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Dating can be daunting for anyone, but dating with ADHD can be even more difficult. Gulp.

Don’t despair! There are plenty of things you can do to increase your chances of finding love and building a lasting partnership. Here are some tips for navigating the dating scene with ADHD.

Obstacles of Dating with ADHD & Tips to Help

Distractibility & Limited Attention Span

You’re probably well-aware that you find it hard to stay focused on tasks at times, but ADHD symptoms may be sabotaging your relationships

For example, you may find it difficult to stay engaged in a conversation. This can be frustrating for a romantic partner if they are trying to communicate. 

Or, maybe you find it hard to show up on time or remember important dates. For example, you might be hyper focused on a hobby and fail to leave enough time before your date. Oops.

In any case, there are tools you can use to show your partner consideration.

Some strategies to try:

  1. Manage your symptoms: Use tools like medication, therapy, meditation, and mindfulness to keep your mind calm and focused.
  2. Practice self-awareness: Recognize when you’re struggling to focus and politely excuse yourself to gather your thoughts before resuming the conversation.
  3. Utilize time-management tools: Set timers to help you manage your time effectively and avoid tardiness. Find a planner or calendar that works for you and add in important dates right away. 

Impulsivity & Getting Bored Quickly 

Because people with ADHD may have different dopamine levels than neurotypical peers, you may find you are chasing stimulation.

You may tend to jump ship once the “honeymoon” period in a relationship is over. You may even consider yourself a serial dater. 

Here’s what that looks like: You start a passionate relationship. You lose interest. You jump into a new relationship and repeat the short-lived cycle. 

If any of this sounds familiar, here are some strategies to try:

  1. Set realistic expectations: Understand that the excitement of the “honeymoon” phase doesn’t last forever. Focus on building a deeper connection with your partner.
  2. Identify your ideal partner: Define the qualities you seek in a long-term partner and focus on finding someone who matches those traits.
  3. Pace yourself with dating apps: Avoid the temptation to constantly seek new stimulation by talking to multiple potential partners simultaneously. Focus on one person at a time.

Emotional Regulation

If you have ADHD, you may find it harder to regulate your emotions. This can be magnified when you’re dating with ADHD.

For example, you might come on very strongly, very quickly in a new relationship. This might present as oversharing, texting excessively, or even buying elaborate gifts early on. These things can turn a potential partner off. 

Later in a relationship, you may have an unexpected outburst of anger or deep feelings of overwhelm. 

Here are a few things that can help:

  1. Communicate openly: Share your ADHD diagnosis with your partner to help them understand your behavior and reactions. If you need help, you can share this post with your partner.
  2. Think before you react: Don’t send impulsive texts or make rash decisions if you’re feeling overwhelmed or frustrated. Take a moment to calm down before responding.
  3. Recognize your triggers: Identify situations or stimuli that trigger emotional outbursts or overwhelm. Develop strategies to manage these triggers effectively.
  4. Enhance empathy: ADHD can sometimes affect your ability to understand others’ emotions. Practice active listening and put yourself in their shoes.

Missing Red Flags 

If you have ADHD, you might agree to things you really don’t want. Worse yet, you can miss some red flags of a partner who will eventually mistreat you.

In fact, according to Very Well Mind, those with ADHD are more susceptible to abuse in a relationship. 

Abuse is serious and NEVER okay.

To avoid toxic relationships, try to:

  1. Educate yourself: Learn about the signs of love bombing or controlling behavior to avoid potentially toxic relationships.
  2. Seek support: Talk to trusted friends or family members for advice on healthy relationships. Consider seeking professional counseling for guidance.
  3. Establish boundaries: Set clear limits for yourself and stick to them. Don’t compromise your well-being or let others mistreat you. If something feels unsafe, it probably is.

Self-doubt & Low Self-Esteem 

Daily life, work, and education can be harder for you to manage as someone with ADHD. So, it’s no surprise that many of us with ADHD feel less-than on the dating scene.

You might find that you are insecure because of your ADHD symptoms or have a fear of disclosing your diagnosis. Or, maybe finding a partner to begin with seems too hard. 

While these challenges can be significant, there are things you can do to overcome them. 

Here are a few simple strategies to build confidence for dating with ADHD: 

  1. Be patient: It takes time to find the right person. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have immediate success.
  2. Embrace your strengths: You are uniquely you and bring something special to a relationship. Focus on your strengths and highlight them in your dating interactions.
  3. Get help when you need it: A professional dating coach can help you navigate the intricacies of dating with ADHD. 

Need more help for dating with ADHD?

At CHMHST we believe with the right strategies and a bit of self-compassion, you can find love and build fulfilling relationships. 

David, ADHD Dating Coach and licensed clinical professional counselor helps people just like you: 

  • build confidence and self-acceptance
  • find dating partners
  • build the courage to disclose your ADHD diagnosis
  • maintain healthy, happy relationships 

Additionally, as an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, David helps clients overcome sexual dysfunction issues as they relate to ADHD.

If you’re navigating the challenges of dating with ADHD and need support, please request an appointment today.

David Fishman

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