The other day I overheard a girl, probably around 10-yrs-old ask her mother a question about love. Her question was in essence – since she was diagnosed with Asperger’s and has a difficult time understanding people’s facial or word intonations; how, when she grows up, will she know if a man truly loves her when he asks her to marry him?
This is a question that many of us both ASP and NT wonder, and there is no simple answer to her question. So, I did a little research regarding love and relationships. What I discovered was that in order to give or receive love (not surprisingly , one must love oneself. For if one cannot love oneself, how can love others or see love in others?
Let us start with loving ourselves. Here is a self-affirmation pledge written especially for individuals with Asperger’s, by Liane Holliday Willey, EdD from her book, Asperger’s Syndrome in the Family, Redefining Normal:
Asperger Self-Affirmation Pledge
- I am not defective. I am different.
- I will not sacrifice my self-word for peer acceptance.
- I am a good and interesting person.
- I will take pride in myself.
- I am capable of getting along with society.
- I will ask for help when I need it.
- I am a person who is worthy of another’s respect and acceptance.
- I will find a career interest that is well suited to my abilities and interests.
- I will be patient with those who need time to understand me.
- I am never going to give up on myself.
- I will accept myself for who I am
Okay, so once you accept yourself, what about love interests? How can we know if they love us? An article written by Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D gives clues:
- Wants to spend time with you.
- Asks about your day.
- Trusts you.
- Helps you when you need it.
- Shows respect for your views.
- Includes you in decisions.
- Shows affection.
- Looks at you.
- Likes to talk about the pas
- Is willing to go to bat for you and your relationship.
- Makes you feel good about yourself.
So, here you go. A basic primer regarding love. Good luck!