"After introducing myself on an online-dating website, I'm lost," one reader tells us. "I'm shy, and my adult ADD makes me feel like I'm revealing too much -- or worse, that my profile screams, 'I'm a freak.' Am I being self-conscious? How can I come across as an acceptable date -- both online and in person?"
by Sandy Maynard
Many people -- those with and without adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) -- on online-dating sites are self-conscious. To take the pressure off yourself and to make things more relaxed between you and potential dates, look at Internet dating as a whole -- messaging and other online flirting methods, e-mailing, phone calls, and in-person dates -- as an opportunity to improve your communication, social, and relationship skills.
It’s easy to ramble on about yourself when writing your profile. Shorter, though, is better. Write a brief summary about what you like to do and a shorter blurb on your dislikes, depending on what the site allows. Example: “Sorry fellas, I’m really not into football and would much rather see a movie.”
If you have a hard time discussing yourself, ask your friends for input and use their feedback in your profile. For instance, the following would work: “My friends would describe me as honest, trustworthy, and shy in unfamiliar situations or gatherings.”
It’s OK to admit that you are shy. You are not the only one, and another person might find that quality attractive.
Adults with ADD/ADHD get tongue-tied when we are nervous. Making a few low-pressure preparations ahead of time can help you -- and your date -- relax.
1. Don't worry about feeling like you have to remember every detail about your date's profile when you meet in person. Take the stress out of the situation by making an honest, casual statement like, “Though I read and enjoyed your profile before we messaged, I didn’t do as much homework before our date as I could have. So tell me a little bit more about yourself.”
2. Preparing a list of questions to ask can also help the conversation go more smoothly. Some of the following are good first-date icebreakers:
“How long have you been on this site?”
“What’s the most interesting date you’ve had so far?”
“What interested you about my profile?”
“How long have you lived in the area?”
“Where do you like to go on vacation?”
Sandy Maynard is an ADD/ADHD coach, an ADDitude magazine writer, and a contributor to ADDitude's new ADHD Experts Blog.