View Full Version : Am I being supportive, or being a doormat?


honeybunny
06-07-17, 03:51 PM
Hi everyone!

I've just started dating someone with ADHD and while I'm absolutely crazy about him, some things have been happening and I'm looking for some insight on how to read/respond to them. This forum has already been so helpful and I thought that I'd reach out directly to everyone :) I apologize for the length!

I connected with this guy online about 6 months ago, we added each other on Facebook and chatted a little bit, then I heard nothing from him. I assumed he wasn't interested until we re-matched online months later. Being very confused, I asked him and he said that he'd been interested in me the entire time and assumed that I wasn't interested in him. Confusing, but flattering at the same time, haha.

We finally did meet up and have been on 5-6 dates in the last 2 months. In person, we have the most amazing chemistry and he goes on and on about how happy he is that he met me, how wonderful he thinks I am, etc. Nobody has ever been so enthusiastic about me and he treats me with so much care and respect. I'm crazy about him and have never been so happy. This feels like the real deal and it feels like home whenever I'm with him.

After our second date, I didn't hear back from him for about a week, and while I was upset, I assumed that he wasn't interested and started to move on. He then sent me a happy message, which felt completely out of the blue. I asked him about the drop in contact and he told me about his ADHD and that he has Executive Function Disorder and Working Memory Disorder. It explained everything and I told him that I would understand and do anything I could to make things easier on him. This guy is incredible and my top priority is making sure he doesn't feel blamed or judged.

Things were great afterwards and while I only saw him once a week (we both have very demanding jobs, so this frequency is manageable for me), I learned to focus less on hearing from him via Facebook and more on in-person interaction.

A couple weeks ago something very challenging happened to him at work and I've barely heard anything from him. I completely understand that he needs to focus on that, and I imagine that ADHD just makes it harder. He explained the problem at work in great detail, telling me very confidential information, which makes me feel like he trusts me and that we've established some intimacy. He also apologized for ignoring me, said that he didn't mean to disappear and that he'll come up for air soon. I told him not to worry and that I'll be here when he's ready. I even baked muffins and dropped them off at the front desk at his condo, to show my support but also give him the space that he needs.

It's going to be a month on Sunday since our last date. He still "likes" my posts on Facebook and has started "liking" the more personal ones (photos of my family vs my dog) and once every 5 days or so, sends me a photo of his dogs, but with no actual message attached. I want to cheer him on and be supportive, but it's getting harder without any updates about how things are going or knowing when/if I'll see him again. We're not officially boyfriend/girlfriend yet, which is playing on my insecurities a little bit.
If I message him on Facebook asking for an update, there's a big chance he won't even see the notification, or if he does read my message, no guarantee that I'll get a response. I don't have his phone number, otherwise I definitely would've just called him by this point. It feels like I have zero control over hearing from him or him hearing from me. I'm at the mercy of that one moment when he sees my message and replies right away.

For reference, we're in our mid/late twenties :)

My question is: Does this truly does sound like ADHD and am I doing the right thing by waiting it out and supporting him on the sidelines? Or am I being too hopeful or led on? If it's just the ADHD, then I can absolutely adjust any expectations I may have and wait it out. And by waiting it out, should I still be trying to message him, or keep quiet and just wait to hear back? I want to make things easiest for him and be his soft place to fall. He's amazing and is everything I've ever wanted. However, I do have a history of being too patient with men and being a doormat, which I'd like to avoid doing again.

Thank you all so much for reading this :)

Greyhound1
06-07-17, 08:39 PM
Welcome to the forum!

I think you coming here is very supportive. Cheers to you. He is lucky you care so much.

I would suggest getting his phone number the next time you communicate with him. He may be putting off contacting you because he is too stressed at work. Beginning a new relationship is very stressful particularly having ADHD even if it's going well. We are known for avoidance and procrastinating behavior. He may really like you and just be under too much pressure at work to pursue things. He may just need a nudge.

Obviously, you care about him or you wouldn't be here. I would really try and get his phone number. I wouldn't judge his actions or lack of them at this point. I would try and make phone contact and see how things go while trying not to put added pressure or stress on him. Some friendly supportive chat can really go a long way in breaking the ice with a new relationship. I hope things work out.

ToneTone
06-07-17, 09:20 PM
Uh ... I have ADHD and back in the day ... I disappeared like this all the time with various women ... I offered the same litany of excuses .... often in great detail just as he is doing ... Actually him mentioning ADHD so early on ... is not a good thing in my view.

Thank God, the women I was flaking on ... kicked my butt to the curb. Some held on longer than others but always it was a futile effort.

Sure ADHD was part of my problem ... The ADHD make it hard for me to know when I was or was not really attracted to someone ... and the condition, I think, led me to act on impulses that got me involved with people I really wasn't interested in ...

Red flag: Why is he telling you confidential information about his work this early on? His sharing isn't intimacy ... More the sign of either bad judgement or weak confidence. ... Note: if people spill confidential information on others immediately ... That's pretty much a giveaway that they will share confidential information from you and on you ... immediately ...

Those insecurities you mention ... well ... those aren't insecurities.... Those are loud, clanging alarms going off telling you that you are putting yourself at risk far too early .. .based on far too little information and far too little earned trust.

... I do have a history of being too patient with men and being a doormat, which I'd like to avoid doing again.

I have a similar history ... that's why I'm sharing what I'm sharing ....At the start of the relationship ... let the other person show interest and consistent interest and presence ... that's gate #1 ... if you don't get past gate #1, there is no gate #2.
The last woman I flaked on like this ... she found a willing and available and seriously interested partner within a few months of our breakup ... within two years she was married. And she's still married 19 years later. I have mutual friends who spend time with her ... and they say her marriage is good.

Good luck.

Tone

Little Missy
06-07-17, 09:23 PM
My mum always said, "Let the boys chase YOU." ;)

aeon
06-07-17, 09:47 PM
My mum always said, "Let the boys chase YOU." ;)

The lass, the mother, the sage, the crone.


Cheers,
Ian

Greyhound1
06-07-17, 10:29 PM
My mum always said, "Let the boys chase YOU." ;)

Absolutely, unless they are ADHD inattentive like me. :D

Chasing takes a lot of effort, confidence and willpower and that sure wasn't me. Just a little touch of self doubt, stress or anxiety and I could easily call off any chase and somehow justify it.

I am so glad my wonderful wife pursued me over 20 years ago or I would have surely missed out.

Little Missy
06-07-17, 10:56 PM
Absolutely, unless they are ADHD inattentive like me. :D

Chasing takes a lot of effort, confidence and willpower and that sure wasn't me. Just a little touch of self doubt, stress or anxiety and I could easily call off any chase and somehow justify it.

I am so glad my wonderful wife pursued me over 20 years ago or I would have surely missed out.

Oh for sure, It does go both ways!:)

honeybunny
06-07-17, 11:17 PM
Thank you all SO much. This has been incredibly helpful!

I actually somehow managed to get his phone number tonight, which feels like a huge accomplishment!

Something I didn't mention in my original message was that he told me that I need to be pushy with him, and that he's notoriously bad at responding to messages. It's the complete opposite to how I usually am - I've always waited for guys to chase me (haha) - but I'm trying to get the hang of it.

It's also been several years since he's been in a relationship. I didn't delve into asking why, but he did say that it's hard for him to make connections with people, yet he feels one with me. Good sign? :)

ToneTone
06-08-17, 02:43 AM
No, it's not a good sign. It's meaningless talk.

A good sign? ... A good sign would be that meets with you multiple times a week for four straight weeks.

Note:


not make an effort to meet with you ...

not say he wants to meet with you ...

not say he would meet with you but he's overwhelmed

not say he's looking forward to meeting you ...


No, a good sign that someone is interested is that they make time to fit you into their life. Period.

Analogy: I remember well the experiences I've had asking women out ... and them telling me ... "Oh, I'm busy the next week." ...

"What about the week after next?" I would ask.

"Well, I might be busy that week too. I got a lot coming up."

The first dozen times this happened ... I didn't get it ... Then I did.

When people want to go out with you, they will clear out the time. They make the time because they see hanging out with you as a pleasure.

Even at my procrastinating, disorganized worst, I can get to the convenience store to buy ice cream and sweets. Doesn't matter if I'm tired. Doesn't matter if I had a bad day. I can go pick up ice cream.

Early on in a relationship is usually the most passionate and intoxicating point of the relationship. If the person doesn't find time to see you at the start, then what do you think is gonna happen five years down the line?

Tone

sarahsweets
06-08-17, 04:15 AM
I tend to agree with Tone... If he likes you then talking to you, messaging and seeing you wouldnt be such a chore. I get it that adhd makes maintaining relationships difficult but he is hardly in one with you. Lack of verbal contact and not seeing someone means its harder to get close. Even if he has something going on with work, if he likes you enough, he would want to lean on you and share with you how things are going. I get it that he said you need to be pushy but this is kinda ridiculous.

TLCisaQT
07-27-17, 12:57 AM
Yeah I can see what Tone is saying. Usually us non-ADHD era complain about the heaps of attention in the beginning and the sharp drop later not the opposite ... if this was to be your connection in your "relationship" ongoing would that work for you? If not I'd find a guy who has what you want and spends time with you.