“Oh, were you going away? I completely forgot! I’m really bad with details.”
“Did you text me?” “I meant to text you back; I really did.”
“Was I supposed to plan something – I thought you were supposed to call me. “
“Did you tell me your Dog was sick, that’s funny, I thought that was someone else.”
“Hellooo? Are you paying attention?”
What is Attention Deficit Dating?
Attention Deficit Dating is reminiscent of the ever popular Attention Deficit Disorder characterized by symptoms of:
- Easy distractibility
Unlike traditional forms of ADD, a person with Attention Deficit Dating only exhibits the characteristics in the area of dating and intimate relationships. In other life categories such as career, fitness, leisure, education, finance etc., there is a keen sense of focus, commitment, drive and even strategic aptitude.
Have you experienced indicators such as:
- Attending a party or on a date but texting on your phone.
- Forgetting details of stories, important dates or events.
- Not keeping consistent eye contact – or being distracted by everything that moves.
- Retelling personal stories or jokes that people have already heard over and again.
- Making excuses for not following up or following through.
- And many more…
What are some of the more prevalent underlying reasons? Do any of them apply to you?
Connected Disconnect: Your ever increasing world of distraction detaches you from the present moment and keeps you in isolation (acting connected through technology but feeling lonely). You are in a combined state of overwhelm and anticipation; already bombarded with information yet still checking your social feeds to feel like you belong.
One-upping: You are easily bored and looking for the next “big thing”. Nothing or no-one ever feels good enough – or you feel you are missing out or that life is more interesting or “happening” elsewhere.
Self-Involvement: “You aren’t that into them” and are so wrapped up in your own world that there is no room for other people’s details.
Bad Social Manners: Your mother never taught you better because she didn’t grow up with a cell phone.
Intimacy Issues: Are you commitment – phobic
Practice Makes Permanent
Dating is supposed to be about practicing for the “real thing”. But if you develop the habit of Attention Deficit Dating, you will have a difficult time staying focused long enough to know if you are with the “one”. You may also miss the red flags that others may be waiving in your early conversations. But most importantly you won’t develop the required skills for lasting love: empathic listening, compassion, respect, reliability and so on. People with attention deficit dating may never experience fulfilling relationships or a genuine sense of intimacy and belonging. Some people may be happy in this emotionally buffered safety zone, but if you are interested in experiencing true love, we encourage you to courageously check in with yourself and create new habits of being mindfully present, technologically naked and open to experiencing the person standing before you for who they are.