Reply To: Date Night Fail


Hello Lori,

I have a very similar experience with my ADHD boyfriend, now ex-boyfriend. Let me give you some background. We had been on and off for 7.5 years. This last ’round,’ we reconnected July, 2018. When he reached out, I couldn’t wait to see him. I love this man and I hadn’t seen him in 3 years. We have fantastic chemistry and deep and stimulating conversations. We hung out as friends and our friendship grew until March, 2019. He had grown in many ways since we had last dated three years prior, but he said he was not ready to enter a relationship again. Although it wasn’t labeled a relationship, we really were in a relationship. We were going out on dates, being physical, and talking for hours daily.

March 2019 I needed more of a commitment because I felt that issues were coming up in our ‘friendship’ and I needed him to commit to working on our communication and making sure we move in a healthy direction this time. I told him I was done for good if he wasn’t able to commit to a relationship. I understood if he wasn’t ready, then we would need to part. I didn’t want to pressure him or give him an ultimatum in any way. I truly knew we wouldn’t make it as a couple unless we committed to working together.

He decided he was ‘in’ because he didn’t want to lose me. He was very emotional and described the many things he loves about me and us. I had never seen him that emotional before in regards to us. I clarified that we needed, in the least, one date-night a week as well as one time per week we talk about our relationship, improving communication, etc. He agreed with these parameters/boundaries.

Every Saturday date night was a big mess, a huge struggle. He would complain that he was tired. He hated the 15 minute commute to my house. Hated the parking situation (I live downtown in a condo building but it has free parking). He would suggest we go to the Film Festival and then once I got tickets would complain endlessly. It was a buzz-kill every date night. When I would go to his house for date night to run errands with him and help him with his house, he complained less. We had been in that trap years prior. I would go to his house for everything and there was less complaining on his part yet who wants to be in a one-sided relationship?

Now here comes the straw the broke the camel’s back for me. There were three strikes and I left him. Strike 1) was complaining every date night. Strike 2) was we had registered to do a 50-mile gravel bike race together in a town 45 minutes away. He made excuses why we couldn’t drive there together, and later why we couldn’t ride together. So I am not sure I would even see him at the race and isn’t the point, to spend time together? Strike 3) We discussed Memorial Day weekend and that we would do a day trip together. I was delighted and ecstatic. He travels for work, travels to see friends, has 2 kids, remodels his house, and works long hours so I was feeling like I really needed some extended time to connect with him. Well, he scheduled over Memorial Day weekend with a visit from his parents from Chicago. He didn’t apologize to me and he didn’t try to reschedule the day trip. He actually yelled at me saying we didn’t have plans. (Maybe not plans set in stone but we discussed the day trip and also doing our date night that same weekend).

I decided there is no place for me to go. It shouldn’t be this difficult. If he doesn’t want to spend time with me, what is the point? He resisted the date nights, he did not allow time for us to communicate about our relationship. He told me a relationship is not one of his top priorities. It would NEED to be for us to be successful. We would have to work extremely hard on communication to be successful and I cannot do it alone.

Since there is a lot of other good parts of our relationship, for awhile I thought I could just put up with some of this crap because of all of the good parts. Then I decided I was worth much more than that. If he cannot see what an amazing woman I am and that I am worth the effort, then I don’t want to with a man like that. He should be elated that he gets to spend time with me. He should feel elated that I am willing to work to damn hard on our relationship. I feel that way about him, elated to spend time with him, (except when he complains).

I am heartbroken. I love him. But I cannot do this alone. As I read other stories on this forum, I realize I am probably very lucky to cut my losses now and move on.

Things like this and other red flags were happening 7 years ago. My advice to you Lori is move on, unless your boyfriend shows significant commitment to you and the relationship. I have researched if, in addition to ADHD, he has fear of intimacy, narcissism, personality disorder, or high functioning Autism. With him it seems we get really close and then he pushes me away or starts a fight to keep me at a distance. I am not sure what it is but it doesn’t really matter. He doesn’t have the capacity or the skills to work on this with me.

I should add that he is largely unmedicated. He takes Adderall when he chooses, not on a daily basis or on a regular schedule.

Best of luck, Lori!