July 22, 2020 at 10:19 pm #179687
I am a non-ADHD girl who has recently started a relationship with ADHD male. He has always been very up front with me with respect to his ADHD and medication and even the not so beautiful past (infidelity etc). I am here to educate myself with respect to dating an ADHD and embrace him and try to understand the way he is wired and although it’s different to me to find a way where we both get what we need, because I truely do love him.
Like many similar stories I have read our relationship started hard and fast. Being in covid times, he was not working and we both had little else on anyway. I fell for him hard despite me telling myself to remain grounded. I fell in love with the person he is inside, with his intentions and yes I know his ADHD has annoying habits or behaviours but I know his heart is intended in the right way and that’s what I love so much about him. He is so hard on himself and wants to do everything perfectly all the time. I’m often asking him not to be so hard on himself. I have also introduced him to my daughter whom they both get along so well.
Recently he has started returning to work, and like many of the stories I have read, almost overnight I have gone from the centre of his attention to a few text messages a day. From seeing each other all weekend every weekend to not seeing him for nearly 3 weeks now. I have spoken about my feelings with him and we have communicated a lot around what we mean to each other. He tells me he loves me so much but doesn’t know how to have a relationship or significant other in his life. That he has never been able to get the balance right and ends up pushing the girl away as a way of self protection and a way of trying to avoid hurting them any further because that’s his history.
Although i don’t understand what he is going through (as I understand my head is just wired differently), I am learning that it’s not personal or intentional. I am willing to work our way through these times.
What I would like to know if anybody can tell me, does the attention come back?? How long does it take? Do I keep checking in (I do message him a number of times a day, he always responds, and he’s continually telling me he loves me, sometimes out of the blue sometimes it takes some prodding by me). If I stop trying will I just disappear from his mind??? I feel like in a way I’m pushing myself onto him or that I’m being foolish because he seems he is so disinterested.
Any advice on how to handle this would be greatly appreciated and how to communicate with him that I’m here and I’m trying to understand and work with him. I think he’s a gorgeous person just the way he is. I understand that he’s different to me but I don’t think that makes him wrong or that he needs to change. I’m just trying to find a way to have some understanding and to find a way where he can have his time and me not to take it so personally. Or any help on how to approach this new relationship I’m open to learning as much as I can.
July 23, 2020 at 8:57 am #179729
The most important thing I have to say: don’t give up on him. The attention may not come back, but it will always be there in a milder sense in his mind. I am not him, so don’t take my word for what is going on inside his head. I also don’t have much else to say because I have very little experience in this department, but just remember he loves you no matter how many times a day he texts you.
July 23, 2020 at 6:39 pm #179794
I have been with my now fiance for five years. The Hyper-focus phase swept me off my feet and spun my head around. He loves me and I love him and we do have a good relationship. The hyper-focus phase is gone and I don’t expect it to return. From what I read in the ADHD effect on marriage and on the website with the same name, the hyper Focus does not come back. It is the nature of many people with ADHD to be attracted to the next new shiny thing.
That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love you, it means that he is possibly easily distracted. For instance, when I first met my fiance he was fixated on sailing. He had a sailboat and a YouTube channel to which he would post sailing blogs. He stopped sailing almost two years ago now when he became a homeowner and has other things to occupy his time.
By the way, my fiance and I do not live together. I have a teenage daughter and need to stay put until she graduates next year.
July 25, 2020 at 4:26 am #179882
I’ve been with my partner for 4 years and this is one thing that always upsets me. I feel that he never shows me the attention he did in the beginning. The showering of gifts, the fun impulsiveness of taking me somewhere, the constant physical attention etc it all stopped. It’s as though he had me now so he didn’t need to try as much. I used to get text messages all day now I’m lucky if I get one.
After lots of research I have come to accept this. As you said they are wired differently. It doesn’t mean he’s not thinking of me. He thinks in his head “well she knows I love so I don’t need to keep telling her and if she wants to go somewhere she will tell me…” Not got a clue has he?? Lol
There is so much more I could tell you about when a relationship like the one we both have changes from “New” to “usual” but I’m not sure if you can message me direct?
What I will say is don’t give up! Yes it’s a lonely place to be with an ADHD/ADD guy but you get used to it if you love him x
July 26, 2020 at 6:54 pm #179911
thank you so very much limey, AdeleS546 and rosepetal for responding to me. As it turns out my man has joined a number of dating apps, and now has stopped messaging me altogether. it seems as though he is onto the next shiny thing. I still do love him and accept that these are all symptoms of the ADHD mind. There doesn’t seem to much that I can do but wish him well and go and heal. I do appreciate the support that you both offered x
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by ilovemyadhdman.
July 27, 2020 at 8:09 pm #180002
I’m sorry that’s the way things have turned out for you, but I also would be very hesitant to excuse that kind of inconsiderate, hurtful behaviour as “symptoms of the ADHD mind”. ADHD is not a reason to tell one person you love them despite not making time to see them for three weeks, and looking for other relationships. I don’t think this person deserves (or wants) the consideration and effort you’re putting in to understand him. No matter what challenges a person has, they should still be held accountable for their behaviour and responsibility to others. I think he was trying to get off the hook of having a serious relationship with you, and using ADHD as an excuse. The fact that he told you he “doesn’t know how to have a relationship”, but yet is signed up for a bunch of dating sites, should tell you a lot about what he’s looking for. Being hard on himself is just typical victim behaviour so that you can’t say anything about how hurtful and inconsiderate he’s being to you – the real victim!
I hope you find someone truly nice and don’t settle for bad behaviour just because someone claims to have a diagnosis to explain it. Invest that love into yourself instead!
July 27, 2020 at 9:05 pm #180004
Hi Iam 40 with adhd and to be honest the guy is a pick (excuse my language Iam from Scotland!!). Having adhd is nothing to do with treating people poorly, we still have manners and know right from wrong – Iam actually kind of on the same boat as you just now with a girl that I like, which is very hard with adhd the feeling of being rejected – so bearing that in mind your boyfriend (ex) is an even bigger ashole as he will know how bad the feeling is, yet chooses to act like this.
July 28, 2020 at 1:50 am #180008
Thank you leftie22 and andydippy. I don’t think that having ADHD is an excuse for his behaviour, maybe I was hoping more for an explanation as to how someone could behave in that way, such big love and then nothing at all (although he did send me a message today like nothing has happened, he doesn’t know I know about the dating sites). I do deserve so much better and he certainty doesn’t deserve someone like me. Thank you for taking time out of your days to send your messages to me, it means more to me than I know how to say. I wish you both big love xxx
July 28, 2020 at 1:29 pm #180057
You do definitely deserve better!! You sound like a caring and understanding person, and unfortunately he chose to use your kindness against you to manipulate you, instead of appreciating and respecting it. You might not ever fully understand why he behaved that way, because you’re an honest person and he isn’t. You probably could never treat someone that way, but clearly he can, and he probably finds it rewarding to string people along and have them tell him nice things, all while making zero effort to have an actual relationship.
Lots of people out there would love to find someone kind and genuine, and would treat you with kindness in return. I hope you’re able to cut him off completely and don’t reward him with responses and attention. He doesn’t deserve it! Sending hugs.
July 29, 2020 at 9:03 pm #180317
Thank you leftie22. I was wondering how to reply to his message, but you are right he doesn’t deserve my time or energy. I doubt he would even care if I did reply anyway. Thank you very much for taking to the time to reply to my message and sending me kindness.
August 2, 2020 at 3:02 pm #180549
There is so much similar to my experience that I could have almost written the same post. I sure hope his hyper focus returns – in fact I am counting on it. This amazing man I met with ADHD had a negative past also – different past – yet it helped me to understand this wonderful, fragile person that I feel like few people actually see. We dated for a month and he kept in touch during COVID although I had to go home (which was 500 miles away during that time). Apparently he met someone during COVID and started dating – timing about the end of our month together. He still texts me and he still says he misses me and I’m not sure if he is still with this girl or not. His behavior in general is sporadic so even when we did date it was hit/miss when we actually got together. I miss him so much. I fell really hard for him – in fact he swept me away. Still hoping….
August 2, 2020 at 7:54 pm #180551
I really hope it works out better for your hesmysoulmate. The only thing I suggest you do is openly communicate with him. Tell him how you feel and what your fears are and ask him what he wants out of the relationship. In my experience, ADHD or not if he wants to be with you he will find a way, and if he doesn’t then there is someone out there who will
August 4, 2020 at 5:29 pm #180671
Hello (user ilovemyadhdman)!
As a male with ADHD who’s partner also has ADHD I think I can offer a slightly unique perspective on your problem.
I went 24 years without a diagnosis, and only pursued one when my partner told me about all of my co-morbids (OCD, anxiety, etc.) and that she was pretty sure I had ADHD instead of generalised anxiety disorder (my previous diagnosis).
Both of us were previously polyamorous (having multiple romantic partners simultaneously while maintaining our core relationship); for US specifically, this was more about connection and intimacy rather than any other physical aspect of a relationship. The point being: the MOST important thing (in our opinion) is just what was said by user limey: if you want him, don’t give up! Give chase instead! The most critical thing for ADHD folks and romantic partners is a combination of real chemistry, genuine honesty, dedication to having a healthy and productive relationship, but most importantly: FUN. If you both have a commitment to FUN and EACH OTHER then most of the other problems work themselves out!
To answer your direct question about whether or not the new relationship hyperfocus comes back, it’s a kind of non-answer: it depends. It all depends on MUTUAL interest and commitment, but ALSO fluidity and flexibility. The most important advice we can give you (meaning my partner and I) is NEVER lose INTEREST, and DEFINITELY keep cultivating HIS interest IN YOU (which, believe me, is still TOTALLY there, but work for us is…kind of a way of life XD).
Anyway, I hope that helps you find some peace and clarity! We both wish you the best in your pursuit of happiness 🙂
August 5, 2020 at 8:51 am #180684
Whether it is a relationship where one partner has ADHD and one does not, a relationship between two neurotypical people, or relationship between two people with ADHD, it is the same.
Both partners have to show interest and cultivate interest not just the non-partner. If you wish to be pursued, then be sure you are worthy of pursuit. Take care of yourself and keep yourself up.
I don’t think the same high intensity level of attention comes back. His practically being obsessed with me 5 years ago has not returned and I don’t expect it to. That said, the interest is still there for both of us or we wouldn’t be together.
August 5, 2020 at 2:45 pm #180769
There is some really dangerous advice on here. No one should feel like they have to “chase” or create “fun” for someone who isn’t putting in equivalent effort, love or fun. Whether the ADHD person is still interested or not, going 3 weeks with no communication, being on dating sites when polyamory was not previously agreed on, and then dropping a message like nothing happened is not an okay way to treat someone.
Original poster, it’s okay to want and need more from someone, and regardless of whether they are still interested or not, you need more than he’s able to give you. Don’t settle for less or twist yourself into knots to be “fun”. Life is not all fun and games – a lot of it is work, dedication, boring but necessary tasks, and living up to promises.
The idea that a woman needs to make herself fun and perpetually available to an inconsiderate partner makes me really upset. No one would ever tell a man to do that while a woman went off signing up for dating sites and not communicating for weeks at a time. It’s inconsiderate at best, and at worst, emotionally abusive.
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