Dating someone with ADD can prove challenging, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. These 17 tips will keep your relationship in smooth waters.
Attention Deficit Disorder *ADD* can affect the way a person lives, loves, and interacts with other people on a daily basis. While dating a person with ADD can be an adventure of ups and downs, this can be a good thing: you’ll never grow bored.
The person you are dating wants to be respected and understood for who they are. Not every day with a partner who has ADD will feel like a walk in the park, since people with the disorder are often overwhelmed by an active mind and become anxious in social situations. While sometimes it can seem like you are walking on thin ice, other times you will realize that your ADD partner is wonderfully passionate and loving.
What you ought to know about a partner with ADD
#1 Their mind is always on the go. Your ADD partner will likely have an incredibly active mind that doesn’t ever seem to stop working. It isn’t unusual for them to be thinking about a million different things, all within just a few minutes.
#2 They won’t always finish what they start. People with ADD are known to begin a task, then start moving to the next before completing the first one. Usually, this is when the task is something they don’t find stimulating or exciting enough to keep their focus.
#3 Sometimes they can be too focused. In contrast to the last point, sometimes when people with ADD are deep into a project they enjoy, they won’t be able to stop until they are done. This could mean staying up all night to complete what they started, even if you want them to come to bed.
#4 They have difficulty focusing when they are upset. It’s important to remember that your ADD partner will have a hard time focusing on any task when they are upset. They simply can’t stay focused when their emotions are fighting for their attention. This can seem maddening, but they need time to process and work through their feelings, before anything else can keep their attention. Time and space are both necessities. [Read: How to give space in a relationship without falling apart]
#5 They are prone to anxiety. It can be extremely overwhelming for people with ADD to think about so many things in one day, without getting exhausted. Being in a loud and crowded room can be a sensory overload for them, and even hearing bad news can feel like the world is ending. They often need time to be alone, without outside stimulation.
#6 Listening can be a challenge. People with ADD are not known to be the best listeners, but it really isn’t their fault; they want to hear what you have to say, but after a few minutes, they can begin to zone out or become distracted by something else in the room. It’s best to be patient and understanding.
#7 They have fluctuating emotions. People with ADD can’t always regulate their emotions, and can literally go through a full range of feelings, from angry to sad to happy, all within a few minutes. If just thinking about the possibility of such a whirlwind seems confusing to you, imagine how your partner feels.
#8 They might speak impulsively. Sometimes these people speak before they think. They practically have no filter and say whatever they are thinking, whenever they feel the urge. They might say something hurtful due to their overpowering emotions—and will likely regret it afterward. They simply can’t help saying what’s on their mind.
#9 They have a deeply intuitive mind. Many people with ADD are equipped with strong intuition. They can sense things about people, and sometimes predict the outcome of certain situations before they occur. Their strong intuition can help guide them through life.
#10 They are abstract thinkers. These people think in a complex and deeply analytical way. They are great at problem solving, because they often see solutions to problems where others don’t.
#11 They are prone to social anxiety. People with ADD already know that they think and behave differently, so they can sometimes feel insecure in social situations. At times, they might avoid these situations altogether, in order to prevent an awkward situation in which they say the wrong thing or behave inappropriately.
#12 Patience and stillness are difficult. These people can’t seem to sit still. They like to fidget, and are quick to become impatient with stillness or anything too stagnant. Expecting them to sit patiently through a long movie without getting up periodically is unrealistic.
#13 Organization is not their strong suit. If your partner has ADD, you might notice that they will make little piles of things, but instead of putting them away, they will move the piles to different locations from time to time. They have a hard time with organization, because their mind is usually far from orderly. However, this doesn’t mean they are dirty or messy individuals; they just organize differently than others.
#14 They need to move around. These people are annoyed with stillness, and usually need to pace and flit around from place to place. If they are on the phone, in particular, you can expect them to cover a lot of pacing ground.
#15 They are profoundly passionate about life. People with ADD are incredibly passionate about their interests. It takes a lot to get their attention, but when they’re hooked, it’s hard to get them to focus on anything else. They infuse that passion into nearly everything they do, and it can be contagious.
#16 It isn’t always easy for them to remember things. They can forget what they were talking about mid-sentence, and start a new task right in the middle of a previous one. They have a hard time remembering things that don’t interest them, so they might need a few nudges and reminders here and there.
#17 They have lots going on at any given time. Being patient with your ADD partner is essential, if you plan on making your relationship work long-term. Since these people have such active minds, they always have several proverbial balls in their court. Being understanding of this will make them feel secure, and in turn they will prove to be wonderful and loving partners. They might not always be able to stay on task or remember dull details, but life with them will be far from boring.
Keeping up with your ADD partner will ensure that you never have a dull moment. If you keep these 17 things in mind, you will know exactly what to expect when dating a person with ADD, and be able to appreciate your partner for exactly who they are.
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