I know how to fall in like and love, but staying in love is another matter. Does the adult ADHD brain want one kind of relationship and the heart another?
by Jane D.
I am not very enthused about the new guy I'm seeing. Being that I am a sucker for Valentine's Day, this is rather depressing. I don't want to spend the holiday alone, though to be fair, this guy is rather unromantic. He may not remember the holiday at all, causing me to lose my cool yet again.
I can barely call him a boyfriend, although I am sure he wishes otherwise. With this showing the early signs of being yet another failed relationship, I can't help but wonder if my attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) is impacting my dating choices again? Taking a look at my relationship history -- one that is starting to parallel my work history -- it is a series of intense relationships that are short and brief, and this guy might just be the next one to inevitably not work out because of my issues. Or maybe I'm just not that into this guy!
At first, dating someone who is the exact opposite of how I am seemed sort of cool. But I'm noticing that I've started to feel uninspired by the whole situation. In fact, so far, this relationship feels like work. I gauge my feelings for men by whether or not they can make me laugh. There isn’t any of that happening. He's not laughing either, and a few friends and family members have confirmed that the new guy doesn't have a natural sense of humor. He is also rigid, set in his ways, and treats everything like a business transaction, down to scheduling every text message and phone call. He is polite to the point where dating him feels like living in The Truman Show.
When it comes to searching for Mr. Right, I want him to match at least a few of my impulsive tendencies -- even if too many similarities could cause problems. I need someone a bit more spontaneous than this current guy, who can occasionally be impolite, who isn't afraid to speak his mind. (I wonder if the ADD/ADHD in me requires that my partner be a constant entertainer?)
Surely I can’t be the only ADD/ADHD adult who faces this dilemma -- the initial appeal of finding someone orderly, organized, and altogether opposite and then the yearning for someone new. Am I too distracted to date someone who is calm, organized, and down-to-earth? Am I pushing away a perfectly decent guy, or are the classic ADD/ADHD symptoms resurfacing?
So now, as Valentine's Day approaches, I'm pondering these questions and one more: Should I tell him how I feel, and give him the chance to prove whether he can meet some of my needs, or make myself own up to the reality that I might just not be into him?