Dating and ADHD
How have I not touched on this?
Dating with ADHD can be SUPER tough, or super easy, depending on how your life so far has affected your confidence and your social abilities. I sucked. I ruined a lot of friendships and relationships for the simple reason that I had no idea what I was doing. I had no idea that hanging out with a girl would lead my girlfriend to think I was cheating. I had no idea that when I started dating one of my best friends, I’d have to kiss her (regularly). Then I grew up a little (or not at all LOL) and discovered that even though I now knew these things, I could still not control myself enough to have a meaningful relationship. I honestly wish I had learned what I know now when I was like, 11, so I wouldn’t have spoiled so many opportunities as a teenager to actually have an enjoyable relationship.
I was drawn to people who were drawn to me. Either those who were a bit socially awkward like myself, or complete narcissists who need the attention they got from a People Pleaser. The latter could never understand why I suddenly lost interest and accused me of not caring (which, at that point, was accurate). The former expected who-knows-what from me and I didn’t provide it, because neither of us ever knew how to talk to each other. I’m glad my wife is awesome and we’re married, because if I had to get back into the dating world these days, I wouldn’t survive LOL.
My advice, based completely on my own experiences and probably not nearly applicable in anyone else’s circumstances: Date often, don’t force it, and don’t go professing your love for the first boy or girl who gives you the time of day (otherwise everyone after becomes the new “love of your life” and you never get to learn what love is). Will you hurt some feelings? yes. Will your feelings get hurt? Sure. But then things get better and you find someone else. Relax and have a good time. Don’t be afraid to hold hand or give a kiss, and don’t feel obligated to go any further than you’re comfortable. It should be a learning experience until your 20’s (it WILL be a learning experience at least that long. I’m 35 and still learning!) On the flipside of things, if you are dating or married to someone with ADHD, understand their emotions and thought processes ARE NOT the same as yours (even if you have ADHD also) and remember that your relationship should- and hopefully will- be an enjoyable adventure from start to finish. If it turns into a “Wrong Turn” kind of adventure, don’t just let it be. Fix it, and fix it together. This can be done. I’ve done it. It’s not easy, but knowing that ADHD relationships are high maintenance from the start will help you get through. Communication is key. Therapy may be needed. You may experience a desire to throw away all the laundry that keeps piling up (and you’re welcome to it, I hate laundry). You may need time away (I call this “going fishing”). Don’t be afraid. Tough it out whenever possible, because afterward a successful relationship is all the more appreciated for the work you put into it. Lastly, Remember that there is ADHD involved. Address your relationships just like you would anything else in your ADHD life. Talk to your therapist, friends, or parents if that’s what you do. Be open and honest. Do NOT judge. you’ll be alright.
Remember that bacon will always be common ground for you to rebuild on.
just to be clear: I’m happily married and have no business giving dating advice. And yet, that’s what this turned into, as I was thinking about how screwed up my dating experiences were. Feel free to debate any of this 🙂
read the original here.