What are some tips to dating someone with ADHD?

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Answered by: Charlotte, An Expert in the Yoga, Pilates and Flexibility Category
You've just finished work and are talking to your partner about your long day. You would like some advice on how to handle a tense situation with a coworker. Your partner listens attentively, offers you some great advice but before you can respond, or even formulate a coherent thought, they begin anxiously tapping their foot and ask if you would like sushi for dinner. Or if you have talked to your friend about going to that concert next week. Or if you have heard about the latest Trump scandal.

Does any of this sound familiar?

When thinking of ADHD (attention deficit hyper-active disorder) you may picture a young child struggling in school but what many people do not realize is that many adults are not diagnosed with ADHD until they are trying to establish themselves in their career field. As an adult in a serious relationship, dating someone with ADHD can be difficult, frustrating and may be displayed differently than the scene above, but it's important to remember you are dating the person, not the disorder. Like any mental health disorder, be it ADHD or even anxiety or PTSD, one of the best approaches to handling the disorder is to not let it control your daily life. The same goes for your relationships. Not letting ADHD dictate how your relationship functions can be challenging, so I have come up with my top three tips to navigate the difficulties of dating someone with ADHD:

1) Do your research: Just like any disorder, it's hard to understand how to interact with someone with ADHD if you do not even know what it is. For example, it is important to understand the difference between ADHD and ADD. While ADD is classified as a difficulty in concentrating and maintaining a train of thought, ADHD comprises of these obstacles but also include physical elements such as fidgeting or humming. There are many online resources for people who are dealing with ADHD. ADHD also can manifest itself in many different ways, such as the fidgeting as mentioned earlier, so it's important to know when your partner's actions are simply a side effect of the disorder.

2) Be patient: It can be easy to let the disorder feel like an ongoing issue, but you have to remember that while it may be a source of irritation for you, it is much worse for your partner. They have to constantly deal with their own scattered thoughts and have likeley been dealing with them for their whole life. Furthermore, while you should be patient, it's also important to be encouraging. Having someone that they can rely on who understands why their work routine or habits are unusual sets the standards for having an honest and loving relationship.

3) Set boundaries: Make sure you are both interacting with each other in a healthy manner. The most important advice ever given about being in any relationship is make sure you are happy first. You need to love yourself before you can commit to loving someone else. So, it is important to know when to take time for yourself and to tell your partner when you are having any insecurities. In a conversation like the one above, gently reminding your partner that you have an issue at work and that you weren't finished with the conversation can help facilitate communication issues that stem from ADHD.

Dating someone with any mental health disorder can be challenging, but like any relationship it can also be the start of the rest of your wonderful life.

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