ADHD and Dating: When Impulsivity Affects Relationships

Not all individuals with ADHD are impulsive. But, when impulsivity is a symptom of your ADHD, it can impact relationships in many ways.

Here are some examples, to name a few:

relationships and ADHD* You do or say things without thinking. This might come across as hurtful or insensitive, or even just annoying.

* You make decisions based on your needs and wants in the moment, without thinking about your partner's.

* You jump in and out of relationships quickly. With ADHD, new relationships are exciting and fun (perfect for our Dopamine-starved brains!). But, when the rush is over, things seem boring and mundane by comparison. Because of this, you may feel you want to move on to a new relationship to get that feeling of excitement back.

* You're impulsive with sex, and/or are driven by seeking stimulation.

* You have a tendency to lie on impulse. For more information about that, check out: ADHD and Lying Behaviours

If you identify with any of these, know that impulsivity doesn't have to run your life. In many ways, impulsivity doesn't even have to be a bad thing. Being impulsive can make you a spontaneous and fun partner - the life of the party!

So how do you keep the good parts of being impulsive, but weed out the not-so-good? The first step is to build awareness of the impact of impulsivity on your relationship. What are your biggest challenges with impulsivity? Are there times when you're more vulnerable, such as at the end of a long work day? How does it impact your partner?

In a relationship affected by ADHD, it's important to name a symptom for what it is. If you say things on impulse that you regret immediately, communicate this. Help you and your partner understand the intention behind the less-than-ideal action. No, it's not an excuse, but it's an opportunity to get on the same page and make some changes!


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