Last week’s article ‘ADHD and Brains That Work Slower Than Yours’ prompted a lot of follow–up questions, including this one:
“Is it better if people with ADHD have a partner who has ADHD as well? Does dating people without ADHD makes us harder to communicate or relate to? Thanks in advance! 😉”
This is a great question! And the quick answer is… it depends. Dating and having a long–term relationship is complex, and there isn’t a simple answer. There are pros and cons to dating people with and without ADHD. Here is a simplified snapshot of some of them.
When One Person Has ADHD:
You could ‘balance’ each other out. For example, the non–ADHD person might offer structure and regular routines. This framework is helpful for a person with ADHD to function at their best.
The ADHD half of the couple can bring elements of spontaneity and surprises which help to keep the relation new and exciting.
Non–ADHD partners can feel they shoulder all the responsibility. This can lead to resentment and people feeling as though they have an extra child.
The person with ADHD can feel they are being controlled or nagged. They might also feel that they are constantly disappointing their partner.
When Both of You Have ADHD:
You have a deep understanding of each other without even needing to talk about it. You just ‘get’ each other. This can helps you feel connected. Communication might be easier because your brains work in similar ways.
Practical details of life (for example: laundry, food, bills being paid on time) might be a problem.
Even though you both have ADHD, you might be very different in other ways. For example, your energy levels or how you like to spend your time.
Of course, there are pros and cons to every type of person you could date. You might ask, “is it better to date someone older or younger or with or without children, the same or different culture a friend or a stranger?”
Yet, it doesn’t matter how much you mull these questions over in your head; you can never predict who you will connect and fall in love with!
Ultimately, we all want to feel loved, supported, encouraged and be with someone who is kind. That can come from a relationship with someone with ADHD or without it. If you are wondering how to recognize that, asks these questions about your date.
We are looking for a lot of YESes to these questions.
· Does you date love you just the way you are now?
· Are they flexible?
· Do you feel happy and grounded when you are with them and when you are apart?
· Do they offer their support and encourage you to grow and change, or do they try to limit your personal growth?
· Can you be yourself and let your guard down when you are with them?
· If you share a problem, do you feel supported even if there isn’t a solution right away?
· Do your family and friends notice that you seem much happier since they have been in your life?
We are looking for ‘no’s to these questions.
· Is your date very rigid in what they want a relationship to look like?
· Do he / she put you down? If they say it as a joke, that still counts.
· Do you feel hurt, undervalued, or less than appreciated after spending time with them?
· Do you feel if they knew the ‘real’ you, they won’t love you?
· If you share a problem with them, do they turn it around and make it your fault?
· Do you feel they will stop loving you if you don’t please them?
· Are they always trying to get you to do things you don’t want to and disregard you when say you don’t want to do it?
· Do you spend a lot of time talking to your friends and family about the problems in your relationship?
Does your partner have ADHD?