I was filling in a student loan form online in the morning and I was asked to give next of kin details. Obviously that would be John but I didn’t know what to choose for him as a relationship with me as Fiance wasn’t on the list. Funny thing, the list was pretty extensive; I presume most people would choose Partner but for me a partner is someone we live with, share grocery shoping with, worry about the heating bill and deciding which of us is going to be in when the plumber turns up for blocked sink. So John is not a partner. I sometimes used to call him that in an official communication but it made me a bit uncomfortable.
As soon as I saw Significant Other on the list and I thought, this is it! So imprecise but somehow exactly what I needed. Possibly because I always had difficulties defining our relationship. Yes, we are engaged but somehow we’re not planning to get married. I believe the most important thing here is our living space. We’re both independent autistic mature adults, not sociable and easy going 20’something, you know. We need space! Compromise in this area would be impossible and I believe we both lost our illusions regarding being in relationship and living together.
I really do not think we will be able to move in together until we can afford at least 6 bedroom house (and 3 reception rooms, whether formal or informal). The only way this could happen would be if I become a famous blogger because we don’t even play a lottery. So please share my blog with friends who may be interested in the subject of autism, or possibly dementia, but not too many of them at once.
Unfortunately I often have difficulties with explaining the above to people I know. They seem to think that autistic people would just naturally be happy in each other company and only need some food to survive. I wish it was as easy as that!
So Significant Other seemed like an answer to my confusion – that’s what I will be calling John from now on. If someone asks what that actually means I’ll say ‘well… significant other. I don’t know how else to call it’. If they proceed further with their questions and possibly ask if we hug or have sex I’ll say ‘yes, we do both those things sometimes’.
And please do not ask me what ‘sometimes’ means. Do you have sex all the time when you’re with your spouse? (What a strange word BTW). No, you don’t, that would absolutely kill both of you. So me and John also don’t have sex all the time; we have it sometimes. Like vast majority of people on the planet.
One other thing is that it seems to me like I can’t break up with a significant other. I could with a boyfriend, fiance or divorce a husband but Significant Other is here to stay. I don’t know where I take that idea from but that how it works in my mind.