Give this ADHD Relationship Test to your non-ADHD partner.
ADHD rapid-fire thinkers make up an estimated 5 percent of the U.S. population. Odds are your significant other does not have this brain type. The question is, will ADHD become a dividing factor in your relationship over time? We’ve created this ADHD Relationship Test to help you and your partner understand the impact of ADHD. Keep track of the answers, and check out the results at the end.
1) Have you researched ADHD?
- No, ADHD behavior is pretty obvious.
- No, ADHD is my partner’s business, not mine.
- I’ve Googled it before.
- I’ve talked to the professionals in my partner’s support team about his/her situation and needs.
- I’ve asked my doctor about it, and/or my partner and I talk about it sometimes.
2) You’ve planned a big occasion, and your significant other doesn’t show up. How do you feel?
- I’m furious!
- I’m so worried!
- What the heck?
- I knew this would happen. I should have checked in more throughout the day.
- Eh, no big deal. It happens.
3) You asked a favor of your partner in a rush as you left for work. What do you think will happen next?
- He/she will do what I asked, of course.
- It would be inconsiderate if he/she did not do what I asked. But I don’t want to nag.
- The favors will get done, right? What else would happen?
- I just go ahead and do them myself anyway. It’s the only way to know they’ll get done right.
- I follow up with an email, because I’m not sure if I had his/her full attention.
4) Your partner seems silent and moody lately. What’s up?
- I’m not sure, be he/she needs an attitude adjustment.
- I’m pretty sure he/she is mad at me. I keep dropping hints, but it’s only getting worse.
- Genuinely don’t know. I wonder if we’re breaking up?
- I keep trying to force the conversation, but he/she just clams up. We need to connect!
- I’ve assumed that he/she is feeling overwhelmed and needs some space to think. But soon when we have some time to ourselves I’m going to ask.
5) How do you feel about surprises and spontaneity?
- Not my thing.
- I like to mix things up, as long as it doesn’t ruin preexisting plans.
- It can be fun sometimes!
- It’s more likely to be fun if some thoughtful planning has gone into it.
- I’m game for anything!
6) What’s your fighting style?
- I make sure that my opinions get heard.
- Ugh, I don’t like confrontation.
- I try to keep a cool head and hear the other person out.
- Somehow, it always turns into me feeling like I’m scolding the other person instead of a back-and-forth dialogue.
- I try to handle awkwardness or rudeness as it happens, so things don’t get bottled up and turn into a big fight.
7) Your friends would describe you as:
- Totally dependable, a real sweetheart.
- Fun, maybe a little stubborn.
- Just like a scout – always prepared.
8) How would you categorize your tolerance for clutter:
- Nonexistent. I have a place for everything, and everything belongs in its place.
- Clutter makes me uncomfortable, but I probably won’t bring it up.
- I like things a certain way, but I know everyone’s habits are different.
- I usually end up cleaning up other people’s messes.
- Live and let live.
9) What is your support style?
- I am 100% there for my partner, with research, plans, helpful tips, and constant monitoring.
- I will do whatever my partner needs me to, but just please give me specific instructions.
- I’m a good listener.
- I’m basically the designated shoulder to cry on for all of my friends and family.
- Let’s go do something fun to take our minds off of things!
10) ADHD in a nutshell?
- ADHD is a collection of difficult personality traits that can be managed over time.
- ADHD is when someone has high energy and trouble focusing.
- ADHD is a psychological condition with a definition and scope that seem to change all the time, but people definitely have strong opinions about it.
- ADHD is a condition with faster thinking power and behavioral traits that can clash with society’s expectations.
- ADHD is a high-powered brain type that produces amazing creativity.
Review your results.
This might not be the perfect match. Sure, everyone with ADHD is different, but general qualities across the board are impulsiveness and trouble remembering details. For a non-ADHDer with perfectionist tendencies, that unpredictability could be exhilarating at first. Then turn infuriating as time goes on. If you want to stick with it, challenge yourself to find beauty in chaos.
You might be too vulnerable for this relationship. Your romantic partner should bring out the best in you. If you’re easily discouraged or have trouble calling someone out on inconsiderate behavior, you might get overwhelmed in an ADHD relationship. You don’t have to be aggressively out of character, but ADHD relationships need very clear communication. Both partners need to pluck up the courage to ask questions and give directions.
This relationship could have staying power if you hold on to that initial attraction. Strengthen your foundation by accepting ADHD will play a big role in your life. Learn more about it, both in general and in terms of your partner’s habits, behaviors and treatments. Build good communication from the start to avoid confusion and hurt feelings down the road.
You two have the potential to be great together. You balance each other out! Just be careful of falling into the “grown up vs. permanent adolescent” dynamic. Your ADHD partner has had people nag him/her to focus, do the chores, sit still, etc, all life long. If you get bossy, he/she couldl snap right into that old parental/teacher/authority figure relationship, which is full of resentment. Never forget that you’re equals, together, not a caretaker and a patient.
This is a good fit. You’re kind of a free spirit yourself, so you’ll know not to take the ADHD unpredictability too personally. Play to each other’s strengths. Stay open about your expectations and feelings, and this will be a fun relationship. But keep in mind, sooner or later someone is going to have to deal with bills, a mortgage, childcare, and other responsibilities. Just make sure you both stay on the same page and you’ll be fine.
Want to learn more about how to navigate an ADHD relationship?
Register for our ADHD Couples Program. In 12 weekly sessions, you’ll learn how to communicate better and heal your relationship. Learn more today.