Happy Valentine’s Day! (I know! It is like… two days earlier.) Valentine’s Day it’s a great time for love. Couples like to be together, have a romantic time together, and if in Japan, eat lots of chocolates! (I kinda love that. The only problem is that girls give the chocolates to boys, and while I was there, I used to just… eat them? LOL ) Whatever the case, girls are deep in love with Valentine’s Day. Romance, love, and all the romantic mojo you can think of.
But what if you could not understand the romantic part of it?
What if you felt lost during those dates?
What if your HFA made of Valentine’s day one of the most stressful days in the whole year?
As you know, my sweetheart has HFA, and celebrations mean to socialize. And to socialize just means to get more anxious, nervous and crack down into a crisis. Even if you conceal it, you are obviously living in a neurotypical world in which people just do weird stuff. Now imagine that your girlfriend (that would be me) is one of the most romantic girls on the world. You would feel lost forever on what to do, how to react, and stressed not to blow up things. You love her, and want to make her happy, even if you don’t understand why she needs that sort of things. (So illogical!)
One of the worst things ever are “presents”. Neurotypical guys have a hard time with that. Now imagine if you have HFA!! I can recall the first present he gave me when we started dating: a pen drive! It was neon pink. Yup, you read it correctly: a PEN DRIVE. (You can picture my face as an incredulous one while listening to him talking about how wonderful the neon pink pen drive was…) It is a neon pink, Buffalo pen drive, which I still use. It has proven to be very practical, but not exactly the type of present you expect to get while starting to date.
At that time we didn’t know he had HFA, and intuitively I decided to make him a list of stuff that I would like to get. And this has proven to be one of the best things ever! This is my tip for you! Make lists! (Even if you are dating a neurotypical dude, lists are going to make your life easier, and you’ll provably be happier because you’ll get one of the things in the list!)
Make a list of possible presents and put it on the fridge!
What I did, without knowing, was making things easier for my Vulcan. It might seem “cold”, or “weird” to have lists of presents hanging on the fridge’s door along with magnets, but it is a way to tell him what you like to have and not have him nervous. Besides, I prefer lists than telling him “I want this”. There would be no mystery for me at all. Romantic mysteries are cool when they remain mysteries. When you say “I want this”, the romantic part is all gone!
So, what do my lists have? On time the type of lists I’ve created has mutated from simple lists of things I wanted, to add some more stuff, like wanting to be surprised with just small notes, or reminding special dates for me. My lists include Oracle decks, tarot decks, art supplies, and geek apparel (Star Trek, LOTR, the Hobbit, etc.) They also include stuff like: sticky notes with “I love you” messages, or “going for a coffee”. I know, it sounds weird, but it is so effective.
Because both parts: neurotypical and Vulcan are not getting stressed or unhappy with one another. For me it has the mystery I need and the surprise I need for it to be romantic, special and illogical (as my Vulcan says). For him it means just checking out what’s on the list and do something irrational that will make the neurotypical happy, thus not being nervous, thus, not making him nervous. Which is why lists are awesome.
I highly recommend this system of lists for fully neurotypical couples too. Why? What if your sweetheart is like me and collects decks? How do you know she hasn’t already that deck? (If she is like me… odds are that she might have a bunch of decks by now.) Or, if she’s on LOTR or Hobbits, how do you know exactly what she wants? Or if she’s on Star Trek? Or if she’s on gadgets? Tricky, isn’t it? To avoid those situations in which you almost got it but not quite, lists are awesome.
So, what to do? Make lists with stuff you want, or behaviors you’d like to see in the other (like lovely sticky notes). Think about these lists as: wish-lists. Then, hang those on the fridge door. Why the fridge door? All members in the house will go and fetch something from it: beer, orange juice, ice-cream, whatever. Besides, it’s a great place to leave some messages. You only need to cross out those things that you already got from the list.
The tip here is to make things easier for everyone. Not to make things more complicated and stressful.
So, if you are lost about what to do during Valentine’s Day, think about making lists about what you would like to have as a present, or what type of day you would like to have. It really doesn’t matter that much if you have or not HFA. Love has no barriers, and it can be explained and expressed in many different ways. And, as time shows, even a neon pink pen drive which seemed odd at the moment, proved to be a huge emblem for love. So, one of the ways to express love is to make things easier for everyone.
My Vulcan has allergy to celebrations I love (including Xmas, Halloween, Birthdays and romantic dates), but we’ve found a way to keep both of us happy. I make lists so that he knows my “program”, and he follows that. In turn, I don’t become “too much of a feeling roller coster”, and thus, stress and nerves are out of range. (Which is cool!) At the end of the day, we are having a great time together.