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7 First Date Tips for People with ADHD

Reading time | 3 mins

Dating someone with ADHD can be fun! We’re constantly looking for new things to do, so you’ll probably never get bored with us.

There are also a few pitfalls to avoid when making the best first impression. Here are some crucial first-date tips for my fellow daters with ADHD.

Confirm the date and time

Let’s get this one out of the way. People with ADHD can be forgetful when it comes to organizing plans. Put the date in your calendar the moment you schedule it. Set a reminder if you have to!

The morning of, double-check the when and where with your partner. Make it nonchalant. “Did we say Sal’s at 9 tonight?” seems like you maybe didn’t listen. “See you at Sal’s at 9!” is way better!

Convince yourself your date starts earlier

People with ADHD tend to be late due to poor planning. Even though being late has sort of become a social norm, it’s not the best first impression.

That’s why I program my brain to be there 30 minutes early. That way I’m naturally on time!

Cut the distractions

OK, you made it on time. You sit down. You start chatting. Then your phone vibrates.

You don’t want to be rude, but that ADHD distractedness gets the best of you. Now you can’t focus on what your date’s saying!

It’s important to always give your full attention to a date. Put your phone on silent or use its “do not disturb” feature so that only important calls come through.

And please — for the sake of respect — don’t check your phone unless it’s an emergency.

Be self-aware

I attribute much of my extroverted nature to my ADHD. But being talkative is a double-edged sword. You avoid awkward silences, but you might also get too wrapped up in whatever you’re talking about. We can forget to let our dates do some talking, too!

Know yourself and practice self-awareness without taking it too far. You don’t have to monitor how many minutes each of you talks for, but there’s no problem with acknowledging that you’re starting to talk too much. Let your date take the lead on the conversation.

Remember body language

Being able to read body language is everything when it comes to dating. This skill is especially important for those of us with ADHD who may want to do things on a whim.

I always want to do more than just one activity on first dates! Sure, dinner’s great. But are you up for spontaneous karaoke after?

Being spontaneous is certainly fun. Just make sure your partner is up for it!

So, on that note...

Find a good match

Finding the right person is hard. And first dates are a great litmus test for knowing if someone is a match.

Know what kind of person you’re looking for. Do you want someone equally as spontaneous? Someone less impulsive to balance things out? Maybe it’s somewhere in the middle.

I once dated someone who also has ADHD. We couldn’t finish a single conversation because we kept going on tangents after tangents!

I knew my now-fiancé was the right person for me because she danced with me in the middle of a restaurant on our first date but still refuses to go skydiving with me. (It’s all about balance, right?)

Be honest, but don’t overshare

I’m a professional oversharer when it comes to dating. I always get carried away. I end up sharing my life stories, careers, dreams, and ambitions, all before we order our meals.

Be yourself and be honest with your date. Just be aware of your actions and your date’s body language. Take a break from talking if you catch yourself oversharing. Ask your date some questions about themselves.

The takeaway

Remember, these are tips and not rules. Romance is a very strange thing, and we’re all incredibly different. Overshare to your heart’s desire if it seems that your date doesn’t mind getting personal right away! Do whatever works for the two of you.

Ultimately, I only have one nonnegotiable when it comes to dating — smell nice!

For more information on how to manage ADHD, reach out to your doctor or healthcare team.