Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Romance and ADD / ADHD

I had thought of titling this Sex and ADD/ADHD but there are varying definitions for "sex," and this really encompasses more of the relationship than "just" that.

I may not have time to elaborate very much right now, but at least do note -- A person with ADD / ADHD who is in a romantic relationship, is STILL a person with ADD / ADHD.   This is true whether the two people are in the process of physical intimacy, making arrangements for a date, packing and going on a trip, almost anything.   But, what does this mean exactly?

Exactly will still vary from person to person, on how s/he is handling his/her disability, and on the other person in the relationship and how s/he is with accepting it.     No person is exactly like another, and each relationship is unique.  I'm not claiming anything otherwise.

Look at some of the traits of someone with ADD / ADHD.   Her mind is in constant motion, with great ability to multitask, and be very creative potentially, and the inability to focus very specifically unless really hyperfocused.    To put it bluntly, if you ain't all that interesting, you ain't all that interesting and you won't capture her full attention.   The difficult part is that you may not capture her full attention, ANYWAY.   Your goal is to get her hyperfocused on you and what the two of you are doing (conversation, board game, fooling around, whatever).    Even if she is VERY interested in her partner, and what he's doing and/or talking about, her mind is thinking of many things at one time, and is naturally going off in various tangents.   If the television is on, bam, don't keep it in her view b/c she cannot help but be distracted by it visually, or better yet, turn it off so she's not being distracted by it auditorially, either, unless it's a slow movie she's seen and finds boring.   The radio can also be distracting, as there tends to be commercial breaks and talking, i.e., distracting, varying stimuli.    Putting on a cd is a better choice -- can help set the mood and stays within a similar niche, doesn't jump to a new voice and new style of song and then someone talking for a commercial break.   Of course, something you both enjoy listening to is best!  (Okay, you want specific ideas -- try either classical, or something else with limited vocals, or only vocals in another language than one s/he knows.  This is good for studying by, also, seriously.   Having some background noise such as non-vocal music, is very helpful for a person with ADD / ADHD if trying to do homework, I'm sure an internet search will support me on this one.  So, hey, it canhelp set the mood for "other" things, too.)    Okay, not having pets and chores around help, too, as they can be just too compelling, and will/do distract.   A person with ADD / ADHD cannot help but be distracted.   (If you're going to be boring or super quick, nix the clock, too, btw.)

Even if a person is thinking only of her date and things related to the two of them, even if there are some other things going on with the two of them right then (say, fooling around some), she might still verbalize these other things on her mind, also, as her mind is focusing on ALL of it, not 100% on any one aspect of him/them.   Of course, if the other person is trying to focus on the, say, rubbing someone's feet for example, it might be distracting for him to hear her talking.   She may be fully focused on her mate and yet still many aspects can be related to her mate and what they are doing.   He might even get frustrated by this, or feel as if she isn't really into it, which of course may be true, but really might NOT be true, too.   He may not really comprehend / understand.

(Okay, I need to get M to give me a lesson on when to use "might" and when to use "may," as she is constantly correcting people on that but I can't figure out which one is correct HERE above.)

Remember, those of us with ADD / ADHD can also hyperfocus.   We're either thinking all over the map, or very into what we're doing / thinking about.   Hyperfocus is when we get so totally focused on something that we're doing / involved in, we tune everything else out, and it's as if nothing else is going on or matters.   This is when a parent must actually walk up to her ADD / ADHD child, look the child directly in her eyes, gently, with a light touch, moving her face if need be tho don't startle the person!, and interrupt, and get a response, or said parent will truly NOT be listened to, and not b/c the child is dissing the parent, but the child truly will have no idea she's been spoken to at all.   When (consenting) adults are being physically intimate, this is the goal for the person with ADD / ADHD, i.e., to get hyperfocused and totally into the moments with his / her partner.    Let this person have the variety s/he is comfortable with, in addition to all of those normal "advice" things.   I'm not even talking wild here (that's between the people involved to figure out how "wild,") but variety can be really simple stuff, too, say, running fingernails lightly up and down an arm and ones back, instead of always starting off with a back massage, a morning shower instead of always whatever routine "timing."   Other details, hey, y'all can figure them out, or be creative together, and hopefully, y'all are both really into each other, anyway:)   To me, physically intimacy really should include that emotional aspect, IMHO, sexual relations can be just too powerful not to.  

And, hey, if we're on the phone talking, don't get upset if I'm washing the dishes or sweeping the floor or doing laundry.   I need to keep myself busy, and why NOT do those things?   They're boring.   Hence, I'm trying to think on the phone while keeping myself occupied.   I know that my boss uses his cell phone when driving:)   I would more often myself but it's not always so safe, and, well, only so often I talk on it.   It's as if driving time is down "dead" time.   He also reads his e-mails while "driving" tho he only responds while at stop lights, like I only put on makeup at stoplights.   Hey, when else is there time to paint ones nails and take time to let them dry? lol.    Anyway, just because a person with ADD / ADHD is doing more than one thing at a time, it does NOT mean that s/he is NOT interested in the other person, just that his/her mind is just doing it's natural multitasking.   It is okay:)

Unless she starts talking about retiling the ceiling, then maybe you need to ask her if she's very focused, and if not, why not.......  

BTW, my former serious boyfriend, SO, was the first to make me feel as if there are positive aspects to this "dis"ability.   He would get so amazed and impressed because my mind could go readily from one topic to another, he liked it.   It is certainly helpful to have ones partner be able to accept this.   Sometimes it's too difficult, even if the partner WANTS to, it just might disrupt him/her too much in his/her own internal requirements for "sense" and "order."    A guy in my office has the greatest inability to multitask I've seen, and is very m-e-t-h-o-d-i-c-a-l and I've had to just accept that and work with him in his 1,2,3, step process he apparently requires internally, finsih one task completely before even beginning to think of another task.   He holds no interest for me, anyway, but, that would drive me nuts in a partner, especially in moments where we shared of ourselves with each other, and likely my way of processing information and actions would drive him nuts.

Please also do NOT think that anything specific in here relates to BJ and I.   Those details are private:)   I just started thinking in general, cuz thoughts do take tangents, and hoped some of this just might be helpful to someone else out there.  

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1 comment:

  1. Hey you can write a "how to" book or at leats have a pamphlet that conatins a not to do list. ;)  ~ Mike