Reply To: New to dating a guy with ADHD – Need advice

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Spouses & Loved Ones New to dating a guy with ADHD – Need advice Reply To: New to dating a guy with ADHD – Need advice


I’m a little troubled by the comments on here suggesting that if a person with ADD doesn’t comply or change their behavior to suit you, then they are “not taking responsibility”. What if they are happy just the way they are? Not everything is about us and our needs, and as an ADD person myself, I never try to be rude or insensitive to people, but if others read me that way, then all they can do is tell me. I can’t guarantee that my behavior will change overnight. It probably won’t. I need time and room to fail to get it right. Give ADDers time to succeed. Don’t read distance or a lack of response as “not caring”. I’m probably focused on something that takes all of my energy right now because I’m at work, dealing with a client, etc, etc.

Understand that an ADD person needs ALL of their energy to focus on the one thing in front of them. If you expect them to multitask with you all day, every day, you will be disappointed. Adjust your expectations and give them the benefit of the doubt. Look past the behavior to the heart of them and who they really are before judging.

In EVERY relationship NO partner gets their way all of the time. Understanding that is maturity. It’s not the job of one person to comply with “me” in order to arrive at a “healthy” relationship. If an ADD person refuses to change, then it’s YOUR job, not theirs, to find a way to come to your own peace, let go of trying to control them, and find a way to operate in that relationship that can work for both of you. If they refuse to do what you’d like, then you have two choices…leave…or adjust your own expectations and decide to be happy anyway. Basing your happiness on someone else’s behavior will never bring you what you want. You have to find your own centeredness within yourself. I know that sounds like “feely good” stuff, but it’s true. I’ve been married 34 years and can attest to needing to decide you’ll be happy regardless of what your partner does because you owe it to yourself. Get off the “do what I want” train and mind your own well being. Good boundaries, good communication, and a good understanding of what you can and cannot abide will solve a lot, and then take responsibility for your OWN feelings in the situation, not making them adhere to your idea of what they should be. No relationship can survive when one person takes on the job of trying to “change” the other. That’s true even when ADD/ADHD isn’t even present.