How does one explain how important a special interest is to neurotypicals?
Fuck if I know, but I’ll signal boost in the hope that maybe someone else does.
An attempt: Imagine if the only thing people around you were genuinely interested in was the shade of white wallpaper. You’d learn to think about wallpaper in a complex way, hold down cobversations about eggshell versus alabaster, but ultimately, in your own time, you won’t spend a huge amount of time researching wallpaper, you’ll be learning about physics or celebrity gossip or whatever tickles your fancy, even though there’s been a hundred thousand times more ink spilled over wallpaper than anything else.And people will look at you funny for your obsession with non-wallpaper, but you’d just shrug and say “it’s what I’m into.”
And whenever the conversation shifted to a topic you knew something about, you’d go on and on about it, and the people you’re talking to might humor you or ignore you but ultimately they’d just want to get back to wallpaper.
Now imagine non-wallpaper is star wars or trains or whatever
it’s like falling in love with something that isn’t a person.
The nice thing about the falling-in-love comparison is that it also works the other direction, should you ever be attempting to explain limerence to an autistic aromantic.
(This is a large part of why, as an autistic aromantic, I’m not really worried about missing out on the experience of limerence.)