December 31, 2019 at 9:40 am #137437MenialLivingParticipant
Firstly, I apologise straight up because this will be a long read. I was never confident with my writing skills either so I won’t be offended if you want to click away. I just want to talk to someone.
So I have been talking to a guy with severe ADHD for a few years now. We hung out every now and then but we used to text every day – we talked about our goals, our thoughts, the demons we had faced and the scars they’d left. I was even afraid we’d run out of things to say, but we never did. We were both very comfortable with each other and had formed a deep bond because of this.
Of course, there were moments when we were confused about what we were – something we would confess a few times in the years we’ve known each other. I tend to be the one to bring up these awkward topics since I do believe communication is important in any sort of relationship but I still feel very anxious and naggy about it. Anyway, we decided to stay friends since he was diagnosed much later than I was and he wanted to focus on getting his career together before jumping into any sort of commitment outside of it.
I know there are challenges associated with being in a relationship (platonic or romantic) with someone who has ADHD. I read forums and studied the topic so I could understand the disorder for him well before I found out I had ADHD myself. For instance, there were a lot of times when he proposed the idea of catching up, only to result in him not managing his time well enough to make it. It hurt, and I would tell him, but I did understand.
Though he suddenly stopped putting effort into texting, which confused me because it was quite sudden. We didn’t get into a fight or anything and nothing major happened in either of our lives. Apart from the decreasing effort put into texts, he began replying much later than usual and not apologising when he did. I know I sound stupid and childish but he used to be very, very consistent in this way (which I found impressive for someone with ADHD) so it’s weird that it has happened so quickly.
I have ADHD as well, though I’m much more empathetic than he is. I also have a history of social anxiety. I fell into depression and tried to commit suicide a few years back – before I met him. I told myself to be careful, to not get attached in a way that I’d lose myself, but I feel like I’m losing that fight. There’s no denying that my tendency to direct negative emotions inwards has made things more difficult. There are a lot of days I cried over the idea of what I should do.
I still hold a lot of affection for him and I don’t know what to do with it. He wasn’t a bad person or anything and he was always aware of, and apologised for, his shortcomings. I don’t feel any bitterness or anger towards him at all either, I just feel sad. I feel like I should take action but I don’t know what to do. I worry that he really did throw our connection away so easily but I also feel terrible for doubting his character because that’s not the kind of person I knew him to be.
What are your experiences with ADHD guys who ‘lost interest’ in you after bonding so closely? How did you stay strong in a situation similar to mine?
I don’t think this made much sense, I apologise. Let me know if I missed out on some details. I’m pretty sure I have. I will try to clarify any answers you have below.
January 1, 2020 at 10:28 am #137473Penny WilliamsKeymaster
It is common for folks with ADHD to hyperfocus on new relationships and then find that the intense interest falls away.
You broke ties with him for a reason. Is that reason still valid for you? I think that’s the question you have to ask.
And, don’t take ADHD behavior personally. If the change really is due to his ADHD, then it doesn’t necessarily mean he stopped caring as much.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
January 20, 2020 at 7:07 am #139282AdeleS546Participant
With some people with ADHD, once that hyper-focus phase wears off, it usually doesn’t come back the way that it was. It’s not possible to sustain that level of excitement that feeling of newness.
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