View Full Version : Dating Advice Needed


Melissa74
09-22-15, 02:52 PM
I recently met a guy who was diagnosed at 39 with ADHD which is currently untreated. (He is now 47) We talked for 4 weeks, first by email then by text and phone calls, before finally meeting in person. We've now been seeing each other for a month and usually get together at least a couple of times a week. He is a great guy, we really seem to click, and everything was going good until about a week ago. When we're together he is always attentive but when we're apart he has completely stopped initiating text messages and when I text he typically responds hours later. We used to talk for hours on the phone and now I'm lucky if he'll talk more than 15 minutes. I work in pediatric healthcare so I am familiar with ADHD, how it affects people, and have tried to not take it personally but his change of behavior seems so sudden. Is that normal in adults? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

dvdnvwls
09-22-15, 03:21 PM
I would (as a guy with ADHD myself) say that this is normal. Is it something you can live with on a permanent basis?

sarahsweets
09-22-15, 03:31 PM
Sometimes the adhd make people float in and out with interest.

Melissa74
09-22-15, 03:47 PM
I understand that I need to separate the behavior from the person and I would never want to make him feel bad but we agreed early on that communication is very important and would always be open and transparent with each other. I don't know if I should discuss it or keep it to myself.

VeryTired
09-22-15, 10:18 PM
Hi, Melissa--

I'd say if you are concerned about something, you should discuss it. Why would you keep it to yourself?

I think changing expressions of interest can be quite typical of someone with ADHD. If you read backward through the Non-ADD Partner Support board's older threads, you'll find this issue coming up again and again. Some of the previous discussions which have occurred here have been about how many people with ADHD see this as normal, and many non-ADHD partners of people with ADHD find this kind of change in interest or communication distressing.

My own experience was that my partner went from initially paying more and more intense attention to me than anyone I've ever met, to his often finding it very hard to listen to me, respond to what I say, or to include me in his thoughts and concerns. The change was sudden, surprising, and very painful to me. It never occurred to me that such an extreme change could happen, and I probably wouldn't have chosen this relationship if I had known at the outset that this could happen.

Everyone is different, though. Maybe this is something you can accept, or maybe your boyfriend can become more responsive to you if you tell him that's what you need. You won't find out about that if you don't ask.

Wishing you all the best--

aeon
09-22-15, 10:47 PM
If you have a need that is going unmet, advocate for it.

Share with him (in person) your need, and ask if he would be willing to help you meet it.

Own what is yours, be willing to receive, and don’t judge, and you’ll go far in not giving him reason to feel hurt.

But yes, absolutely discuss it, if only to find out the reason why for his change in engagement.

This is going to sound so cliche, but I don’t think you have a problem, but an opportunity...for greater mutual understanding and intimacy.


Well-wishes,
Ian

dvdnvwls
09-22-15, 10:56 PM
I understand that I need to separate the behavior from the person and I would never want to make him feel bad but we agreed early on that communication is very important and would always be open and transparent with each other. I don't know if I should discuss it or keep it to myself.

I'm not quite sure which way you're intending this.

If you mean should you be open about this, I think it's important that you do. What would make him really feel bad would be the existence of dissatisfaction or bad feelings and him having to guess the reason.

If some of your comments went the other direction: "Communication is very important" doesn't translate to a frequency or a duration. "Open and transparent" doesn't mean making oneself available to talk. Since what you were expecting is not what's happening, you may need to talk about this again, while being very careful to make these items explicit.

Since one of you has ADHD and the other doesn't, it means anywhere there are implicit expectations, there is guaranteed misunderstanding. If either of you wants things to be a specific way, you'll need to say so... because "Everyone just knows..." is simply not true.

BellaVita
09-22-15, 11:31 PM
I recently met a guy who was diagnosed at 39 with ADHD which is currently untreated. (He is now 47) We talked for 4 weeks, first by email then by text and phone calls, before finally meeting in person. We've now been seeing each other for a month and usually get together at least a couple of times a week. He is a great guy, we really seem to click, and everything was going good until about a week ago. When we're together he is always attentive but when we're apart he has completely stopped initiating text messages and when I text he typically responds hours later. We used to talk for hours on the phone and now I'm lucky if he'll talk more than 15 minutes. I work in pediatric healthcare so I am familiar with ADHD, how it affects people, and have tried to not take it personally but his change of behavior seems so sudden. Is that normal in adults? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Ah....the joy of finding someone and communicating through online and phone. And then meeting...:)

My fiancÚ and I both have ADHD....our texts usually go like this:
One person texts the other, waits 5 seconds for reply and if no reply, goes off and does something else.

Sometimes hours go in between replying a text, okay not sometimes this basically happens every day. :)

We are both basically hit-and-miss all day, and then in the evening both of us start texting each other at random times - until we eventually get lucky and start responding to each other in real-time. :D

And then we talk on the phone, not at a set time, but we do have a "limit", or a bed time, at which we end our nightly conversation.

I just thought this was normal. :giggle:

Anyway - I wouldn't take it personally, but I definitely would ask him about it.

You might just have to be okay with hit-and-miss texts.

As for the daily conversations being shorter - that happens. Maybe he's just overloaded, and going through a stressful time. (Work, family issues, etc.) Or maybe he's just distracted with something.

Sometimes all me and my fiancÚ do is say a sweet good night to each other over phone.

Sometimes we talk for hours.

It really just depends on what's going on in his life, his emotional state, and what feels "normal" to him might not be "normal" to you.

BTW - less communication doesn't have to mean that there are less feelings of interest, I mean, ADHD-ers are naturally inconsistent with our actions. Doesn't mean he isn't feeling a connection with you, even though his actions might be confusing.

dvdnvwls
09-23-15, 12:16 AM
ADHD diagnosis would be more accurate, in my opinion, if teachers, parents, and spouses were asked "Does [name] tend to say yes to things but then not do those things?"

Irony - or just comedy - I'm very hung up on fairness and telling the truth, but much too frequently don't do things that I said I would.

dvdnvwls
09-23-15, 12:42 AM
This may sound crazy to someone without ADHD, but I'm going to say it just in case it helps with anything.

This is not universal for ADHD, but it's true for me.

I literally do not know my own schedule. (I don't have a 9-to-5 job - my work is more on some days and less on other days, at different times, which makes this less surprising - but still.) I know I have to go to work, I know I have this and that at some time or another, but the way that I observe people without ADHD knowing their schedules - so that, for example, during a conversation they can casually decide to meet someone after work - I don't have that.

Considering that I don't even know my own schedule, it's perhaps less surprising if I don't keep yours straight either. :)

sarahsweets
09-23-15, 06:34 AM
Something else I thought of...do not overthink the situation. Sometimes the simpler explanation is the right one.

ToneTone
09-25-15, 11:20 AM
You HAVE to bring this up ... But here's my suggestion: forget about ADHD. Bring up that you don't like your texts not being responded to, etc ...

It's up to him to bring up ADHD ... You do NOT want to assume this is ADHD. It could be that this is simply his style when dealing with women. I used to act like this with women (appear, then suddenly disappear) and this is well before I got diagnosed ... I used to think it was a "commitment issue." Turns out, I later learned after dating some people I really liked, that it was a "I'm not that into you" issue. I would disappear and be flaky when I had mixed feelings or wasn't really that into the person.

Later on, when I met people I really liked, I did not have this issue.

Basically, don't give this guy a "pass" this early. If you excuse this behavior you don't like this early in the relationship, you are sending the worst signal to him. He will never be responsive to your needs if you give him a pass now.

So basically ignore ADHD, tune into what YOU want, ask for what want and go from there ...

Good luck.

Tone

BellaVita
09-25-15, 11:32 AM
I think ignoring the ADHD is not the best idea, because many ADHD'ers actually do exhibit this type of behavior as a part of their disorder.

I say, deal with him as a person, but also as a person with ADHD.

acdc01
09-25-15, 11:48 AM
I agree with Tonetone. Tell the guy what's bothering you but don't immediately attribute it to ADHD.

He may get defensive if you blame it on the ADHD automatically - as we are afraid of prejudice against our ADHD.

Let him tell you why he's been acting the way he has instead. If you're not satisfied with the answer then ask him if he thinks it's his ADHD. As a warning, if he doesn't play on forums, he may not know this is a common problem with ADHDers and might not know it is the reason he's been acting the way he has.