Depressed boyfriend doesn't know what he wants

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I've been seeing this guy for just over a month. Really new I know. HE (not me) decided I was his gf after a week. Pretty much like "It's been decided. You're not going anywhere" (all in a joking tone). I typically like to date someone for at least a month or two (seeing them multiple times a week) before I decide on that but I was like "Ok sure". I'm a go with the flow type of person, which isn't always good I guess. 

ANYWAY. In the past month we've probably seen each other... roughly 5 times. A few of those times have been for two days and few other times for a whole days (and sleep over). The first week we saw each other a few times but it seems to have turned into once a week to a week and half since then.

I invited him to do things but he kept saying he was busy or had other plans. I told him to let me know when he had time and he said "Sorry if you feel left out. I just plan a lot of things".  He also told me he has a tendency to get "lazy". Then one day he revealed to me he had depression and it makes him want to stay in and not do much. Now I know when he says he's "being lazy" it's his way of saying he's depressed. And he seems to be having quite a few lazy days lately.

But he also likes to spend time doing things by himself (playing video games, working on projects, spending time with family although he acts like it's them pushing him to do so..which they probably are) because he's introverted. I'm introverted as well so I get that. I've also had depression since I was around 9 so I get that too...however I don't isolate myself like he does. 

Anyway I've been really patient in giving him his space and not asking questions. Not being all "What's wrong? Do you not like me?!"  But it really got to me recently because we haven't seen each other for a week and half and I'm leaving this Saturday for two weeks. Last week I told him "So I only have two days off work next week before I leave and I'll be busy one of those days" He was like "Oooh you want to see me eh? *insert blowing a kiss face*"  I was like "Yeah so you'd better make time for me lol" All jokingly. He winks. All fun right. Then this week I tell him my days off and he says he's going away for a few days (with his mom). Granted not on my days off however he DIDN'T know that. He knew I had a limited amount of time to spend with him and he went ahead and made plans before checking my schedule. So needless to say I wasn't happy but I didn't say anything. I did ask "So did I tell you my work schedule?" and he said no and then went on about the things we were going to do when we saw each other and how he thought it would be a good time. So we made plans to hang out later in the week (today). I told him I was going to be busy all day the day before but suggested I maybe come over that night (last night) and he said "Do what you need to do and we'll figure it out" 

So yesterday I got to thinking (as one does you know) and the fact that he didn't check to see when I was off work before he made plans just got to me. Needless to say I didn't contact him yesterday because I was just not in the mood and I felt like I couldn't be pleasant and I know not communicating isn't always the best thing but I needed time to cool off. 

So I get a text from him this morning "I feel like s**t. Sorry for disappointing you". I asked him why. If he felt like s**t for disappointing me or if that's his way of saying he feels like s**t for other reasons and doesn't want to see me and is apologizing for that. He said "Both".  So at this point I'm pretty fed up. I ask "Do you even want to be in a relationship?" He responds with: 

"That's a hard question for me. I want to say yes and I enjoy our time together. But I also enjoy my time to myself. I honestly just don't know". 

And I know he enjoys our time together and I enjoy it too. He is very affectionate when we're together and tells me I'm awesome and stuff all the time. Says I'm great and that I put up with him. Constantly says he misses me when we're apart...   Send a ton on lovey dovey emoticons (yes he's a full grown man in his mid 30's...) But the amount of alone time he needs to is getting a bit ridiculous.

Also where is the line between depression and just wanting alone time? Those are two different things. It seems like some days he wants to be alone because he's got feeling well and then other days he wants to be alone because he wants to do his own thing. And I don't know if him saying he doesn't know is his depression talking or him just not being 'that into me' and not knowing how to say it. I told him a while ago if he didn't like me anymore to say so and he told me he would and that he's a straightforward person...though I've heard that before. 

I told him I enjoy my alone time as well but when you like someone you generally want to see them more often than once every week or two. I told him I felt like I was just someone for him to hang out with when he wanted company and the gf label was just a word to him. That he didn't consider me. Which I said was disappointing being that he was the one that decided I was his gf. 

He says "Well I just don't know. I feel like I'm doing the things I'm supposed to do. When I'm with you I actually have fun".

I told him that I understand he has depression and that I've given him his space and couldn't have been any less needy lately. He says "Yes you are great. I know I'm the one messing it up."

I asked him if he knew why I was upset (because it was kind of obvious you know) and he said "You are doing everything you can and I'm doing nothing. And I'm the one that wants a relationship but keeps messing it up." I told him I wasn't upset that he has depression. I told him that he knew I barely had any time to see him and he went and made plans without asking me what my schedule was. Not that I expect him to  "check with me" like I'm his mother or something because it's his life but this week is a special circumstance. He KNEW there was a limited window of opportunity. Plus it's not like we see each other all that often so I'm definitely not being needy. Wanting to see your boyfriend ONCE before you go away for two weeks when you already haven't seen him for a week and a half is far from needy. It just feels like he isn't thinking about me. 

So it's been a few hours and he hasn't responded. 

I just don't know if this is his depression or just him...or him not liking me enough. He seems to like me... says he really does. But he isn't acting like it. And I'm not a professional but I'm starting to wonder if he has other mental issues. His need for alone time seems to go above and beyond and this is coming from an introvert. 

I just don't know if I should try to give this a go or give up. Any time a guy says "I don't know" everyone is like "That's code for: I'm just not that into you". But when he has depression it's not that cut and dry. But is it worth holding on even if he does like me. 

1 like, 14 replies

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    As a girl as I have grown to realise what men really mean when they say things .

    No matter what is said or done at the end of the day a man who is really into you will let you know. 

    So for whatever reason he is being pretty cool towards you. Yes his depression could be playing a part in that and I really get the vibe it really is . Maybe he is having bad days with his depression and doesent feel like he can let you in properly because of that. 

    But that's not your fault. Take it for what it is. But seeing each other once a week is not a relationship . Talk things over with him properly before you snap and have an arguments and say things you regret.

    I would advise you to cool things off with him a bit . As in stop worrying about it too much , be open to dates and meeting new people . Tell him maybe it is not his fault but he isn't offering you a proper relationship so you need to keep your options open as you are not sure if once a week is enough to keep you happy. 

    Say you want to keep it to 'seeing each other' . 

    I was going out with a guy and I have depression and I was genuinely exhausted with working etc and only saw him around 2 times a week. It wasnt enough for him and in the end things turned nasty between us because he wasn't happy with not seeing me enough. He gave me an ultimatum and I couldn't give him what he wanted.  

    Maybe this guy just doesent have the energy to give you a full relationship at the moment . I feel you are open with him then you still have chance to see through this rough patch and maybe you're situations could change for the better. 

    As he has opened up to you he has depression; I would be very cautious not to upset him as it could cut him deep due to his depression and you obviously care about his feelings . Me and my ex (who I mentioned above) ended up splitting up at Christmas and it really did make me so depressed! So bare that in mind that you could easily make him depressed so treat him with extra kindness if you really care about him . But also you have to put your needs first, without being unnecessarily nasty .

    If you continue to be a nice person , you are not burning any bridges for the future and who knows it may work it may not! It's still early days . 

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the response. I feel like you're right. That he just doesn't have it in him to have a real relationship and based on what he's told me about his previous relationships it seems like he's been this way for a while or maybe it's just how he is. Just prefers a LOT of alone time. I've suspected something like mild anti social personality disorder but I can't say for sure. He seems to have empathy. He told me a little while ago after he cancelled plans "I want you to know I'm not blowing you off and I really like you. I just feel like crap" and while I get that it's still really hard.  

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  • Posted

    He is definitely giving you mixed messages AND he was the one that was so sure he wanted a relationship straight away. 

    I have found this to be a red flag when people want to rush into things so bad . 

    You have a reason to be p****d as he has made a commitment to be your boyfriend and he probably does feel genuinely bad as he know he is not really living up to exprectstions . 

    I sense he does genuinely like you but how deep can feelings be after a month or so I can only guess. I imagine he would love to continue to have your attention and undivided attention and also only see you when it suits him BUT this is not fair on you so really you need to speak up.

    It sounds to me like you want to end It then and you are probably right as if you started seeing other people it would get complicated. 

    You could always give him a chance first and be honest and say you are not as happy or in the place you thought you would be for a new relationship. Say you want to be honest and you are thinking whether this is working for you or not . See his response if he is willing to change , but from what you have said it doesent seem like he may never capable of changing . Or if you are worried this could lead to an argument you could just end it. 

    You deserve to be treated better! 

    The beginning of a relationship should be an exciting and happy time . 

    At the end of the day you do want you want. Maybe stick it out a little longer if you are unsure what you want to do yet? 

    If you do break up with him ; do it in a kind way and explain the relationship is just not how you expected it . 

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    • Posted

      Thanks again.

      Yes I feel that rushing into a relationship like that is a red flag. He seems to have a history of that too. And other than his ex wife (who he was with for 12 years) it doesn't appear that any of his previous relationships have lasted that long. And his relationship with his ex wife doesn't sound like it was that great either. He chose to sleep in a separate bed and even let her have a 'boyfriend'. His 'rule' was "No sex" but she ultimately broke that (duh). No he's not into open relationships but my guess is he knew he was too depressed to care for her needs so he let her see this other guy. That seems pretty messed up to me.

      I would love to give him a chance since things are awesome when we see each other...but what is the point if we barely see each other and he is showing a poor history of relationships and his general demeanor is "Girls I date just don't give me enough space". At first I assumed they were being needy but now I think it's him. 

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    • Posted

      It's okay happy to be of help smile 

      It does sound like he has a few personal issues . I'm sure he has his good qualities as well though. 

      It's good he has been so open with you and put you in the picture. It does sound like he has struggled to give his ex's a proper relationship. I think it is safe to say it's not going to be easy to change his behaviour ,and I would question if he is even capable of changing. 

      You deserve to be happy , you don't strike me as the kind of person who wants to get involved in that type of complicated relationship . I don't think anyone could expect or want you to be in that type of situation in a relationship. 

      When are you next seeing him? Do you talk every day on messages? 

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    • Posted

      I actually broke it off. I didn't want to do it over text but he's left me no other option. Well I suppose I could have sent a handwritten letter by carrier pigeon but... Though he still hasn't responded to me so I'm not sure what's going on with him. It's been over 8 hours since we talked. I know him well enough to know that if he's not sleeping he's got his phone with him.

      It would be nice if he was all "I really like you! I'll try" but I wouldn't hold my breath. We talk pretty much every day but it's not enough. He doesn't seem willing to change. If he did I think he would have worked harder to work things out in his past relationships. I mean he just let his wife date another man and it doesn't sound like he was ok with it. So if he couldn't maintain his marriage with her then how can I expect him to maintain one with me?

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    • Posted

      Thanks. I think I have too. It feels like 90% of our so called 'relationship' revolved around his depression the past few weeks. I didn't want to break up with him before because I believe that just because someone has a chemical imbalance that doesn't mean they can't have functioning relationships.

      For a lot of people their depression never fully goes away, though it can be managed. But they need to be willing to put in that extra effort for self care and I don't think he is. He said he feels he's doing what he's supposed to do but I'm not sure how sitting around his house all day is helping. They also need to realise when they're mental state will prevent them from being a functioning partner BEFORE they get involved with someone.

      Some things he said that really stuck to me lately were that every time he doesn't answer his sister's calls (who decided to buy a house literally two doors down from him... like why so close?) she'll panic and call him until he picks up. He said it jokingly "She acts like I'm dead hahaha. She's ridiculous". Then he told me his mother has asked what he wants done with his stuff if he dies. I mean we can all die at any time (sorry for the Debbie Downer moment) but that just seems like an odd thing to ask. He also told me she comes to see him pretty much weekly (she lives two hours away) and is always saying she worries about him and wants him to find someone to "take care of him". He said that jokingly as well. But her reasoning (although somewhat misguided) has become more apparent.

      I'll be ok. He still hasn't messaged me back yet so I'm not sure how he's doing.

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  • Posted

    You don't have to feel bad about anything .. you have let him know it's over and maybe he is not sure how to respond .his kind of response doesent surprise me in a way as he has been distant anyway. 

    You have been true to yourself and you haven't been nasty even though he has upset you so pat on the back for that one. If he does reply I will be interested to know what he says smile 

    You cannot be in a relationship where you are unhappy this early on .. it really just wouldn't make sense . 

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    • Posted

      Yeah I know I shouldn't feel bad but I still wonder what's going on in his mind. After weeks of him saying "Sorry for being a bad boyfriend" (when he kept canceling our plans and being too depressed to see me) it's like "Oh NOW you have nothing to say?"

      I'll let you know if he breaks the silence lol.

      Thanks for your help! It's been great.

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