As part of my diagnosis the psychologist asked me if I loved my husband. Of course I do, I wouldn’t be with him if I didn’t. The next question was, ‘What does love mean to you?’. That was a hard question. What is love? What is love to autistic people and does that differ to love for NTs?
A different psychologist once asked my husband why he loved me. His response was ‘Because she doesn’t bite me, and sometimes because she does’. (Obscure movie or comic reference there)
A lazy rainy Sunday morning lie in conversation on what love is for us.
Like is when you are willing to share your personal space with someone. Love is when you want to share your personal space with someone and you miss the person when they are not sharing your personal space. There are more nuances to it that that, but that seems to be the bones of it.
Not long after we got together my husband and I agreed that we loved each other and that we would let each other know if that changed (apparently this isn’t relationship normal). We still tell each other we love each other, because it is nice to say and nice to hear. Saying ‘I love you’ shares the joy, offers support in times of stress or sorrow and offers bonds of sharing.
So yes, I love my husband, because there would be a void in my personal space if he was no longer there. There are many other people I love for the same reason. Some would leave bigger voids than others, but all would cause me some degree of sadness if they were no longer accessible.