Dating Someone With ADHD? Here’s All You Need To Know
Maybe your partner has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD or maybe you’ve just started dating someone with ADHD and you wish to learn more about it. Whichever your situation might be, these symptoms can affect your relationship, so it’s vital to be conscious of how to deal with it. The estimation is that around four percent of adults live with ADHD, yet it’s still very undiagnosed in people so the given number could even be higher.
If you’re in a relationship where your partner has ADHD, you will find everything you need to know when dating someone with ADHD here.
ADHD In Adults
Many symptoms might make you think your partner has ADHD, yet they will need to have more than one on this list to be diagnosed with it. Some of the main characteristics of ADHD in adults are:
- challenging to concentrate
- getting distracted easily
- difficulty completing important tasks on time
- getting so focused on something that the rest of the world no longer exists
- struggling to stay organized or motivated
- quick and sudden mood changes
- impulsive behavior
- fatigue or sleep problems
What’s important to say when talking about symptoms of ADHD in adults is that they create stress and tension, and also lead to misunderstandings and conflicts in a life of a person with ADHD. So, if you’re eager to help your partner, yet are not sure where to start, several simple techniques might help you improve your relationship.
1. Motivate Them to Talk to a Professional.
If your partner still hasn’t been diagnosed with ADHD, try to encourage them to talk to a mental health professional as they can help your partner understand more about ADHD and how it’s affecting their life. More than that, a professional will help an adult with ADHD learn skills and coping strategies to manage ADHD symptoms with more ease.
As someone with this diagnosis will typically have issues with expressing themselves and establishing quality relationships, a professional will also help them practice their communication skills, address anxiety and other conditions they might have. Most importantly, a professional will help them explore treatment options.
2. Keep In Mind You’re Their Partner, Not Their Parent.
You may try to sweep up the mistakes of your partner with ADHD before they even happen and try to remind them constantly of what is acceptable and what’s not. As much as you might think that that’s what keeps your relationship going, it’s not. By doing so, you’re taking away the equality between you two and treating your partner as a child.
Instead, treat your partner as a part of the team by offering encouragement instead of pointing out their mistakes and introducing them to disciplinary techniques to improve their behavior. Keep in mind that your mental health and energy are equally important and you shouldn’t sacrifice them.
3. Be Patient.
As much as it might get challenging for you at times, keep in mind that ADHD is a mental health condition. Your partner didn’t choose to have it in their life and their behavior is very much affected by the condition most of the time. They don’t want to make you angry, sad, or miserable. And you probably know all of this, yet it’s quite challenging to always be aware of it.
That’s why it’s important to practice patience. Focus more on how they feel instead of their performance or completion of their daily tasks. The more you understand how it looks from their perspective, the easier it will be to be supportive and offer compassion.
4. Talk. Talk. Repeat.
Even when being in a relationship with someone who has different habits than you do, it’s vital to communicate to reduce the possibility of conflict. So, when dating someone with ADHD, communication will become the most important factor in your relationship. Use that time to also share how you feel and what’s difficult for you. Yes, it’s important to help your partner deal with their ADHD, yet they need to be aware of how their diagnosis is affecting your relationship.
This might help them work on their behavior and look for adequate help. When talking to your partner, avoid phrases like ‘You never…’, and ‘You always…’ as they will not produce the quality conversation you were hoping for. Be considerate and kind, yet realistic of your partner’s condition. Keep the conversations short yet efficient, so you don’t lose their attention.
5. Solve Each Problem Separately.
You shouldn’t manage every aspect of your partner’s life as it sends the wrong message. Your partner can take care of themselves and they understand they need to put extra effort due to ADHD. Don’t try to fix them, instead focus on each problem separately and look for solutions together.
For instance, if your partner is always running late, help them set phone reminders and manage time better. There are plenty of apps for scheduling and time management that many people with ADHD are using on a daily basis. If they struggle with memorizing things, you can leave them notes around the house and help them be more productive with their tasks. The important thing here is not to get carried away, you will not make your partner’s ADHD disappear with these little techniques. You can only make it easier for them to manage different aspects of their lives.
In Final Words
Similar to how your techniques will not be able to cure your partner’s ADHD symptoms, seeking professional help will not make it go away either. If you’re determined to stay in your relationship, you will need to be aware that ADHD will remain a part of your relationship, yet it will not dominate it anymore. As your partner learns how to manage their diagnosis, they will be able to be a better partner to you as well.
You will notice that their behavior is changing also at work, with their friends, and with their daily routines. They will become more responsible, successful with time management and communication, and that’s essentially what will improve your relationship and make it last.
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