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What just happened? End contact with him completely/ hold out if things improve?


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I met this guy and we have been dating for the last two months now. Everything seemed to be going in the right direction since we we first met. We have a lot of common and had been spending quite a deal of time together and have been intimate.But yesterday he just blindsided me concerning our "relationship" and now I am not too sure what to do.


Right from the get go, he told me that he had bipolarism and had been taking medication for it. I have no issues about his illness, since I am aware that there are perfectly functioning people out there with it. I was glad that he was honest with me and I was willing to accept that part of him because I was keen on seeing where whatever this was would take us. I was willing to be patient.


However, in the last week or so, he explained to me that he has been experiencing one of his rapid-cycling episodes. For those that don't know, it's basically severe mood swings (going through periods of complete happiness and bliss....and severe anxiety and depression the next). However, these episodes were unlike any that he experienced before. At first, he would experience these periods every three months or so. But now it is to the point where he was having "trips" every couple of hours. It is affecting him so much that he has not been sleeping or eating correctly and has experienced some serious bouts with depression.


We saw each other on monday.The date was fine but he was really sad and distant. When I suggested that we reschedule seeing each other so that he could get some time by himself, he insisted that I see him because he didn't want to feel alone. We met up, got him out of his dorm for a couple of hours..and headed back to his place. I tried to comfort him the best that I could (at one point he was even crying) and held him and talked to him for the rest of the night. The next morning I left and he never gave me any suggestion that things between us were bad.


I called him on tuesday to check up on him and everything seemed to be ok. He was going to visit his therapist to get everything under control so that he could possibly increase the dosage of his meds. We're both starting another semester at our uni and he is worried about being able to function through it.


Thursday we decided to meet up again. We went out for coffee and the whole ordeal seemed somewhat uncomfortable. He seemed completely out of it (saddened and not focused) but I tried my best to cheer him up by taking a walk around the city and visiting the places he tends to frequent. Towards the end of the date as we were walking towards the Metro, he completely blindsided me by stating that there was something that he had been wanting to tell me for a while. He continued on saying that he's not ready for a relationship due to the current state of his illness --- that he wants to work on himself for the next month or so --- and that he wants us to keep in touch because " he really likes me and that perhaps things can work out between us when he is feeling better".


I completely understand where he is coming from in regards to his illness. But at the same time, I can't help but feel saddened, confused and angry about the whole experience. I get that he's going through some issues right now. But WHEN was he going to tell me that he was emotionally unavailable? I can't help but think that he could have been possibly using me -- both emotionally and physically throughout the entire time that we were seeing each other. If he was so sure that he didn't want to get involved in a relationship, then why continue to see me? Or better yet, why not just state that he wanted to keep things casual? At least that would have given me the option to make a choice in the matter before things kept continuing on like they did.


To top off everything, he gives me a false sense of hope that things might hopefully work out if we were to stay in contact with each other. I'm just really confused. It's been less than twelve hours since we last talked and I feel completely drained.


What should I do? Should I completely end contact with him or "keep in touch?"

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A mental illness is just that - an illness. He obviously wasn't thinking clearly since his cycles have started, so I really doubt he was 'using' you intentionally. Once he reached some clarity, probably after his last counseling appt., he was upfront with you and no doubt told you the truth. "He really likes me and that perhaps things can work out between us when he is feeling better". So the choice regarding future contact is yours. I think you already see how draining this can be...are you up for it, including the possibility of it continuing indefinitely?

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That is true. I suppose during the last week or so his cycles had gotten worse...and that he was obviously not thinking clearly. During some of his talks he had touched upon the subjects of this being a pivitol point in his life where he needs to get his act together (finishing school/ managing work/ and getting his BP under wraps). I'm guessing that he had been struggling with this before he and I even met.


I don't mind having future contact with him -- even though I must admit the last day we had talked I've been in confusion-ville. But since then I've had some space to think and I'm not as angry as I initially felt. Of course I still have my questions that I would like answered but there's not much I can really do about that. He's genuinely a sweet person, great to be around, brilliant, etc etc. So being there for him as a friend -- support system -- whatever-- is not an issue for me. However, if it does evolve into something more, I am hoping that we are able to establish some solid forms of communication so I know how he's feeling, what's he's thinking, etc. Communication to me regardless of the type of relationship is something I hold very highly. That way intentions are known and there is little to no room for misunderstanding.


In terms of keeping in contact with him now that it has been a couple of days since we last talked, should I wait for him to contact me or should I initiate contact with him first? I want to give him his space to sort his stuff out, so I don't want to do anything that might change or prevent that.


Also, are there any members out there who have had relationships with people diagnosed with bi-polarism? If so, could you share your experiences? I know that every case is different, but I'd like some point of reference (instead of articles and textbook definitions) in order to deal with him.

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