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Sorry, ADHD made me leave your texts on read

I wish I could say my ADHD has never affected my dating life, but I’d be lying. I can’t focus on anything very long, including text conversations with potential partners. 

There are so many ways to hurt people when dating, and one of the most common is leaving their messages on read. You saw it, and then… no reply. I’m so guilty of this that if you went back into my dating history, you’d find more than a few people who claim I’m not a nice guy. Then there are others who say I’m a sweet person, but a horrible communicator.

I’m always getting distracted by a meme , a different conversation with a friend, or a work thing I’d been neglecting. My ADHD brain needs constant stimulation, so keeping conversations alive when I feel uninterested is not my strong suit.

I navigate my dating life with the same unpredictability as work. Like a failed test, or a late assignment, I drop the ball quite often. This is a human thing.

But for the person who didn’t get a reply to that text that I obviously read, it comes across as dismissive. They are the center of their universe the way I am the center of mine. Their mind may be going to a doomsday place, imagining the worst.

The thing is, I don’t always feel comfortable saying flat-out “I HAVE ATTENTION PROBLEMS.”

I know what I feel, but I don’t always know how to express it in a way that makes sense to other people, and that doesn’t embarrass me. Even when I can find the words, I wonder how much they matter when my behavior may still come off as manipulative or unfair.

Healthy communication in romantic relationships, these days, feels rare. It almost seems like self-preservation, or getting ahead in life, is the ultimate goal — whether we’re talking about school, raising your social media clout, or dating.

But in love, selflessness is the ultimate goal… right?

Even if you’re doing so unconsciously, not giving a potential partner attention leaves them with the message you don’t care about them. Opening your heart is necessary when asking someone else to do the same, and that means being aware enough of your behaviors to communicate (or text) through them.

I may have earnest reasons for doing something, but those reasons get lost in translation. Intention does not always equal impact. And remembering that is how I’ve started to treat my relationships with more delicacy and care.


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  • Coming soonGoogle Classroom