I'm a 30-year-old man with autism. Back in April, I became involved with a woman my age through church. She's the ministerial intern at my church. We had gone out for lunches and breakfasts before and after services. We had planned on going to a festival in Western Massachusetts in August. When we checked with the minister of our church, we discovered that our relationship is in violation of the Ordained Ministerial Code of Conduct. Needless to say, our trip to Western Massachusetts never took place, and we were both depressed for a while, as we want/wanted our relationship to become romantic. Now, our relationship is on hold until the beginning of next June, when her internship ends. Any advice for how to get through this time? Thanks for your column, and keep up the good work.
– On hold
I guess you have to ask yourself – and her – how you want to keep in touch right now. Is it frustrating to have lunches and dinners if you have to walk away after the meal? Are those lunches and dinners even appropriate right now?
Talk to her about the boundaries and then decide whether you want the minimal offering. Maybe you'd rather keep all social activities with her to church business, especially if that part of your life is a priority.
The big thing, though, is this: instead of thinking of this pre-June period as a pause before love, see it as a full stop. June is about eight months away, and you have no idea what you'll want, who you'll meet, and how you'll feel over the next year. You barely started this romantic relationship so you have no idea if it's worth waiting for.
I guess I don't want you to feel like you're "getting through this time." You'll be making choices as a single person in the world. You can prioritize yourself and change your mind a bunch of times. You won't be waiting, you'll be revisiting at a later date.
Decide – together – how you want to interact now, and then agree to see where you both are next summer. Make no promises. Continue to meet people and find happiness, even platonically, with others. I'm not a big "if it's meant to be, it'll happen" person, but I kind of feel like in this case, it applies.
Readers? Is the LW supposed to wait? Is there a healthy way to wait for someone who feel good about pursuing this until June?