The Best Valentine's Day Gift You Can Give If You Have ADHD

Tired of flowers? Here's a gift that will mean the world to your partner.

Posted Feb 11, 2020

What’s the best gift you can give your partner if you have ADHD? The gift of attention!

I’m going to give you some ideas below, but please let me briefly say why it’s such a great gift first.  Since the number one symptom of adult ADHD is distractibility, it’s quite likely your partner doesn’t get as much positive, affectionate, or helpful attention as s/he would like. In fact, sometimes they get virtually no attention.

One common complaint from partners of adults with ADHD is that these partners feel lonely in their relationship. In those relationships, it's obvious why the gift of attention would be so prized.  But even if you aren’t struggling and your relationship is in great shape, your partner will always know just how precious your attention is. And so receiving the gift of attention is always wonderful.

So how do you do that? First, even with ADHD, if you really, really put your mind to something in the very short-term, it’s likely you can do it. The issue is sustaining attention. So, a single day holiday during which you give the gift of attention is a pretty good fit. And, sure, your partner would love to have more attention… but a start is good, nonetheless. 

What are some good ideas? You know your partner best, and know what would be most exciting, but here are some thoughts. Remember to keep it simple but meaningful. This will optimize your chances of successfully pulling this off. 

A fun but different version of dinner: At an art museum after seeing the art show (if your partner loves that sort of thing); her favorite take out on a blanket in front of a log fire, with a special bottle of wine. A hot dog at a favorite team’s next home game (if the game is on the weekend, put the tickets into a card to give on Feb 14).

A getaway. Either in town (at a hotel or resort) or on a quick hop flight to some place your partner enjoys. Do some couples' activities together without the pressures of home. Remember the idea is about attention, NOT about flying, so make the date the thing, not the travel. Make sure you do all of the planning for taking care of the kids. Otherwise, this isn't a gift, it's yet another demand. And don’t choose this one if you love to take weekend getaways and your partner hates it!

Slave for a day. Put your heart into this one if you choose to do it. Make sure you put in at LEAST five hours of work for your partner or more. Give your partner a coupon you create. Set a date that works for you both. Do whatever s/he requests on that day. Put your cell phone away to lessen distractions.

A romantic card that includes a love letter. This can be done last-minute but must be sincere. Think of all of the ways your partner pleases you and put it in a love letter to him or her. Busy couples often forget the power of this simple gift of attention. Make sure to include things about who your partner is, not just what your partner does.

Setting an appointment for an ADHD evaluation or to talk with a doctor about treatment. If the two of you have been discussing whether or not an evaluation or medicines make sense for your ADHD, then taking the step to move forward is a really meaningful one. Couple that news with some flowers or a card that says, “I love you and I want us to be happy together!” You’ll make a good impression.  (Make sure you either already have the appointment scheduled or follow-up by making the appointment the next day… else your promise may feel hollow.)

These are just a few thoughts – you get the idea. Give your partner the gift of attention. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just be creative. When you are married to someone who has ADHD, attention is one of the most precious and meaningful gifts you get. I know from experience.