AD/HD and dating

ADHD and dating –  

After concluding a recent seminar about AD/HD Adults a nice young woman approached me and asked what I knew about AD/HD and dating. She spoke briefly about her serial relationships that more often that not ended when she became bored with her partner. This was quickly followed by the excitement of a new partner, a new relationship. Remember that phrase, “Stimulation is my friend”. While, I am very familiar with the literature and have counseled/coaching couples in AD/HD relationships I confessed to her that I was less familiar with the dynamics of AD/HD dating.  

I’m in the process of drafting an article and teleclass on the topic of “AD/HD Dating” so I thought I’d go to you my readers for input on this topic. I invite you to share your thoughts and experiences with dating from the perspective of an AD/HD adult or from the perspective of having dated an ADHD adult. 

   1.  What did you enjoy [most / least] about dating an AD/HD adult?

   2.  If you’re an AD/HD adult, what are your biggest challenges of dating?

   3.  If a non-AD/HD adult, describe your challenges dating an AD/HD adult?

   4.  Feel free to share brief examples using only fictional first names.

Please do not limit your comments to these questions. All responses will be dealt with confidentially so I will not reveal anyone’s identity other than first names if provided.  

Please send your comments to: coachrudy@mindspring.com

Living with A Non-ADD Adult Partner

Life can be a challenge if you’re a non-ADD adult living with an ADD/ADHD adult. I recently coached a non-ADD adult (we’ll call her Alice) regarding some of her specific issues living with her ADD adult partner. Alice voiced a concern that is likely the most common complaint I hear from non-ADD partners. “I feel like he needs me to tell him what to do all the time. I have to guide him and direct him. I resent that I feel like I have a child. “As an ADD coach, I’ve heard the non-ADHD partner express many times, “I married my husband to have an equal partner but now I feel like I’ve got another child to take care of.”

ADD/ADHD adults tend to lack the inherent nature of structure and routine. Consequently, ADD adults often function best when there is some type of external structure in their life, i.e. work and school. Relationship partners also provide a great deal of structure & anchoring for the ADHD adult. Without this anchor, the ADD partner may have a greater tendency to meander during projects, chores, and possibly with life in general. Thus, it may appear that the ADD adult is depending on you or that he or she won’t do certain things without your comments or reminders.          

Coaching Tips for Non-ADD Partners:

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate.
  • Be honest, firm and gentle with your communication.
  • Clearly communicate your preferences and expectations of your ADD partner.
  • Clearly communicate your disappointment when there are breakdowns in agreements.
  • Take time to acknowledge the strengths, assets and beautiful aspects of your ADD partner. Acknowledge this to yourself and to your ADD partner.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help from professionals skilled at working with ADD / ADHD adults.