Dating someone with ADHD is a double-edged sword. It can result in certain challenges and misunderstandings, due to the nature of the condition. However, dating someone with a dynamic personality who thinks and acts differently can be a rewarding experience.
ADHD is essentially an impulsivity disorder. Some of its characteristics include disorganization, impulsive behavior, stimulation-seeking behaviors, difficulty concentrating, and significant fluctuation in emotions. Anxiety is also a very common trait in individuals with ADHD. But not all adults with ADHD behave in the same way. Many may have had the disorder since they were younger and learned to identify and regulate the characteristics that once game them problems. For others, the case may be more severe and they may have more obvious symptoms they need to manage.
In relationships, this can manifest in many ways – e.g., as a partner who:
- Seems distracted or uninterested
- Has problems with messiness or disorganization if you are sharing a living space
- Struggles with procrastination or lack of motivation
- Needs constant stimulation
On the flip side, those with ADHD can be creative, unique in their thinking, and energetic and passionate about the things they are interested in. They can be exciting to be with.
The key, if you are dating someone with ADHD is to educate yourself about the condition and then work with your partner to find ways to mitigate the negative manifestations.June Silney, writing for the ADD Association, has some excellent suggestions for strengthening your relationship with someone has ADHD.
Understanding the impact that ADHD has on both you and your partner is critical to improving your relationship. Put yourself in their shoes. If you don’t have ADHD, try to appreciate just how difficult it is to live every day with a slew of intrusive symptoms. If you do have ADHD, try to understand how much your condition has changed your partner’s life.
ADHD and Relationships: Let’s Be Honest