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Old 09-09-20, 04:21 PM
MayaKry MayaKry is offline
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Lightbulb New relationship - mixed signals in communication

Hi everyone

I am new to this forum and new to a relationship with a guy, who happens to have ADHD. I am still learning about it and also how much of his behaviour and communication skills (or rather lack thereof) stems from ADHD traits and how much is just the way he is.

We started dating 6 months ago and were both very clear from the beginning that we were looking for a serious relationship and that we wanted to give it a serious shot. We're both in our 30's. We live 3.5 hours apart by train, so it is mostly during the weekend that we can meet and it's always trickier with long distance. It makes the communication extra important.

We've texted every day since we met, sometimes several times a day, but more and more lately over the past couple of weeks, he takes 1-2 days to reply.

Whenever I've asked about it he says it's either because he was with friends (fair enough), busy with work (ok), that he finds it rude to check his phone while with friends (alright) or that he's not busy, just chilling at home (then why can't you reply?).

The lack of response is starting to get to me, because he never offers an explanation for it and I've told him a couple of times that I would greatly appreciate a "hey, I'm busy/gonna be busy for the next couple of days, so I won't reply as fast", but I've never received a message like that so far.

It's really difficult to not interpret this as a sign of lack of interest. When I've brought up the fact that I don't think he wants to see me, and me getting mixed signals, he gets a bit offended that I would "jump to that conclusion", because he says he's very direct and honest about how he feels about me and how could I doubt that?

Even though he says he likes me a great deal, like he talks about starting a family someday and remembers little details about me that even I forgot, I struggle to understand why a 2 min text is so difficult, and why he never initiates meeting up with me. I am always the one making plans and asking when to meet. If I don't, I fear that we won't meet at all, because he simply doesn't think about me.

Even when he had a long period of leave, he didn't think of meeting up with me, only his friends and going to the gym. I literally had to squeeze myself into his plans and invite myself over.

I feel like I am not in his top 5 priorities in his mind from a distance, but when we're physically together everything is great; we laugh, cook, watch movies, go on dates, chill, and we give each other space, since I'm also an introvert. We have great chemistry, chat about everything and it feels like we've known each other forever.

Bonus information: he's in the military and works out a lot as part of his job, which helps him manage his ADHD. He doesn't take any medicine as far as I'm aware.

He's been hurt several times before from past relationships, and insecure about why I am in love with him, and so I am also hesitant to "not replying for a couple of days" or "not initiating meeting" just to see what happens, because he is wary of women playing games or playing him.

I want to accept all sides of him - good and bad - so I'm trying to change my expectations to the response frequency. But my doubts are slowly growing bigger and bigger, and I just wish I could understand what is going on and whether this will be a re-occurring theme that we have to work on.

I guess what I'm looking for is for someone to shed some light on whether this is part of the ADHD traits or a genuine lack of interest and advice on how to handle it either way.
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Old 09-09-20, 06:44 PM
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Re: New relationship - mixed signals in communication

Quote:
Originally Posted by MayaKry View Post

I want to accept all sides of him - good and bad - so I'm trying to change my expectations to the response frequency. But my doubts are slowly growing bigger and bigger, and I just wish I could understand what is going on and whether this will be a re-occurring theme that we have to work on.

I guess what I'm looking for is for someone to shed some light on whether this is part of the ADHD traits or a genuine lack of interest and advice on how to handle it either way.
Hey, welcome to the forum! I commend you for joining the forum and trying to understand your partner and how ADHD affects him!

His slow text responses could certainly be an ADHD trait for him. You mentioned he’s very direct and honest which makes me think it probably is. I think you mentioned all the answers in your OP.

I think the keys are:

1. Direct and honest communication
2. Changing or adjusting your expectations of him
3. Most likely, it will be a re-occurring theme that will need to be worked on

Whether it’s an ADHD trait or not it really shouldn’t matter. It’s obviously a trait you find bothersome regardless of its origin. I think the keys are still the same with direct and honest communication being the most important. Having an open and honest conversation, sharing how it makes you feel should help and be a good start in working on a likely re-occurring theme.

Best of luck working things out.
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Old 09-10-20, 01:27 PM
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Re: New relationship - mixed signals in communication

Gina Pera offers some very good advice for working on a relationship with
someone who has adhd.
https://www.google.com/search?q=gina...hrome&ie=UTF-8
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Old 09-11-20, 05:32 AM
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Re: New relationship - mixed signals in communication

Quote:
Originally Posted by MayaKry View Post
Hi everyone

I am new to this forum and new to a relationship with a guy, who happens to have ADHD. I am still learning about it and also how much of his behaviour and communication skills (or rather lack thereof) stems from ADHD traits and how much is just the way he is.

We started dating 6 months ago and were both very clear from the beginning that we were looking for a serious relationship and that we wanted to give it a serious shot. We're both in our 30's. We live 3.5 hours apart by train, so it is mostly during the weekend that we can meet and it's always trickier with long distance. It makes the communication extra important.
It sounds like the guidelines were clearly established.

Quote:
We've texted every day since we met, sometimes several times a day, but more and more lately over the past couple of weeks, he takes 1-2 days to reply.
So it sounds like he agreed to those guidelines at first. He shouldnt have if it was too much.
Quote:
Whenever I've asked about it he says it's either because he was with friends (fair enough), busy with work (ok), that he finds it rude to check his phone while with friends (alright) or that he's not busy, just chilling at home (then why can't you reply?).
it sounds like he made you a priority in the beginning and now does not.
Quote:
The lack of response is starting to get to me, because he never offers an explanation for it and I've told him a couple of times that I would greatly appreciate a "hey, I'm busy/gonna be busy for the next couple of days, so I won't reply as fast", but I've never received a message like that so far.
It is great that you told him this. You cant have expectations without making them known. When you said this what did he say?

Quote:
It's really difficult to not interpret this as a sign of lack of interest. When I've brought up the fact that I don't think he wants to see me, and me getting mixed signals, he gets a bit offended that I would "jump to that conclusion", because he says he's very direct and honest about how he feels about me and how could I doubt that?

Even though he says he likes me a great deal, like he talks about starting a family someday and remembers little details about me that even I forgot, I struggle to understand why a 2 min text is so difficult, and why he never initiates meeting up with me. I am always the one making plans and asking when to meet. If I don't, I fear that we won't meet at all, because he simply doesn't think about me.
Quote:
Even when he had a long period of leave, he didn't think of meeting up with me, only his friends and going to the gym. I literally had to squeeze myself into his plans and invite myself over.
That is not the behavior of someone who wants to be in a long serious relationship.
Quote:
I feel like I am not in his top 5 priorities in his mind from a distance, but when we're physically together everything is great; we laugh, cook, watch movies, go on dates, chill, and we give each other space, since I'm also an introvert. We have great chemistry, chat about everything and it feels like we've known each other forever.
That is all well and good but if he isnt making time to see you you dont get that.
Quote:
He's been hurt several times before from past relationships, and insecure about why I am in love with him, and so I am also hesitant to "not replying for a couple of days" or "not initiating meeting" just to see what happens, because he is wary of women playing games or playing him.
This does not make it ok. We all have baggage. He cant expect you to wait around because of his past. If he hasnt moved on from his past he shouldnt be in a serious LDR with you.

Quote:
I want to accept all sides of him - good and bad - so I'm trying to change my expectations to the response frequency. But my doubts are slowly growing bigger and bigger, and I just wish I could understand what is going on and whether this will be a re-occurring theme that we have to work on.

I guess what I'm looking for is for someone to shed some light on whether this is part of the ADHD traits or a genuine lack of interest and advice on how to handle it either way.
This is not necessarily a symptom of adhd. He managed it in the beginning. People with adhd are not excused from inconsiderate behavior just because of the adhd, and since you have told him as such he should tell you if this is something he can do. It sounds like he is not meeting your needs and it is not your fault. You are not meant to bend to only his issues, LDR's are notoriously hard to manage without commitment to regular timely communication. Personally I do not think it matters if he has adhd or not. Plenty of us can communicate with our partners and loved ones. You are right it takes a minute to say you are busy. He cant even be bothered to do that. How badly do you want these needs met? Are you willing to accept this or is it not something you can live with? I feel like you are an equal partner in this and adhd or not you deserve to foster this love with communication. If you are not hearing from him or seeing him how can it move forward? What is the game plan?
I think there are some who thing a diagnosis of any kind means those around them are bound to accept what they give. I disagree with this. You do not have to accept it.
I am not big into ultimatums but I believe you have the right to state your needs, find out if he will meet them and hold him to it. If he cant meet them he needs to say so. If he says he will meet them and does not you are justified in finding out why. I think you need to have an in person convo about this and make it plain what you want. Do you want this to go on for as long as he sees fit? I do not think you should be worried about the adhd. He is in the military and they frown on medications so until he is out it wont change. I think you need to care for yourself and your own needs and deserve to have them met.
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