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MaxE
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14 Mar 2024, 5:59 am

In the general population, it's not unusual for people to go from living with parents or in student housing, to living with a romantic partner. However, if you're autistic but independent enough to live alone, then living alone would seem to be the choice for most people. Even if you're in a romantic relationship, you may be discouraged from moving in with that person until you've mastered living by yourself. In this case, you're given a higher bar to overcome because total independence associated with living alone is a more difficult transition than sharing living space with a partner who supports you. Thoughts?


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BillyTree
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14 Mar 2024, 3:52 pm

I have never thought of it that way. I am autistic and moved from my parents to a student housing, to after a couple of years move in with a girlfriend. To me the hard part was moving in with the girlfriend and having to share every space in the appartement with her and all the the compromises you have to make all the time when you live together. My girlfriend was quit spontaneous. If she met an old friend on her way home from work she invited her friend to come home with her for a cup of coffe or dinner. I found that kind of change of plans really challenging to cope with when I expected to relax and have some peace and quiet after work. I still find it easier to live alone.


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MaxE
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15 Mar 2024, 6:21 am

At 24 I shared an apartment with an autistic 21 year old for most of a year. I slept with her there one night, then just continued sleeping there every night thereafter, until that became my place of residence. She never criticized me or fought with me or made demands. She also dealt with the landlord even if my money paid the rent. She may have also hooked up with other guys sometimes although I never knew for sure. When I got my engineering degree, I moved to another city for a job, where I had a "traditional" male roommate. A sad story really, and I learned absolutely nothing about independence from it.

Autistic people can really treat each other like garbage sometimes.

I only really got settled in my own place around the time I was almost 30, after an abortive attempt when I was 27.

The only other woman I shared living quarters with was my wife, when we got engaged. Before that, a woman tried to move in with me. She kept bringing random kitchenware with her when she came to visit, and leaving it. She probably had B(orderline)PD. After 39 years of marriage, I don't recall what if anything I ever told my wife about that episode.


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24 Mar 2024, 3:20 pm

I lived a parasitic lifestyle for years. I would literally meet a person and then move in with them and just live off them. I didn't do it on purpose or anything it was just the way my life turned out to be. I could blame it on sleeping rough and just needing a bit of warmth but to be honest it was an easy life for me to just leach off other people (sounds bad i know). I knew no better and it suited me until I kind of had an awakening and decided to do it the hard way.

I like living alone (well my daughter lives with me but she's from me so that doesn't count). I have a bf but I'm not sure I'd wanna give up what I've got and I reckon he feels the same.its good to have your own space to just be you and relax and have all your own stuff and stuff. I like it.


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goldfish21
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28 Mar 2024, 11:06 am

Even living with someone else you Should aim to be pretty self sufficient and look after yourself, your belongings, room, bathroom, laundry, groceries etc.

I've lived solo before for a year or so. It's doable, but, some things suffer when I neglect to do them - like housework. Nothing catastrophic, though. It's manageable.

I Could live on my own, but I Do appreciate living with others just for the convenience of things when life gets busy sometimes. Little things like switching laundry over from the washer to dryer when I'm out or division of labour on home maintenance tasks.

But it's not a terrible idea to suggest people should master living solo if they have the opportunity and capability. Parents don't live forever, relationships don't always last etc. Better to be prepared to look after yourself completely in the event that you have to rather than be blindsided by what it takes to operate a household of one when no one is there to help out and you can't afford to hire people. Also, the better you can do for yourself the smoother it'll go living with someone else, too.. as they won't be quickly frustrated by your lack of taking care of your own chores and things when you're already doing them.


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30 Mar 2024, 2:45 am

MaxE wrote:
Even if you're in a romantic relationship, you may be discouraged from moving in with that person until you've mastered living by yourself. In this case, you're given a higher bar to overcome because total independence associated with living alone is a more difficult transition than sharing living space with a partner who supports you. Thoughts?


I moved out of my family home and into shared accomodation which i found incredibly difficult. I did it for a year but realised it was too hard. After that i got a flat on my own which i couldn't really afford and it caused all sorts of financial problems but I was so much happier there. It would have been easier for me to transition straight into living alone i think.

As for living with a romantic partner i kind of think that living alone before spoiled me a bit because sharing is all about compromise and who wants that? :wink:

I certainly found sharing to be the more challenging learning process.

My relationship is long term and stable but If that ever did change and i found myself alone again then i don't think i would ever agree to cohabit with a romantic partner again. Living alone is great, if you can, and suited me just fine.


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nick007
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30 Mar 2024, 3:20 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
But it's not a terrible idea to suggest people should master living solo if they have the opportunity and capability. Parents don't live forever, relationships don't always last etc. Better to be prepared to look after yourself completely in the event that you have to rather than be blindsided by what it takes to operate a household of one when no one is there to help out and you can't afford to hire people. Also, the better you can do for yourself the smoother it'll go living with someone else, too.. as they won't be quickly frustrated by your lack of taking care of your own chores and things when you're already doing them.
Very good advice :wtg:

I never lived alone & don't think I could handle it due to various disabilities. I moved out from my parents when I turned 30 because I moved in with my girlfriend. In general I find living with Cass a lot easier than living with my parents. When I was living with my parents about the only space I really had control over was my room. The control over my room was somewhat limited because I wasn't really allowed to lower the AC(thou I still sometimes did) & my room was the hottest part of the house due to location, my computer system, & me keeping my door closed. I spent most of my time at home in my room partly because it was my only space & me & mom did not get along. I felt mom always resented me for not being more independent & capable. Once I graduated high-school mom resented me for still living at home because kids are supposed to move out once they're out of school. Hiding in my room avoided some confrontation. Plus the area was rural & had no form of public transportation & my vision is too bad to drive so I was kinda stuck at home unless my parents brought me somewhere & then mom griped about how she had to do it.

I wasn't exactly living at home because I enjoyed living there. It was partly because I did not feel I had other viable options. When I was employed I worked a lot of overtime when allowed partly to get out of the house, be around people, be or feel more independent, & so me & mom wouldn't fight as much(I was giving my parents like a 4th of my checks to help pay for transportation & living expenses). I was making just over federal minimum-wage so my income was not high enough for me to afford my own place, especially since I had to pay for private health insurance & other medical expenses. I knew there were some programs that are supposed to help disabled people be more independent but I had no help navigating the system except from my parents. I either did not have the right diagnoses, was not disabled enough by a specific issue, or we got the runaround.


Cass has various disabilities & some we kinda have in common & some we don't. She has various benefits including housing assistance. She has lived alone for a year but couldn't really handle it due to emotional reasons. Whereas I'm OK being by myself for a while but I lack life skills. I think my major strength within a relationship is trying to be emotionally supportive. So our relationship is very interdependent or symbiotic. It also helps that we both majorly love each other & are very affectionate with each other. A vast majority of the stuff we have is Cass's but I don't really care about having a lot of stuff. Some stuff I set up a specific way that works better for me than Cass & she deals with it. However most is set up her way & it really doesn't matter to me or I just don't really care about it. I like using her Xbox more than my older cartridge systems these days so I'm not gonna complain about having to share with her :wink: Cass actually says I'm fairly laid back & easy going with things whereas my mom would say I'm very demanding & controlling. I also like that we live in an area with public transportation, especially since Cass doesn't drive due to anxiety. It's an 8 to 10 minute walk to Walgreens & the local grocery. Plus the bus stops in front of our apartment building & in front of major grocery stores. Transferring buses we can stop at WalMart or the health center. Plus we can go to our banks near the bus station & eat pizza near there once in a while :mrgreen:

The downside is that me & Cass both struggle with lots of various life things. She has more life skills than me but she gets tired & stressed from things & kinda shuts down or breaks down. I feel I could learn to be more independent if I had the right kinda person teaching me or using the right methods to teach me. However Cass gets stressed out by the idea of teaching/showing me & would rather just do things herself than try explaining it all to me. I think I have some kinda mental block that prevents me from trying things on my own. Various times in the past I screwed up when trying to do various things to be more independent because I did not have the required prerequisite skills or not shown the right approaches. it caused various problems with my parents like money, time, & inconvenience. If I'm gonna be a failure either way & be resented for it, I'd much rather take the easier approach & not try. In life I tend to regret things I've done or attempted instead of regretting things I never tried. I guess I'm afraid of the fallout from failing at something instead of seeing & believing I could achieve the potential gain. I kinda slacked off with chores over the last couple years partly due to physical issues related to me not being active enough or not taking good enough care of myself. I'm trying to get some things better managed because I do feel very guilty about Cass having to step up more & me not taking good enough care of her. She's more stressed :cry: Me & her both think the other deserves a lot better than us. I want to get a part time job to have a little extra money coming in & not screw up my benefits but I need help with a job search that I don't know how to get & I need to get in better shape first. It's hard to stay motivated to work on my health when I start hurting or feeling bad. I'm very easily discouraged. I think if I was employed I'd be a lot more motivated because I almost never slacked off while working but at home it's very difficult to get in the mindset to work.


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MaxE
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02 Apr 2024, 11:17 am

Esme
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07 Apr 2024, 6:50 am

I left home at 15 and moved abroad for a while, so the practicalities of living alone never bothered me. I was 'parentified' as a child, so never felt like I was missing anything when I moved out anyway. However, if I lived alone again I'd want a big dog and/or weapons, as I've had a few 'not fun' experiences and safety is therefore a huge concern for me. I'd rather live alone for many reasons, but still share a house with people purely for the safety aspect. Although the older I get, the less bothered I am about dying so that may change.



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07 Apr 2024, 10:27 am

All things being equal (finances etc.), I think it's much harder to live with a partner than live alone. Sensory-social fatigue is a defining feature of autism so it stands to reason it's very draining to live with someone and maintain a cordial relationship with negotiation, compromise, and mutual accommodation 24/7. It's not fair for the relationship to be structured only around our sensory or social needs, and yet autistic people are at risk of burnout and shutdown if those needs aren't met.

Example - I can't stand electric light, open curtains, television, radios, etc. My environment needs to be exactly the way I need it so I don't flip out. Even with my partner, I have to have my own room and my own space. I can't just sit and chat wih him all day. It requires a lot of patience and accommodation from us both.


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goldfish21
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07 Apr 2024, 11:06 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
All things being equal (finances etc.), I think it's much harder to live with a partner than live alone. Sensory-social fatigue is a defining feature of autism so it stands to reason it's very draining to live with someone and maintain a cordial relationship with negotiation, compromise, and mutual accommodation 24/7. It's not fair for the relationship to be structured only around our sensory or social needs, and yet autistic people are at risk of burnout and shutdown if those needs aren't met.

Example - I can't stand electric light, open curtains, television, radios, etc. My environment needs to be exactly the way I need it so I don't flip out. Even with my partner, I have to have my own room and my own space. I can't just sit and chat wih him all day. It requires a lot of patience and accommodation from us both.


I think that's more the exception than the rule. My mother's whole side of the family is on the spectrum and there's only 1 or 2 people of the whole lot that live completely solo for their own reasons, whereas everyone else has immediate family or partners or roommates etc with varying degrees of requirements for personal space or solitude.. but no one, afaik, has such extreme requirements that it's much more difficult to live with another h00man.

Personally I find it much better having 1 other person in the house. For some social reasons, but also cooperation and convenience when it comes to chores, cooking, shopping etc. Just relieves any pressure if either of us get busy or lose track of time or forget something or have something else to do or somewhere else to be and so on whereas living completely solo means Always having to do Everything and remembering to do it on time or suffering whatever consequences of falling short. It's not a bad thing to force yourself to be super self sufficient, and also to relax about making mistakes or forgetting to do something that isn't super mission critical, but it's just a lot more convenient to have backup as needed just in case. But neither of us have such extreme sensory issues that we Can't have the other have lights on or TV on etc - worst case for me ever is if the TV is turned up too loud and I'm trying to get to sleep early.. just the design of the shape of the house; sound carries upstairs and gets amplified so that's irritating once in a while. But I ask for it to be turned down and sometimes put earplugs in = usually solves the problem.


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22 Apr 2024, 4:49 pm

I am living alone and absolutely love it. Living with other people isn’t good for me. When I need complete silence to read, I have it. Most importantly, my entire apartment can be decorated however I want. I’ve always been a maximalist as far as curating decor. I can do that without having to make room for somebody else’s decor. I can wake up in the middle of the night for a drink if I need it.

I’ve had people ask me, “do you think you will actually like living like that?” and to be honest, I love it. Regarding partners, I came out as aromantic asexual in 2020. I’ve had guys say, “but you’d make such a great mom and housewife!!” Well, too bad.


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29 Apr 2024, 6:45 pm

I'm OK at living alone, and have never felt the need for a caregiver. But there are things about it that I hate. Loneliness is the worst thing. Another one is dealing with the logistics of paying bills and performing other bureaucratic tasks. A third thing is keeping the place tidy. I always manage to get my bills paid in time and the untidyness has never completely engulfed me, but I often find it stressful. After a few months of living alone I usually end up feeling depressed, but not clinically so.

Luckily I haven't yet been partnerless for very long, so loneliness has never become a chronic issue, and although I don't need help of the "caregiver" kind, it helps to have somebody there when I'm trying to do the practical independent-living tasks. I rarely ask them for practical help or advice, but I think it boosts my confidence to know that I could do that if I needed to.

Of course even a person who is part of a couple can get bereaved in their old age. I rather dread that. Dad was lucky enough to die very suddenly, and before that happened he'd always been perfectly capable of living independently. But for a person who has a long phase of dotage at the end of their life, and has nobody to care for them, it must be pretty awful. I can't imagine the NHS or social services doing much for me.