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Girl I'm seeing has Depression


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Hi all,


I've been dating a girl for about 4 and a half months now. However, she suffers with depression and this is affecting things between us quite badly. I'm hoping someone here could give me some advice firstly on how I can help her and secondly give some advice on the relationship.


So to give some background, we're both mid 30's and met through Tinder. We hit it off immediately and for me, it wasn't far off love at first sight. For the next 3 months, things went really well and I was made up with how things were progressing, although we never actually agreed that we were in an exclusive relationship.


However, over the last month or so, her depression and other background issues have really been affecting things. To give some insight, she attempted to take her own life 9 months ago (before we met) following a huge amount of work related stress and a relationship breakdown. This resulted in her having several months off work – she was still off work when we met, before going back about a month and a half ago.


Since she went back to work, I think the stress and the depression have kicked in again for her, albeit not to the same extent as 9 months ago. She's become constantly tired and very reluctant to arrange anything between us.

Around a month ago, she told me that she was finding it stressful making plans in advance (e.g. arranging on a Tuesday that we'd do something on the Saturday) and said asked if it was ok if she could just suggest meeting spontaneously as and when she felt ok to do so. I agreed as I wanted to do the best thing for her - but this has resulted in us barely seeing each other at all.

I have been suggesting things (saying things like 'we could do xyz on Thursday if you like, but just let me know on the day, no worries if not') but she seems to forget that this has even been suggested and I hear no more mention of whatever it was that I suggested.


I had hoped that once she finished work for Christmas, we would see more of each other. However, she's took it upon herself to do a load of voluntary work over Christmas (which is obviously very caring of her) - but the result of this is that she effectively isn't giving herself any time to recharge her batteries and so still feels constantly tired and unwell.


We have met once in the past 2 weeks (for a couple of hours) and we got on totally great for those 2 hours, but the general reluctance to meet is making me feel very unsatisfied and unloved.


I'm trying to make so many allowances due to her problems, but I'm feeling more and more as though I'm banging my head against a brick wall. I'm kind of constantly torn between giving her loads of space and trying to help her deal with her problems. I'm also torn between continuing and hoping that things improve with time and ending things and to start looking for someone else with less emotional baggage.


Would appreciate peoples' thoughts. I'm kind of turning to the Internet for help here as I don't feel I can tell anyone I know the above as she told me about her issues in confidence.

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You're so sweet for wanting to stick it out with her, considering it's only 4 months, you've obviously made some emotional entanglements/investments on your end. I wouldn't condone a relationship based on walking on eggshells or encourage a lop sided dynamic. Maybe just take a step back and ask yourself why you want to help her? Do you need to feel needed? Sometimes people online date to escape something and aren't necessarily emotionally available. I'm glad she was honest with you about everything. I'm not too sure if she's testing you or giving you an out.

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Yes I've made a big emotional investment...................about 2 or 3 months in, I was convinced that I'd found my life partner..................we get on so well, and my feelings for her are stronger than for any woman I've met before. It's because of the strength of my feelings for her that I have been sticking it out.


As for why I want to help her, it's partly because I love her and want her to be well and partly because I'm hoping that we can get back to how we were before the depression really kicked in a month and a half ago.


She could be giving me an out. She has told me that she doesn't feel emotionally ready to be in a committed relationship at the moment and that I can date other people if I want to as she doesn't want to feel like she's holding me back. I haven't dated anyone else so far but I must admit that I am considering it, if nothing else because I feel like I'm over-reliant on her at the moment.

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I'm glad you're honest with yourself and I'm glad she's not taking advantage of your willingness. Take your time, I know it's tempting to be someone's crutch under the circumstances of feeling love but you'd do her a bigger favor if you just stepped back and allow her to develop her own strength. Things don't have to end, just give yourself a breather.

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She could be giving me an out. She has told me that she doesn't feel emotionally ready to be in a committed relationship at the moment and that I can date other people if I want to as she doesn't want to feel like she's holding me back. I haven't dated anyone else so far but I must admit that I am considering it, if nothing else because I feel like I'm over-reliant on her at the moment.


She's explicitly told you that she's not relationship material, and yes, she's giving you an out that I'd take her up on. I'd tell her that I adore her and can picture the two of us dating in the future, and that's why you're walking away while you still think highly of one another. If she ever considers herself to be ready for the kind of relationship you both deserve, she can let you know. If you're still available then, you can meet to catch up. Meanwhile, you wish her all the best.


This is the best way to preserve future potential an avoid a burnout turning her sour against you.


Head high.

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Thanks Catfeeder, as it happens, I had already done exactly that even before you posted.


I was originally undecided, but what made my mind up was when we talked on the phone last night and I realised that I wasn't involved in any of her current plans...............she had been hiking by herself the previous day and had arranged things with friends for the next 2 days....................and all of these activities were things that a couple of months ago, she was inviting me to come with her...................whereas now that wasn't the case...................it was 'I'm doing this' not, 'I'm doing this, would you like to come too?'


So I realised at that point that there wasn't a great deal of commitment from her to want to see me and that I needed to call things quits. She does still want to text and chat (she's texted and phoned today) and says she would still like to meet up in the future, even if we're not seeing each other.........................whether we do actually meet, I'm undecided at the moment...................I would very much like to, but worry that it might make the moving on process difficult for me. We'll see!

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As a woman who has depression and anxiety, I can tell you the reason she volunteered was to help her situation. I have done that many times. Helping others fills you with joy that nothing else can. I have been through really rough days having severe depression and being in a relationship. Sometimes you do tend to feel better and believe the good feeling would stay, which I think was the case with her. I never enjoyed going out when I was depressed so my partner used to come home and stay over which helped me majorly.


Although there were days I just would not go, if we've made plans ages ago, I would force myself to leave, out of respect for him and his efforts towards the relationship. Sometimes, I would just ask him to pick me up so I don't have to drive and can relax or make any arrangements so that forcing myself to get out of the house would not be so tough.


What makes it a bit rude is that she is able to leave the house and she is also meeting people like he friends, etc. She might be trying to ignore her true feelings which would only make depression worse. I think she comes off as a bit selfish, expecting you to just be okay with her decisions. I am glad you broke it off now while she is feeling comparatively better but if she tries to get back, I would say her personality seems a bit off to me. You seem like a very nice guy to not judge or leave right after hearing about her condition. But having a mental illness does not give you the right to hurt anyone. I have depression too but I try my best not to be rude or take advantage of someone because I can imagine how much it would hurt them because I am hurting too. Glad you took the right step.

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Thanks, that's really interesting to get that perspective on things.


I can see what you mean about the volunteering. In the weeks up to Christmas, she also spent an incredible amount of time making hand-crafted cards and presents for her friends and for me. Doing this became all-consuming for her, making her even more tired, but I can see now that this may have been for the same reason as the volunteering - to make her feel better about herself by doing things for others.


What I found tricky in the last month and a half was knowing how many allowances to make her due to her illness. There were lots of times that something would happen that I'd normally not be ok with, but I'd not really challenge her on them because I was making allowances due to her depression.

To give a few examples:

1. The not getting back to me about things that I'd suggested doing

2. Turning up an hour late, having struggled to get out of bed

3. Not being willing to stay the night (we never spent a night together last month and a half) and accusing me of being only after her for sex (which was a million miles from the truth)


I also made allowances for the fact she was rarely agreeing to meet up, I kept saying to myself "she's really busy at the moment, it'll be different when Christmas is over". But as I mentioned in my previous post, that all changed in mind after the phone call the other night, when it became clear that she was doing things that she could have invited me along to, but was choosing not to invite me.

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