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depression/anxiety, not sure if he lost feelings, please help me.


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I was in a relationship for almost ten months and got broken up with a little over two months ago. I'm sorry for the length, but I would really appreciate some insight.


He’s extremely independent, ambitious, and career driven. The most important thing I should mention is that I have an anxiety disorder and I started cutting earlier this year. I see a therapist and I’m on medication, and that’s actually something that we bonded over earlier in the relationship, because he’s on the same medication as me. His anxiety/depression isn’t as severe as mine, and he certainly isn’t as open about it. He mainly takes the medication because he gets stressed out very easily and finds it difficult to focus without it. He used to have anxiety attacks in college and I’ve had a few in the past year. I just graduated college myself, and he’s planning to attend graduate school next year. He grew up on the Upper East Side and he’s not very close to his family, although he’s never really explained why that is. I assume it has something to do with the fact that his sister attempted suicide several times when he was in high school, and his family went to therapy together because of it. His sister is doing much better now, having been in rehab for a few years. She also used to cut, although her intentions were more severe than mine were.


His friends all loved me, and told me that they’d never seen him so affectionate with any other girl before, and that I’ve gotten him to open up. He was never the kind of guy to call me every night and talk for hours on the phone, which I was ok with because we both have our own lives and I don’t consider myself a needy person. The ironic thing about that is that this past year has been my most difficult, with my senior year of college and the fact that I was dealing with a lot of emotionally issues. I confided in my therapist and my close friends, as well as my brother. I didn’t like to open up about my problems to my ex because I felt like it would only burden him and I didn’t want to be a reminder of his sister and her problems. However, there were times when I would cut in his apartment, and I would do it when he was sleeping so he wouldn’t know. Of course that backfired when he would wake up and realize I was in the bathroom, and then he would try and get me to come outside and talk to him. He always forced me to open up to him, but also knew when to give me space. He was incredibly supportive during a time when I wanted to push everyone away.


Seven months into dating, when I was just about to graduate, I told him I needed a break because I was under a lot of stress and needed time for myself. The truth, although I didn’t tell him this, was that I was having an emotional breakdown because I was about to enter a new, scary period in my life and all my close friends were going to move away, and the last thing I wanted was to depend on my boyfriend for comfort and support. I was afraid I would use him as an emotional pillar. Immediately after telling him I wanted a break, I called him back to try and take it back, but he ignored all my calls. The next day, he broke up with me, claiming he was incredibly hurt and angry because in his mind, I broke up with him and took it back. I tried to explain that I wasn’t breaking up with him, but in fact I just needed time (I had even told him I just needed a week or two), but he wouldn’t listen. He said he couldn’t do this anymore, and that he was too mad at me to even see me. We ended up reconciling three days later. I told him that I shouldn't have pushed him away, and he admitted to acting irrationally. He told me he really loves me and doesn't want to lose me and wants to work on communicating better.


About two months before we broke up for good, he got promoted on top of taking a class for graduate school credit. He was basically going straight from work to class four days a week for over a month. We started spending less time together, and when we did hang out, we didn’t really get any quality time together. He’d stay up late doing work while I would eventually pass out and wake up at six in the morning to find him doing more work. We’re both in the same industry, and I’ve always been supportive of his work and he’s told me as much, but by that point, I felt like I wasn’t a priority in his life anymore. He was always complaining about his job and at one point, we even looked online for jobs that he could apply to. He never ended up applying to any of them, even though I would email him job postings every week. I also know he was having financial problems because his dad had to loan him a lot of money.


Finally, a week before we broke up, he took me invited me away for the weekend with all his close friends, including his best friend who was about to be deployed to Iraq. We had a wonderful weekend and his friends told me how happy he seemed with me and that they were so surprised at how different he was with me than anyone else. The following weekend, I had invited him to a 4th of July party and told him it was important to me if he came. He said he was just going to hang out with his friends. That made me really upset and I told him I wanted to talk, and he seemed concerned and asked if I was mad at him. He ended up coming over to my apartment the next day. He told me that he had a heartfelt goodbye with his friend two days earlier. He admitted he was scared because he didn't know what would happen to his friend. Then he asked what I wanted to talk about. I felt guilty for bringing everything up when his friend had just left, but I knew we needed to talk about it, and we'd had conversations about our relationship before because he’d always encouraged open and honest communication.


I told him I felt like I had felt like I was on the backburner recently, and that it was hard for me because I wanted to be supportive, but I also felt like I wasn't getting what I needed. I said maybe we just have different expectations when it comes to being in a relationship or maybe he doesn’t have time for me in his life right now, but that I wanted to try and work through it. He digested everything I said and then said he felt like something was missing, but he didn't know what it was. He didn't think we were at a place after ten months of being together that we should be, and that the time we've spent together recently hasn't been as rewarding as he'd like it to be. He told me there's no one else, after I asked him, and he also told me he loves me like his family, but then said he also loves me romantically. We cuddled in bed for a really long time together, and he kept stroking my hair and kissing my forehead and apologizing. I should also mention that he brought my things with him to my apartment, so he obviously knew he was going to breakup with me.


I ran into him a few days later at a bar and we hugged very intensely. He stroked my back and breathed me in and closed his eyes. He asked if I wanted to talk outside. When we got outside, he had nothing to say. I finally asked him why he didn’t tell me sooner that he felt something missing, and he said he didn’t know how to say "I'm not feeling it." I said that if he isn't feeling it, then he doesn't have feelings for me. I know that’s passive aggressive, but it’s almost like I wanted him to tell me he doesn’t love me. He responded by looking down at the ground and quietly saying, “I don’t know…I guess not.” That hurt me, because he'd never stopped saying he loved me, and even the weekend before the breakup, we'd gone away with his friends and he just lay in bed with me one night and told me how much he loves me. Throughout our entire conversation outside the bar, he kept saying stuff like, “isn’t this the part where you say f*** you?” and was wondering why I wasn't getting angry at him and why we weren't fighting. He seemed defeated and distant. He said it's too weird right now to talk or see each other, but he doesn't want me to fall out of his life or never be a part of his life again. Then we went back inside to our friends, who happened to now be sitting at a table together. It was really awkward, and I got my things together to leave and my ex was like, “you’re leaving?” as if I would actually stay at the same bar as him after that conversation. He hugged me intensely again and seemed to mumble something against my neck, but I pulled apart as fast as possible and left without looking back.


Since then, there’s been no contact. I did hang out with his best friend’s wife, who thinks he doesn’t get relationships or how to be in one. His other really good friend told my friend that knowing my ex, he’s surprised we were together for so long. It seems like his friends think he’s incapable of being in a meaningful relationship. We’re still Facebook friends, although he removed our relationship status the day after he broke up with me. He had a wall enabled while we were together (I convinced him to have a wall) and right after we broke up, I noticed he disabled it again.


I've been working on myself, and the cutting has almost completely stopped. I've been making a huge effort to work on my problems and I've been throwing myself into work and hanging out with family and friends. I don’t know if he just stopped having feelings for me or if life got in the way. All I know is that I love him and I miss him.

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Hi lostinmargins, your post really hit me because I am going through something similar. My ex also broke up with me about 3 months ago because he "wasn't feeling it", and the thing is, just like with your ex, he was going through tough times. He had recently gotten out of the military, and we bought a house togetehr. He didn't have a job, was dealing with PTSD and possible depression and just seemed generally lost about what to do with his life. Which sounds a lot like your guy, with the whole not satisfied by his job. I felt like he sabotaged our relationship by pushing me away and almost seeing me as the source of his stress, when really it was all that other stuff.


I guess I will say to you be thankful that he ended it now when you are at this point, as opposed to later. I had been with my ex 4 years before he decided he "wasn't feeling it" and we now own a house together. I know though that saying that doesn't make it any less painful for you.


A few questions I have for you...do you feel that your ex may have possibly had some issues with intimacy - not sex, but emotional intimacy? I'm just wandering, because I feel that my ex had a huge problem with this, and that was just something that came to my mind when I read your post. Im not sure what to tell you as far as what to do now with the ex - we are in LC right now, because my ex really wants to be friends - but that is hard because of mixed signals, and I dont know how long I am going to be able to continue.


Sometimes I wonder if he will ever wake up and realize what we had, and how all the outside factors played a huge role in the demise of our relationship. But the thing is, I don't think we can wait for that. We need to try to move on, as hard as it may be, because there aren't any guarantees. Iam trying to learn from this breakup and have started working out more, am joining some interst groups, and have started volunteering - basically doing the things I have put off doing. I think that helps. So stay strong and just keep pressing on. Also, I am glad to hear that you are working on the cutting and making progress with that.

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Other people have asked me that, too, and to be honest, I'm not really sure. He never freaked out when I had cutting episodes, in fact he tried to get me to open up to him about all of it. However, he never really opened up about himself or his family. He did tell me all about his sister and what she went through, but I think that was more because it was related to what I was going through. As far as feelings for me, that's something he was always open with me about. He would always tell me he loved me, and usually without my prompting him by saying it first. When we first started dating, I confessed to him that I liked him a lot, and I asked if that scared him. He said he felt the same way about me, and was surprised that he wasn't scared, because he's so used to being self sufficient and independent.


If you ever want to talk, send me a private message. Thanks for your help.

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I am also in a very similar situation... almost parallel, but the only difference is we have been in a long distance relationship for 2 months, where he being in LA and I being in Philadelphia may have added to the stress level between us.


As for my personality, I have pretty low to moderate anxiety/depression that can be heightened if external and internal factors are meshed just so. I also have clear avoidance behavior where I will shut down or go into a depressive / reclusive state if I feel overstimulated and overwhelmed or if I feel rejection or failure (real or imagined) looming. Even though I am an over-achiever, I almost flunked out of college because of my avoidance. I would stop attending class if I felt something negative creeping up on me which was usually imagined, but if real could have been solved with communication.

I believe he also deals with similar traits along with ocd and trying to cope with outside stressors.


I saw his profile on a dating site and learned that he was open to friendship and dating even though he was 3,000 miles away from me. He seemed generally excited to get to know me and was enthralled (as was I) by our cultural and religious differences. These were'nt factors that caused any problems or confusion in our relationship, in fact, I think they added to the beauty of it. We fell for each other within the first few weeks of talking and connecting. I found him to be ambitious, intelligent, sexy, funny, sweet etc. etc... which were persona traits that I was immediately attracted to. However, I knew that he and I were projecting "personas" and it would take a lot more for us to begin to let each other into the recesses of our minds and emotions so that a bond could eventually form.


As we began to share, external stressors and problems began to escalate on his end. I mean a whole series of back-to-back events from a major move from his apt. to a house to dealing with his job downsizing and wondering if he would be next on the lay-off list. There were so many more things that were contributing to his stress along side some pretty major ones. He would give me tid bits of information, but wouldn't get into detail about the problems he was facing. I understood his stance and could only offer support while still trying to dance the dance that we had in the beginning.


I believe what got in the way of our moving forward as a couple was that 1) We never really established that the goal was to actually be a couple - mind you that he never wants to get married (married before) and doesn't want to have children due to his ocd, reclusiveness and anxiety. Oh and I must mention that we both suffer from phone anxiety, so it was major for him to dial me up and chat for 5 to 10 min. at a time. 2) We are both fairly sensitive and I learned that he may have been more so than I thought. We began to not know how to approach each other due to the fear of saying the wrong thing or coming off as too needy, depressing or draining.

3) As mentioned before, there were so many external factors that were shifting and dominating his focus and priorities. I went through a quick phase of feeling neglected, but this was because he wasn't communicating about the external factors that encouraged his distance from me.


Imagine trying to cultivate a long distance relationship with a man you feel sooo connected to, but haven't even met yet. Imagine ending a relationship that was never truly given a symbiotic beginning full of physical, mental and emotional connections or a fair chance towards the end. Imagine always having a "what if" in the back of your mind.


I was supposed to fly to LA (ticket in hand) to meet him last week for the first time, but he broke up with me 2.5 weeks prior over a misunderstanding and after my repeated attempts to set things straight, he just didn't want to deal with it and ignored my attempts. I wasn't giving up without a fight. I sent txt messages, an IM and left a voice-mail on week 2 until I finally accepted the fact that the possibility of getting to know someone so complex and beautiful was likely over. It wasn't until the day before I was technically due to fly out to see him that he contacted me in a very indirect way via text. I responded and then we began to communicate a bit from there. The result for that day was to talk and see where things would possibly head. We talked and agreed on a friendship, but I knew that I wasn't emotionally mature enough at this stage to handle it and threw some questions out to him here and there and pushed a bit for more concrete assurance. Basically he gave me mixed signals of showing love and adoration for me, while still trying to keep some distance. Mind you there was never any arguing, only uncertainty that enveloped the newly defined friendship.


He asked for space last night and said that he isn't seeing anyone else and that he needs time to look for other employment and get things straight on his end. Given his personality, I understand and agree with him because I would have asked the same of him if I were in his shoes. However, my fear is that it may be completely over because I don't know if he is no longer "feeling it" anymore and he wants to really part and is trying to separate without much push back. He knows that I wouldn't take a break-up lying down. I would do what was necessary to work on things in a mature and diplomatic way or let things go amicably, naturally and gracefully.


I have never been in a relationship that felt so connected, yet so distant. I understand him, but I don't feel he understands or is capable of carrying on a relationship while trying to live his life in the healthiest way possible. I think he begins to feel consumed and overwhelmed by the prospect of having someone so close, yet he knows deep down he needs and craves love, adoration and attention.


Where is the balance? Its like a delicate dance and one that I want to learn with him, but I can't get on the floor solo. He made statements in the beginning about how difficult he is to deal with and that the distance and the reality of our relationship would have to encourage how we define it.


We both are very independent people that have emotional needs that aren't being met. I don't know if its timing or a life's lesson, but I feel that I may now be under a spotlight of the needy or crazy woman that caused the stress in his life when I know I wasn't.


I lovingly gave him his space last night. Letting him know that I wouldn't be contacting him so that he could focus on rectifying his livelihood. I believe he felt my love and support, but the uncertainty remains. I told him I appreciated him and wanted him in my life. He stated that he wanted the same, yet I can't help but think it may be over in his eyes even though it was never said that it is.


They say actions speak louder than words, but all we ever had were words... kisses over the phone... pictures sent here and there... maybe what we had wasn't enough.

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I have never been in a relationship that felt so connected, yet so distant. I understand him, but I don't feel he understands or is capable of carrying on a relationship while trying to live his life in the healthiest way possible. I think he begins to feel consumed and overwhelmed by the prospect of having someone so close, yet he knows deep down he needs and craves love, adoration and attention.


We both are very independent people that have emotional needs that aren't being met. I don't know if its timing or a life's lesson, but I feel that I may now be under a spotlight of the needy or crazy woman that caused the stress in his life when I know I wasn't.


I completely understand what you mean when you say you felt so connected with him, yet he was also very distant. I think it's much harder for men to open up about their vulnerabilities, and men and women do deal with anxiety/depression differently. It's fight or flight for them, whereas women like to talk about what's bothering them and gather with their friends and family to try and work through their problems. How did your ex handle stress, and is he on medication?


My ex was on the same dosage of Zoloft as I was, but he never talked about his anxiety. All he said about it was that he gets stressed out very easily and when he doesn't take his medicine, he gets cranky, frustrated, and basically very unsociable. There were times when he would be stressed and nothing else mattered except his job, which was what he was usually stressing about. I would feel like I was on the periphery sometimes, even though I don't think he purposely tried to make me feel that way.




I wrote him an email the day after he broke up with me, attempting to gain some closure. We wrote back and forth a couple of times, and these are the emails he sent me:


You must remember giving me pep talks before my exams (and after). You supported me, and us, when I worked too many hours, and sacrificed our time together. Now, after I've split us apart, you've written a caring email. You don't have anything to apologize for. It's a warmth and strength of yours that's striking.


I'm sorry to say goodbye, though it needed to be like this. You're remarkable - and as much as I care for you, I also know you'll do wonderful things.





You don't need to apologize. I'm glad you're being honest about how you feel. And I know this is hard, just as I know you're strong.


I enjoyed so much of our time together, so even knowing it's right over the long run, I miss talking and being with you.


Knowing that something fundamental was missing for me, though, it was unfair to keep going.




What do you think of his emails? I felt like they were over the top and insincere.

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After reviewing the emails it seems to me that he is mad at himself that he is just not feeling it for you. I think he wants to feel for you, but something makes him not. Its almost like he thinks he doesnt deserve you. Sounds like he has a lot to work on of himself.


Im sorry you are hurting. Breaking up is no picnic and it hurts like hell. I hope you are hanging in there.

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I'm so sorry that you are hurting right now. I know that this is very hard. In my opinion, I think that he was very loving and supportive of you. I think he really tried hard, especially given the fact that his friends said that he opened up with you more than with other women.


Unfortunately, your particular life experience and difficulties made this relationship a challenging one. You said that you had a couple of attacks, you were cutting yourself, and you were wanting to push everyone away. I don't doubt that this really weighed on him. He probably tried to support you as best he could, but I'm sure it was hard for him to be in a relationship with a woman who reminded him of his sister's very serious, likely emotionally damaging, issues.


Add to that the fact that you pushed him away when he tried to be there. Unfortunately, I think when you told him you wanted to take a break, he really took it as a break up (like he told you) and he wasn't really able to come back together with a renewed sense of connection and love. So essentially, I think the break up started two months ago for him.

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The thing is, I know my issues had nothing to do with the breakup. I was actually much better the last couple of months of our relationship. I hadn't cut in a long time, and I was on the road to recovery. He even made it very clear to me that this breakup wasn't about my issues, and I know he was telling me the truth. He would have been honest with me if it was for those reasons.


You might be right about it ending two months earlier for him. However, that was around the same time he got promoted, starting taking a class, and had all that stress.


I know I shouldn't go by what his friends say, but I think it's telling that one of his close friends was surprised how long we were together. A month into dating, I told him I really liked him and asked if that scared him. He said he felt the same way about me, and that he was surprised that he wasn't scared, because he's so used to being self sufficient and independent.

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