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My boyfriend is on the spectrum and I can’t tell if he wants to break up or not

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by Aejose, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. Aejose

    Aejose New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I have been dating my boyfriend for about a year and a half now, and though he is not officially diagnosed he has told me that he is on the spectrum. Things can be difficult at times, but for the most part we work very well together. The biggest issue in our relationship is that he is allergic to cats, I have one, and the idea of introducing regular allergy shots into his life stresses him out so I’ve been letting him approach that at his own pace.

    Over the weekend, two of my roommates announced that they were moving out, and my boyfriend’s lease is up in August. I brought this up to open the conversation of moving in together in August. I was trying to figure out whether I should find short or long term subletters, but I don’t think he fully understood what I was saying and to my surprise was open to breaking his lease and moving in together in April.

    It’s a short time frame so I started trying to organize details for moving and started to send him apartments and options in different areas of the city but I think it overwhelmed him. Last night I was with him and he got frustrated and shut down. He was telling me that he’s unhappy in his job and wanted to start looking for jobs in March, but now has to focus on moving out of his apartment, to a new area of the city, figure out a new commute, and live with a cat when he isn’t sure how severe his allergy to her is and he said it was far too much change at once, he didn’t want to do it, and thought we should break up instead.

    Over the next few hours I asked a lot of questions trying to get him to think about whether he is unhappy in our relationship or just scared of commitment and change. I suggested smaller steps like waiting until he found a new job and/or moving in to his current place so he doesn’t have to deal with that change. He is a data scientist and talks about cancer data most of the time so I suggested that we “collect more data” by running experiments between him and my cat to make him more comfortable, like bringing her to his apartment for a day and things like that.

    He was agreeable to this and our current plan is to see how he is with my cat before making any decisions, but I’m going back and forth. I can’t tell if he really wants to break up and was using my cat as an excuse or if his suggestion to break up was a negative reaction to being in a very uncomfortable situation for him. It was lots of change and pressure to make the change quickly without giving him enough time to make his own decision, which I know he doesn’t like. But I also don’t understand why he would pivot to break up if he didn’t mean it. I worry that I’m using our differences in thinking as an excuse To ignore the fact that he just doesn’t want to be with me. When I asked him about this he said that he loves me and our relationship but when asked to make this decision under these specific circumstances he felt breaking up was the right choice.

    Any feedback would be appreciated. I truly love him and want to support his feelings and needs, and if breaking up is what he needs then I don’t want to force him to continue this.
     
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  2. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    He’s the only one that can answer your questions. I hope you two find a way to make it work though :)
     
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  3. BraidedPony

    BraidedPony Enjoying life and glad to be alive! V.I.P Member

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    I am overwhelmed too. Do you want him to move in with you at your apartment or look to rent a new apartment together?
    Moving is a big deal to many of us on the spectrum. Just thinking about moving will sometimes make my physically sick.
    If you love him, rehome the cat.
     
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  4. Juliettaa

    Juliettaa Black Sheep. Society of One. V.I.P Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I agree with @Bolletje - only he can answer your questions.
     
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  5. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm an animal person so if it was between the guy and the cat, I'd rehome the guy.

    ;)
     
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  6. Isadoorian

    Isadoorian Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Welcome to the Forums! I hope you make new friends and enjoy your stay in the process! :)
     
  7. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    Welcome to the forums. People who are allergic to cats can develop an immunity to their allergies for certain cats due to prolonged exposure.
     
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  8. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm reminded of that term that both Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew Pinksy used to mention on their show "Loveline".

    - "Dealbreakers".

    That situation or thing that makes most relationships untenable. Something likely to transcend concern beyond just neurological differences.

    He's allergic to your pet? Yeah, that's a dealbreaker to me. Where any thought or consequences of getting rid of your pet will likely come back later to strain the relationship to a breaking point.

    Boyfriends can come and go...but your pet is there for you for their lifetime. Not a bond you want to break.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
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  9. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    I would agree it's too much change.
    That's probably how I would feel too. Change is hard for most of us.
    Moving is really difficult. It makes me ill to think about it also.
    Too much happening at one time makes me feel as if I can't think as I need.

    Only he knows what is best for him.
    We all need to take care of ourselves and well being to the best of our ability.
    Even if it means giving up some things.
     
  10. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    I would never get rid of my pet for a new partner. A pet is a serious commitment to me.
     
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  11. Giraffes

    Giraffes Member

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  12. rachel_ruien

    rachel_ruien New Member

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    While I don't know your boyfriend, my guess would be that his suggestion to break up was a reaction to the situation. You seem like a very considerate and understanding partner, and I can tell from your words that you really care about him. I don't think any of the problems you mentioned are insurmountable; just take it slow and communicate with each other :)

    I'm in the opposite situation (Aspie girl with NT bf), so I know very well that NT-ASD relationships can present unique challenges as well as rewards. If your boyfriend is anything like me, he might appreciate the stability and support that a relationship can provide. When a stable relationship suddenly brings a major life change (even a positive change like moving in together), it can cause a lot of anxiety. If the anxiety gets overwhelming, it's easy to mistake the relationship for the source of stress because it's also the source of the change.

    As I've experienced it, wanting to "break up" in that situation is my brain's attempt to shut down the stressful situation, not a true reflection of my feelings towards my partner. It fades away when the anxiety is gone. Have you talked to him about how it makes you feel when he says he wants to break up? It's possible he doesn't realize how much it upset you. I know that I really appreciate it when my bf tells me how something I did or said made him feel (in a calm, non-accusatory way) because it helps me be a better partner. If it seems appropriate, he might appreciate similar feedback so he can better understand how you feel.
     
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