You were disappointed in love because your ex-girlfriend had cheated on you and left you high and dry. But one day you met her – a sensitive, creative and smart nymph. Your soul wounds healed, and you became the luckiest person on earth again. However, the time passed, hormonal cocktails in your veins became an ordinary thing, and you put off your rose-colored glasses. You looked around and saw a huge mess in an apartment: her numerous socks without a pair, crumpled checks from Starbucks, six half-empty mugs with tea and a 10-dollar bill. You were confused and embarrassed, you looked at her with interest, and she started talking before you made a sound, “You should eat something. Let's go to the cinema. Do you want to spend the next weekend with me and Jessy? I think about pizza for dinner, and by the way, I have ADHD.”
You have entered ADHD relationships. You have a crush on a single woman who seems to be one of the superheroes with the manners of a supervillain. She is wonderful, she gets on your nerves, and you don’t know whether ADHD and relationships can be combined and bring you happiness. Let’s sort things out.
Well, the abbreviation ADHD means Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This disease is caused by dysfunctions of the central nervous system when it is difficult for a person to control their behavior, concentrate and stay focused for too long, as a result, they may have difficulties with studying and memory. ADHD is usually characterized by the following symptoms: inattention, distraction, sometimes impulsiveness and, of course, hyperactivity. Sometimes the syndrome is accompanied by impaired short-term memory and the inability to manage time. Approximately 1 in 5 adults with ADHD struggles with substance abuse. Studies show that teenagers with ADHD are twice as likely to smoke cigarettes than their peers without it. According to American statistics, the percentage of breakups in families where one of the spouses has ADHD is two times higher than in ordinary families. So, pretty often ADHD in relationships becomes a stumbling block.
The increased activity of certain brain chemicals in the prefrontal cortex may contribute to ADHD. Some studies show that alcohol, drug abuse, and smoking during pregnancy can lead to the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in a kid. Genetic factors are likely to play an important role. The relatives of children with ADHD have a much higher percentage of antisocial anxieties and disorders, substance abuse than families that have children without ADHD. So, a brain of such a person has an extremely high level of activity, and if you try ADHD relationships dating, you will notice that it manifests itself at more emotional than the physical level in girls. It happens because women are more sensitive and emotional by nature. To succeed in relationships with ADHD, you should realize that your partner has a different way of thinking. If you can sort everything out and realize the nuances, chances are you will not have toxic relationships. We are all different, but each of us needs a person who will be able to understand and accept us as we are.
True Signs You Have Relationships with an ADHD Person
Let’s be honest – it is not easy to combine ADHD and romantic relationships because it’s difficult to build healthy relationships with a person who differs from you in so many aspects. Someone may say that it’s like going through a minefield since you never know what words or actions can lead to an outburst of your beloved one. You should always remember that a person who suffers from ADHD perceives everything not the way you do – every little thing is magnified for them and as if on steroids, and it doesn’t matter whether its about something good or bad. Their stunning mind is constantly occupied with numerous thoughts and never rests. To understand a person better, just imagine a merry-go-round in your head that cannot stop spinning. ADHD in adults and relationships is not the best match, actually, it’s a huge challenge that no everyone can meet. So, what are the main signs your beloved one suffers from ADHD?
1. Your partner listens to you but doesn’t absorb what is being said
When you listen to someone, you focus on their words, and your brain is processing the information provided. So, you see the whole picture of what has been said, but the situation is different for a person with ADHD. Your partner looks at you, hears your words, watches how your lips are moving, but at some moment, somewhere in the beginning of your speech, their mind loses the ability to absorb the information and process it. They hear that you are still talking, but their thoughts are in deep space at this moment. They can reflect on how your eyebrow raises when you change voice intonation or how wonderful your eyes color is.
2. Your partner is either extremely focused or extremely unfocused
ADHD has many different manifestations that can prevent a person from normal living because it is a state of opposite extremes. Thus, even though extreme concentration is one of the symptoms of this disease, it can evoke a state of mind when a person is extremely unfocused and distracted. If your partner uses all their brain activity for something they are obsessed with, for example, a new episode of their favorite TV series, it’s extremely difficult for them to shift the focus away for something else, even though it might be of bigger importance. So, it can be difficult for them to start doing something, but then it may be even harder to stop doing it.
3. Your partner becomes anxious in a second
Hyperactivity constantly moves them to active actions that don’t become fruitful, and a person may start to feel anxiety. They cannot get why the result is so poor if they have made such tremendous efforts. It may seem to your partner that they work hard, but being involved in the fulfillment of all the tasks at once, they don’t finish anything. Besides, a feature of ADHD is the reliving of all experienced situations, especially those that caused anxiety. Owing to their impatience and excitability, they often come into conflicts, which exacerbates existing problems. They can be very sensitive to the outside factors, thus, being in a noisy café can seem to them as if they are in the first row at a hard-rock concert.
4. Your partner can’t concentrate on routine stuff
The crucial sign of ADHD is attention instability. It does not occur in all spheres of life. People with ADHD face challenges with routine and daily tasks. For example, your partner may face difficulties in paying bills on schedule, doing household chores, making a report at work, listening to you or taking pills routinely. However, your beloved one can pay attention to something new, extraordinary, sophisticated, interesting or terrifying without a problem. You have to make efforts to draw their attention to something, but they easily get involved in risky activities.
5. Your partner is very impulsive
Such a state can lead to weird and cranky behavior. Have you ever noticed that your partner interrupts you to say something off-topic? They can act spontaneously even in extreme and complicated situations. They don’t consider consequences and make rash decisions under the influence of a moment desire or a whim. Their impulsiveness can be obviously seen in their shopping manner. Did your partner ever buy many expensive but unsuitable clothes in different sizes?
How Does ADHD Affect Relationships and How to Fight This?
You may face challenges even dating a person with a strong nervous system who doesn’t have ADHD symptoms in adults relationships, so when it comes to building a healthy and happy relationship with a partner with such a disease, things can become even harder. Everyone understands that impulsiveness and constant distraction can have a bad influence on relationships, so one should be mentally ready and patient enough to cope with all the problems. People’s relationships are a very subtle and fragile thing, and too many challenges can damage them dramatically.
Both partners can feel vulnerable. Thus, one who has a disease may be constantly criticized and labeled, and as a result, they may feel disrespected and unhappy. While their partner, at the same time, may feel unappreciated and ignored, as if their partner doesn’t care and love them at all. So, how does ADHD affect relationships? Their relationships can become destructive, being full of complaints and quarrels. However, it’s not the only possible course of events. You can still find a way out if you love each other and are ready to work on your relationships.
1. You don’t realize how a big role ADHD can play in your relationships
You see that something is wrong with a person you have a crush on. And on the one hand, they seem extremely sweet and creative, they can come up with a dozen of different ideas in a minute, but on the other hand, all their drawbacks make you worry and doubt their feelings and attitude toward you. Well, maybe you are not even sure whether there is something between you.
However, to fight the enemy – you should gather all the possible information. Knowing how adult ADHD and relationships can coexist, you will be able to meet this challenge. If you have noticed some signs of this disease in your partner or they told you directly about it, then you should collect all the possible info.
2. Their state of distraction makes you mad
As we have already mentioned, your partner may seem to listen to you, but in fact, they don’t absorb what is being said. Or you’ve agreed to discuss certain important moments, but the partner doesn’t listen to you or fail to live up to the promise. It makes you mad because you feel ignored and unheard. However, in fact, your partner may love you endlessly, but they are upset or too much distracted by something. The first thing you should do is to share your feelings with a partner when they will be focused on you. There is no need to become angry since it will not help deal with the issue. Figure out a time to talk and don’t forget to touch your partner to draw their attention while talking.
3. You feel abandoned when they are extremely focused on something
The other side of the coin is their hyperfocus. A partner with ADHD can immerse themselves in something, having created a vacuum around them. It can be a new episode of a TV series, a work project or just Instagram. Yes, an ability to be completely focused on something can be useful sometimes, but it may hurt your relationships as well. You can agree with your partner that they will avoid the activities that usually lead to such a state when you need to spend time together or discuss something important. Come up with certain rituals that can help them get back on the track with attention. A partner of a person with ADHD should do their best to not take it personally.
4. Your partner forgets something all the time
It can annoy when a partner forgets to do whatever they have promised to do. They can forget to pay the bill on schedule or finish some tasks because they have been distracted by something else. So, you can become angry with your partner due to the need to do or check something yourself.
Well, you should realize that it’s not their character trait, and they don’t forget on purpose. If you start labeling their behavior and talking about their neglect or rudeness, you may worsen your relationships. Instead of taking over with your beloved one, use the advantages of the modern era in the form of automatic reminders on their phone or PC.
5. Your partner is completely disorganized
The thing that a person with ADHD can easily get distracted by some trifles at the most inappropriate moment, can lead to the fact that they skip household chores or just leave the work half-made. They can put a phone somewhere and forget about that or lose something. So, it’s not surprising you may want to control a partner with ADHD.
The best strategy in this situation is to discuss the issues with the partner and try to fix the situation together as a team. Maybe you can distribute duties in such a way that you will be able to eliminate unpleasant situations, and everyone will do what they are good at. Respect and maintain the partner’s desire to keep certain things in certain places as it helps them be organized.
6. Your partner becomes very impulsive sometimes
As we have said, impulsiveness is one of the symptoms of this disease. These people say or act before thinking. Thus, sometimes they can make impulsive purchases, having bought things they don’t need or say something inappropriate, being in a company of other people. So, you may feel vulnerable when your partner is out of control.
Even though they can hardly control certain things, in most cases, they can learn to restrain themselves when necessary. You can help them in this regard, trying to eliminate the most frequent temptations. However, if you cannot deal with this issue on your own, you can turn to a specialist who is working with ADHD adults.
7. Your partner is a guru of procrastination
Frankly speaking, each of us suffers from it sometimes: we postpone boring tasks, cancel meetings and turn into couch potatoes. Nonetheless, procrastination is a huge stumbling block for a person with ADHD. It’s extremely difficult for them to start doing a new thing, and they can feel overwhelmed with it pretty soon. So, a deadline is their constant companion that leads to chaos in life.
Offer them to split up the task in several pieces and set a deadline for each of it, maybe it will serve as a motivation. So, your partner will do everything step by step, but you shouldn’t take over their duties. Besides, don’t forget that it’s not their character flaw, but a challenge you can meet.
8. Your partner has mood swings
Since a person suffers from anxiety issues, it’s not surprising that their mood can resemble a rollercoaster sometimes. It’s not always easy to control their emotions especially when something upset them a minute ago. Besides, don’t forget that your partner feels everything more acutely, so their joy will be also intense and brighter than you are used to.
A healthy lifestyle will be able to cope with this problem or at least smooth their mood swings. You can also pay attention to yoga or some other activity that will help learn how to control body and mind. If something bothers you in your partner’s behavior, talk to them and explain your feelings.
9. Your partner has a poor time-management
Some of the above-mentioned problems can lead and involve the fact that your partner doesn’t keep track of time. They can be distracted by something or too focused on something, so they just lose a sense of time. This can lead to many embarrassed and unpleasant situations especially if you are an on-time sort of person.
To deal with that you should use the same advantages of modern time – set alarm clocks on every single thing that your partner should do on time, whether it is about getting up in the morning, brushing teeth or having lunch. It may sound weird, but it will help become more organized and adhere to the schedule.
10. Your partner neglects your feelings
You may want to spend some quality time together with your beloved partner, and you feel abandoned and neglected when they focus on something that has nothing to do with you and your joint pastime. And when you want to discuss something or just let it out, it turns out that they cannot listen to you because they are reflecting on something else. You cannot but take it personally even though you shouldn’t.
Remember that your partner doesn’t do that on purpose, and they don’t want to hurt you. They may feel shame for being not good enough for you, so try to put yourself in the shoes of your partner. If you are not ready to accept this person and adjust your life together to their peculiarities, then maybe you should better look for someone else.
Embrace Your Partner's Features and Communicate
Even though your partner differs from most people, it doesn’t mean that you cannot build harmonious relationships and use their strong sides to your benefit. Every person has their pros and cons, and we perceive it pretty normally, so your partner is no exception. The very thing you need to do is to identify their advantages and try to make their drawbacks less visible. Thus, you can work on your routine that will help organize certain moments and stay calm. The crucial point is to learn to work together as a team. You should learn to communicate and express your emotions and feelings to each other. You can complement each other and become a wonderful couple with your happily ever after.