Pat and I watched Autism in Love, a documentary on a handful of autistic individuals’ relationships, on Netflix. Autistic individuals have a reputation for being stilted in relationships, unable to express emotions. And yet as Pat commented, the individuals portrayed (albeit high functioning on the autism spectrum) were actually MORE introspective than the average person. Certainly they were more sensitive and had higher standards than the average dater.
One person – Lenny – was in many ways the most tragic. A la Flowers for Algernon, he had enough self-knowledge to know that he was different and to feel very low self-confidence as a result. But in terms of relationships, he had greater insight than most people – he was just looking for someone to love and thought sex should wait for love.
The couple, pictured above, was one of the successful relationships, although both were afflicted by autism. Dave, a scientist, relayed his “formula” for knowing when you’ve found the right person:
50% (or double) how they Treat you
Dave wasn’t who you would think of as a relationship guru – he appeared socially awkward and had several tics. He was the type of person that, against your better judgment, you might look askance at and maybe even avoid, if you couldn’t see that within him was a great heart. And yet contrary to outer appearances, he had greater knowledge of how to find the right spouse than many of us who have run after people who may have had looks or personality, but treated us poorly.
As we already know, the Lord often uses those who would otherwise be discounted – the lame, the blind, the sinner – to teach those who think themselves wise. Here is certainly an example. If we all judged our boyfriend/girlfriend by a similar formula, how much better off we would be!
Do your partners live up to LP2T??