Dating Advice for Singles with ADHD

"The labyrinth may be a conversation that began with your feeling bored (a sure harbinger of the itch!). Instead of gulping down your drink...you speak to the person attentively. You allow the creative process to lead you into the unknown territory called spontaneous conversation."
-Dr. Edward M. Hallowell M.D. Delivered from Distraction (pg.65).

I've always admired Kermit & his lady love Miss Piggy.
Happy Valentine’s Day, fellow readers! In honor, I thought it time to share some thoughts on dating with ADHD.

To borrow a line from Lady O, “the one thing I know for sure” is that those of us with ADHD should seek partners who are open-minded. If you read along with us or are an ADHD’r yourself, you’re well acquainted with the variety of traits that accompany ADHD. We’re novelty seekers, intolerant of boredom, inclined toward perfectionism. We have a hell of a lot of energy.

ADHD’rs thrive with matches who are both patient and receptive to unconventional ideas. Anyone too uptight or rigid makes us feel like little kids at dinner with an old-fashioned schoolteacher. On such dates, we fear that our ideas and actions will be deemed clownish or inappropriate, and we’ll soon be sent to the hallway to mull over how to properly behave ourselves.

In general, the idea of sitting down with a stranger for two hours can seem confining. As ADHD’rs, we enjoy being active. If you happen to be courting one from our tribe, consider options that involve original or physical experiences. Such dates will free you both from any routine you might have fallen into, and demonstrate what a day (or evening) with an ADHD’r would be like.

ADHD’rs also expect everything to come quickly. From the date’s start, nerves should fall away. Conversation should flow. Witty banter should signal good chemistry. Check, check, check—okay great! Good date.

Of course, you know that isn’t how most dates play out. Dating is a subtle art, a series of miscommunications as you learn to understand another person (or persons). You may be surprised by dates, who, perhaps too nervous at first, gradually open up to share their true selves. Given time, their curiosities may reveal themselves to be more similar to yours and less like the rigid schoolteacher’s you met hours earlier.

It may sound obvious, but something to be aware of is how you feel with another person. ADHD’rs experience life through their bodies. On certain evenings, you’ll find yourself sitting too rigidly, chewing too quietly. On others, you’ll forget that you're on a date because you’re that much at ease with the other person.

Following your evenings out (including tonight if you happen to be celebrating St. Valentine), reflect on how you felt. Were you leaning forward or back? Did you find yourself shifting your point of view to accommodate the other person’s? Or did you speak candidly? Clues to a good match are within you. You just need to pay attention to them.

I’ve come to appreciate the dating scene for the variety of people you meet. After all, there’s only a slim margin of individuals who you’ll want to pursue and who, in turn, will pursue you. In the meantime, you might as well enjoy these characters’ company and learn a bit about yourself along the way.

What have you experiences been with dating with ADHD?

To learn a bit more about Valentine’s Day & it’s origin, check out History.com: Valentine’s Day

Today's Google Doodle is a great example of how to date with ADHD. Join an activity!