by Lisa Clodfelter

Maintaining fulfilling relationships is crucial to happiness and well-being. For folks with ADHD, relationship dynamics can sometimes become problematic. Romantic partners and family   members might interpret an individual’s distracted behaviors as not listening closely to them.  Time management issues can get confused as disrespect when someone is frequently late or forgets social plans altogether. Impulsiveness and low frustration tolerance can lead to risky financial decisions, questionable parenting moments and other behaviors that cause tension in relationships.

Due to the importance of the quality of relationships, it is critical those with ADHD have a strong understanding of the effects of ADHD on those close to them. It is crucial for loved ones to be cognizant of the challenges of ADHD as well, and to understand that in most cases, their ADHD loved one is aware of and struggling to overcome their frustrating behaviors.

Dating and ADHD

Symptoms like distractibility and hyperactivity can create some challenges in dating where ADHD is involved. Things like broken promises, missed dates, unequal distribution of chores, and impulsive or risky decisions can come into play directly because of ADHD symptoms. Despite these challenges, people who date a person with ADHD often report spontaneity, creativity, and fun in their partners which of course keeps ADHD from being a sentence of doom for relationships. In fact, there are often as many benefits to ADHD as there are challenges. Relationships in which ADHD affects one or both partners can be successful and fulfilling – especially if both partners are committed to educating themselves about ADHD, are willing to openly discuss challenges, and can work together to find solutions.

Benefits of an ADHD Partner

Most of the information out there about ADHD and relationships relates to overcoming the potential problems and challenges caused by the disorder. However, it’s important to know that plenty of relationships are successful and even flourishing where ADHD is a factor. A survey of 400 participants who had an ADHD spouse or life partner reported their partner as being energetic, spontaneous, creative, and kind. A great sense of humor, a hands-on parenting approach, and a higher sex drive and being more “sexually eager” has been reported in other research about ADHD partners as well.

Many people with ADHD form close relationships with others. Explaining symptoms to loved ones, developing coping mechanisms, and seeking therapy to improve social skills can all help those with ADHD make up for any deficits and cultivate deep, meaningful connections.

Give us a call if you think your relationship may be impacted by ADHD. We can help!