return what he doesn’t like. So far I got him four pairs of cargo shorts from m&s to try but I’m not going to stop here!

I wonder how a neurotypical woman would see this behaviour? It does seem to me that it would have been inappropriate to do that when we were still in dating stage, but I can’t see why I shouldn’t be doing that now, when we engaged? After all serious relationships should be about supporting each other.

Mind you, when I was younger, I often felt like I wanted to make people happy, whether they were my friends or someone I was hoping to be friends with. I’d try to be there for them, listen about their problems or give them small favours. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that doesn’t make people respect me. Best case scenario they’d come to me when they needed something but when they were ok they’d go to a party with somebody else. Worse case scenario they treated me with disdain from the very beginning. I don’t quite know why people don’t appreciate this behaviour, but I just get on with it. But I don’t think John would be like that. It now feels to me like by making an effort to make him happy I’m actually being myself.

That also made me realise something else: I did see on my autistic female Facebook group that at least some autistic people have problems with buying clothing items if they don’t know whether they want to keep them or not. That can be clasified as rigid pattern of behaviour, but I wonder what causes it. Possibly at an early age they become aware that some people buy a clothing item, hide the label, wear it to an event and return it after? They then decided it shouldn’t be like that and that they will never return anything, which for me is a form of empathy – towards the next buyer, towards the shop assistant and even towards the clothes.

However, my experience is different: I was brought up in a communism country where it was very difficult to return shopping. If you wanted to buy something for an ill relative for example, who couldn’t come to the shop themselves, you had to explain it to the shop assistant, they’d ask shop manager for you, you then had to explain it again, and if they were in a good mood they’d agree that you can return the item within, let’s say 3 days. But what would sometimes happen was that when you came back to return the item, they’d said they don’t remember the conversation. And what would happen then? Well, you had to argue with them really well and they would usually budge but it was a lot of stress, you have to agree.

Also at the time no one would even try the trick to buy clothes, wear them once and return, because the choices were so limited that when you found something you were happy to wear, you’d keep it.

So I didn’t make the connection that returning what you bought is wrong and I feel like I’m really privileged that I now have an option to return items and often have several days to do that.

That’s all for today, I suppose. I am thinking about making some changes to my blogging strategy, you know. Possibly recording my thoughts is not something that still suits me, although I am glad I did it for almost a year. I’ll explain more later. Take care.

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