Part of a transom I did for an archway

Part of a transom I did for an archway

How much does our ADHD affect our everyday lives. We’re going to talk lots about ADHD at work, but today let’s talk about play, specifically hobbies and romance.

Let’s start with hobbies

I create stained glass art, when I’m not boating. Or biking … hiking, uh – fishing, playing guitar & singing, reading, taking pictures … hmm. Maybe I have too many hobbies?

The problem with hobbies, as I’ve come to see it, is that I perceive the challenge of learning as the activity itself. That is to say that the learning is what attracts me, the line between acquiring the skill and putting it to use is blurred. Once the skill is mastered, once I cross that unseen line, I feel a sense of accomplishment and lose the drive to participate in the activity. It no longer has that “new experience” feeling.

My stained glass equipment sits on a workbench under piles of other things. I feel the urge to get back to work on this hobby, but learning other skills holds a much greater attraction for me. I need to challenge myself creatively if I am to resurrect this hobby.

Love to learn vs. love to love …

Relationships can be this way too. I’m not trying to compare romance to having a hobby, but we do approach love with fervor and intensity, and then suddenly …

Once we’ve become comfortable with a relationship, we often take it for granted. And that “cooling off” is often so noticeable by our partners, that they may wonder where we’ve gone.

In his book, ADD & Romance: Finding Fulfilment in Love, Sex and Relationships, author Jonathan Scott Halverstadt says:

“People with ADD seriously get into the stimulation of courting. In fact, you have never truly been courted and romanced until you have been courted and romanced by someone with ADD – someone who is hyperfocused on romancing you.”

Halverstadt goes on to suggest that we do this as self-medication, a big ol’ dose of endorphins is what we’re after. And maybe that holds true with any pursuit, like learning a new skill, or participating in some new activity.

I like to think that we have a more poetic involvement in choosing our activities, some mindfulness that goes beyond “see – do,” especially when it comes to romance. But in the final analysis, even romance is driven by chemistry. People may think through a possible future relationship, but the initial impetus for that thought was the chemical rush that occurred when they first noticed the object of their new found affections.

The heart wants what the heart wants

And you can bet that your “logical” thoughts on the subject are far more biased than you’d admit, even to yourself. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the internal “chemist wants what the chemist wants,” but who are we to say that the heart isn’t that chemist?

Whatcha’ gonna do?

I’m not trying to tell you to avoid romance, or how to approach it … I’m only saying that these ADHD effects are known. Forewarned is forearmed, so use this information to the best of your ability.

As for me, I’m going to go clear off my glass cutting bench, I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.



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    Last reviewed: 27 Sep 2011

APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2011). Hobbies and Romance – Learn and Burn. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 29, 2015, from


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