I have what Ali G’s cousin Simon Baron Cohen calls an ‘extreme male brain’, or in the words of one well versed ex i am an ‘autistic fuckhead’. Knowing this about yourself ameliorates most of the problems it might cause and fortunately i am naturally extremely considerate of others but obviously I can appear callous and unemotional. My lack of empathy shows itself under strain just when you need it most.
The biggest consequence and coping mechanism I have for this is to keep things simple. To be direct and honest, which in a relationship can be uncomfortable, brutal and hard work.. especially at the beginning (and end) of things or when I get in a sulk. But is also reliable, reassuring, respectful and confidence-building. Trust comes easily to my relationships and it is not a coincidence that I continue to have good relations with all my past partners.
One other aspect of this that is often overlooked is that I deal with my own state of mind in a similarly rational and ‘detatched’ fashion (which incidently makes it easier for me to be an existentialist.) I know my own mind extremely well and so I can always say what I mean and how I feel (remembering that that feeling feels very different from yours).
How does this affect the partner I want? It will go better if they know their own mind. If they can stand up for themselves, that they are passionate in their beliefs, but have thought them through and are articulate in defending them. We will argue.. I like to argue.. I like to be proven wrong.. it’s called learning.
Well, firstly it means that there will be few surprises for them so they should not be wait for me to turn into something i haven’t appeared to be at first, it will not happen. Nor think that you will be able to manipulate me. negotiate.. yes, blackmail.. no. But with this comes the reassurance that you will not get it from me either.
Secondly I want a relationship where we are continually questioning what that relationship is and how it works. If i say i love you, you should not mind if i qualify that statement with some minor criticism, you should welcome or reject it for what it is not take umbrage at the slight. If I tell you i love you and embellish it with a pangyric, you should have enough modesty and self-awareness to think I might be lying and ask me to expand upon my theme. I want a relationship where motives are exposed and jealousies confided, however petty or overwhelming they may be. Imagine I “fancied” your best friend, or your mum (or your ex-boyfriend) I hope you would be interested in hearing this. And that the strength of your belief in the unique and remarkable connection we have is such that you know this is actually a flattering confession to make.
Know yourself and trust and love me enough be able to disclose the dark as well as the light, because I will do the same, whether you want me to or not.