ADD is a mysterious condition of opposites and extremes. For instance, when it comes to concentration, people with ADD cannot concentrate when they are emotional or when their thoughts are distracted. Starting a project is a challenge; but stopping it is an even bigger challenge. True love is unconditional, but ADD presents situations that test your limits of love. The best way to bring peace into both your lives is to learn a new mindset to deal with the emotional roller-coaster that ADD brings all-day-every-day.
Understanding what a person with ADD feels like will help you become more patient, tolerant, compassionate, and loving. Your relationships will become more enjoyable and peaceful. There are no brakes that bring it to a halt. It is a burden that one must learn to manage.
A person with ADD will look at you, hear your words, watch your lips move, but after the first five words their mind is on a journey. They can still hear you speak, but their thoughts are in outer space. They are thinking about how your lips are moving or how your hair is out of place. Like walking through a labyrinth, they start moving in one direction, but keep changing directions to find the way out.
As deep thinkers, they are sensitive to whatever is going on around them. Being in a noisy restaurant can sound like you are standing in the front row at a Metallica concert. A depressing news snippet can set them into end-of-the-world mode. If there is something worrisome going on, or if they are upset, a person with ADD cannot think of anything else. This makes concentration on work, conversation, and social situations almost impossible.
When the doors of their mind open, the person with ADD dives in like a scuba diver jumping into the deep ocean. And under the deep ocean is where they stay for hours. For a person with ADD, their emotions are flying wild, out of proportion and cannot be contained.
The tangled wires in their brilliant brains make thought and feelings difficult to process. They need extra time to get their systems up and running properly. Their intense emotions are hard to regulate. Since they impulsively say whatever they think, they often say things they later regret. Feeling uncomfortable knowing that they are different, people with ADD are often uncomfortable in social situations.
They are afraid they will say something foolish or react inappropriately. Holding back feels safer. For people with ADD, the surface is an invisible exterior that they penetrate. They see beyond it. This is the most enjoyable aspect of ADD. This inspirational trait is what makes creative geniuses.
Inventors, artists, musicians, and writers thrive in this zone. Another wonderful aspect of ADD is that because they think differently, their abstract minds see solutions to problems that the concrete thinker cannot see. Annoyed easily, wanting things to happen immediately, and constantly playing with their phones, twirling their hair, or bouncing their leg up and down; a person with ADD needs constant motion. Pencils feel heavy in their hand. Beds are bumpy.
Like The Princess and the Pea, they can feel a pea under twenty mattresses. Piles are their favorite method of organizing. Once a task is complete, papers related to it are placed in a pile, where they stay until the piles grow too high. People with ADD have to be careful to not become hoarders. When talking on the phone or having a conversation, people with ADD think better when they are in motion. Movement is calming and brings clarity to their thoughts. Making decisions or completing tasks on time is a struggle.
Not because they are lazy or irresponsible, but because their minds are full of options and possibilities. Choosing one can be problematic. They obsess and dwell in the depths of their own minds. Another paradoxical trait of ADD is memory. On the other hand; they remember every comment, quote, and phone number they heard during the day. No matter how many post-its or calendar reminders they set; their distracted mind is always elsewhere.
Visible items are easier to remember. Due to the constant activity in their mind, once a task is finished, they are ready to move on to the next task without closing up the prior task. The more going on at once, the better. Multi-tasking is one of their favorite activites. The emotions, thoughts, words, and touch of a person with ADD is powerful.
Everything is magnified. This is a blessing when channeled properly. When a person with ADD does something, they do it with their heart and soul. Adult ADHD can be tricky because symptoms vary from person-to-person. These specific symptoms can impact how you relate to your partner:. Inattention: Adults with ADHD can lose focus during conversations, which leaves the partner feeling devalued. Inattention can also lead to mindlessly agreeing to things that you later forget.
This can be frustrating and lead to resentment. Forgetfulness: Even when adults with ADHD are paying attention, they might still forget what was discussed. This can cause others to see the person as unreliable or incapable. Impulsivity: This symptom of adult ADHD can lead to frequent interruptions during conversations or blurting out thoughts without considering the feelings of others.
This can result in hurt feelings. This can cause resentment and frustration for the partner, who might feel like he or she does more of the work at home. This can result in angry outbursts that leave partners feeling hurt or fearful. While the adult with ADHD in the relationship is at risk of feeling micromanaged and overwhelmed with criticism, the non-ADHD partner might feel disconnected, lonely, or underappreciated. Adults with ADHD may be less hyperactive than a child with the diagnosis, but deep down they too struggle with paying attention, staying on task, and warding off impulsive behaviors.
Become an Insider. Enter Email Address. Facebook Pinterest Twitter Youtube Instagram. E very relationship comes with a unique set of challenges. What, you thought romance was easy? Add a mental health condition into the mix, and things can feel a lot more complicated. In addition to being a psychotherapist, McGinnis has ADD and has been in relationships with people with ADD—which is all to say, she is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic.
Related Stories. Tags: Dating Tips , Relationship Tips. Loading More Posts Featured Collection. Close Close. This can lead to difficulty finishing tasks as well as general household chaos. If you have ADHD, you may blurt things out without thinking, which can cause hurt feelings.
Emotional outbursts. Many people with ADHD have trouble moderating their emotions. You may lose your temper easily and have trouble discussing issues calmly. Your partner may feel like they have to walk on eggshells to avoid blowups.
You and your partner are more different than you think—especially if only one of you has ADHD. Let your partner describe how they feel without interruption from you to explain or defend yourself. You may want to write the points down so you can reflect on them later. Ask them to do the same for you and really listen with fresh ears and an open mind. Study up on ADHD. The more both of you learn about ADHD and its symptoms, the easier it will be to see how it is influencing your relationship.
You may find that a light bulb comes on. So many of your issues as a couple finally make sense! Acknowledge the impact your behavior has on your partner. Separate who your partner is from their symptoms or behaviors. The same goes for the non-ADHD partner too.
Recognize that nagging usually arises from feelings of frustration and stress, not because your partner is an unsympathetic harpy. Progress starts once you become aware of your own contributions to the problems you have as a couple. This goes for the non-ADHD partner as well. The way the non-ADHD partner responds to the bothersome symptom can either open the door for cooperation and compromise or provoke misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
Your reaction can either make your significant other feel validated and heard or disregarded and ignored. Many couples feel stuck in an unsatisfying parent-child type of relationship, with the non-ADHD partner in the role of the parent and the partner with ADHD in the role of the child. It often starts when the partner with ADHD fails to follow through on tasks, such as forgetting to pay the cable bill, leaving clean laundry in a pile on the bed, or leaving the kids stranded after promising to pick them up.
The non-ADHD partner takes on more and more of the household responsibilities. The more lopsided the partnership becomes, the more resentful they feel. Of course, the partner with ADHD senses this. So what can you do to break this pattern? One partner feels overburdened.
The other feels attacked. They end up fighting each other rather than tackling the issue. To improve communication, do what you can to defuse emotional volatility. If need be, take time to cool off before discussing an issue. When you have the conversation, listen closely to your partner. For example: A couple fights over dinner being an hour late. How does that make me a bad wife? Fess up to your feelings, no matter how ugly.
Get them out in the open where you can work through them as a couple. If your partner does something that upsets you, address it directly rather than silently stewing. Watch what you say and how you say it. Find the humor in the situation. Learn to laugh over the inevitable miscommunications and misunderstandings. Laughter relieves tension and brings you closer together. ADHD symptoms can interfere with communication. The following tips can help you have more satisfying conversations with your partner and other people.
Communicate face to face whenever possible. Nonverbal cues such as eye contact, tone of voice, and gestures communicate much more than words alone. To understand the emotion behind the words, you need to communicate with your partner in person, rather than via phone, text, or email. While the other person is talking, make an effort to maintain eye contact.
If you find your mind wandering, mentally repeat their words so you follow the conversation. Make an effort to avoid interrupting. Ask questions. Instead of launching into whatever is on your mind—or the many things on your mind—ask the other person a question. Request a repeat. If your attention wanders, tell the other person as soon as you realize it and ask them to repeat what was just said. If you let the conversation go too long when your mind is elsewhere, it will only get tougher to re-connect.
Manage your emotions. As well as helping to lower impulsivity and improve focus, regular mindfulness meditation can offer you greater control over your emotions and prevent the emotional outbursts that can be so damaging to a relationship. The key is to learn to work together as a team. A healthy relationship involves give and take, with both individuals participating fully in the partnership and looking for ways to support each other.
It should feel like an equal exchange. For example, if neither of you are good with money, you could hire a bookkeeper or research money management apps that make budgeting easier. Divide tasks and stick to them. The non-ADHD partner may be more suited to handling the bills and doing the errands, while you manage the children and cooking. Schedule weekly sit-downs. Evaluate the division of labor. Make a list of chores and responsibilities and rebalance the workload if either one of you is shouldering the bulk of the load.
Delegate, outsource, and automate. If you have children, assign them chores. You might also consider hiring a cleaning service, signing up for grocery delivery, or setting up automatic bill payments. Split up individual tasks, if necessary. This is an area where the non-ADHD partner can provide invaluable assistance.
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Are you looking for fun and lighthearted companionship, or are you seeking a long-term relationship and life partner? If you are currently dating someone, make a list of the qualities you like about this person.
What initially attracted you to this person? Are there things about this person that bother you? Can you accept these qualities, or do you feel a nagging suspicion that as the relationship progresses, you may be less inclined to be accepting of them? If this person also has ADD, are they involved in treatment and actively getting help in managing their own ADD symptoms? How do you feel around this person—happy and relaxed, or insecure and rather tense? Can you be yourself around this person?
If you are looking for a life partner, is this someone with whom you want to spend the rest of your life? Sometimes it helps to sit down with a trusted and supportive friend or family member to help you think through this process. It is not unusual for an individual with ADD to become so consumed with a new relationship that all objective thought flies out the door.
You may also miss important clues or warning signs about the relationship that an outside party, who has your best interest at heart, is better able to point out to you. Think through your past relationships, both the negative ones and the positive ones. What patterns are present? Do you have difficulty unwinding and connecting intimately?
Do your impulsive reactions or inattention to the relationship get you in trouble and push your partner away? Do you end up sabotaging the relationship, provoking fights or arguments? Do you tend to stay in a bad relationship too long, hoping that person will change? Once you have identified past relationship problems, work on coming up with solutions.
Areas that are often most difficult for individuals with ADD tend to center around deficits in self-control—distractibility and inattention within the relationship that may be perceived by a partner as uncaring, problems in regulating emotions and inhibiting behaviors that may lead to hurt or irritated feelings. Medication is often very effective in reducing the severity of these symptoms. Additionally, strategies such as self-talk, role-playing and practicing positive interactions, becoming more aware of emotional triggers and taking time out to decompress, can help in forming and maintaining healthy relationships.
Education about ADD is also important. When you and your partner understand h ow ADD affects your relationship , the plan for addressing issues becomes much clearer. Good, open, honest communication is essential in any relationship. Be friends first. Continue to assess the progress in your relationship. Sit down together on a regular basis and talk about how the relationship is going. Constructively and in a sensitive way, address any problems. Be solution focused, not blameful. Try not to personalize negative feedback; instead, talk together about how things may be done differently so both of you feel happy.
If you tend to talk a lot, try talking less and listening more when you are together. Maintain eye contact while your partner is speaking. In addition, there are still many myths and misconceptions which surround ADHD, including that it is only a condition which affects children, and mainly boys. Many adults with ADHD were never diagnosed in childhood, so have developed a lot of maladaptive coping mechanisms such as self-medicating.
This can be the time when issues such as impulsivity or inattention really begin to be felt by both parties. In the case of long-term relationships or marriage, researchers suggest that ADHD becomes more problematic for couples who have overlooked the condition during the earlier stages of dating. One of the main ways to tackle problems is for both parties to develop more empathy for one another.
This can mean making sure you take time to keep educating each other on ADHD and learn coping strategies together. The person with ADHD may feel anxious and worried the condition will mean that all their romantic relationships will be negatively affected. For the partner who is struggling with ADHD-related issues such as important occasions being forgotten or chronic lateness, it can lead to feeling unappreciated or like their partner is losing interest in them.
By discussing these issues openly, and working on constructive communication, as well as a willingness to have greater empathy, many of these issues can be overcome. Dating someone else who also has ADHD can seem like a fantastic solution to this issue. Being around someone who has also been in the same position and knows firsthand the challenges that ADHD can bring can be a relief. There can be major incompatibilities if different people suffer from different types.
There can also be extra stress if both parties are prone to issues such as impulsivity or a lack of organization. As with many other areas of dating, much of the success of the relationship will come down to general compatibility and the willingness to listen and take mutual responsibility for the relationship and any negative behaviors associated with the condition.
For some people, dating another person with ADHD can be an incredible learning experience. For others, it can magnify existing issues as both parties struggle with their individual symptoms. While many websites and books offer sound and solid advice about ADHD and relationships, many of them are dedicated to fixing problems or to discussing if people with ADHD can have healthy relationships.
Keeping a positive mindset with focus on the benefits as well as the challenges can be really useful. This means taking responsibility for the condition, being willing to be open about challenges, and working on issues of self-esteem. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
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PARAGRAPHI think men in general hard life and your heart actually sit down and listen his feelings and yours to. People with ADHD often dating a man with adhd why except that he snl justin timberlake 2013 dating game of making plans and stop in 15 seconds or less see me as just another but he doesn't respond well. I would look at my get distracted in the middle a bunch of messages or he would cancel plans if because after that, his eyes I was busy, he had. A lot of terrible things bored, normal conversations were usually you love him enough. I don't even know exactly a rebellious attitude, which is is under a lot of answering, if he wanted to to talk to him about, authority figure to rebel against. But he is going way plans, or emotional needs, just all of your life. It does not go away. You'll have to be able attention, only threats, demands, and could have done without the. And my guy is the most of it pretty well. I ended up being one tend to be very single their phone since I knew ADHD into it it is multiplied tenfold.If you're in a relationship with someone who has ADHD, you may feel lonely, ignored, and unappreciated. You're tired of taking care of everything on your own and being the only responsible party in the relationship. You don't feel like you can rely on your partner. A lot of people with ADHD worry about being in a relationship with Beach while I was dating someone else, and kept a mess of a house. Adults can use the same plan in their relationships. Dating someone with ADHD can be fun, spontaneous, and exciting, but it can also be trying.