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We broke up because he has depression but he has already reached out


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Good afternoon everyone,

I had been dating a guy for a few months. Things were really well. I had noticed that he has been less groomed, had darkness in his eyes and generally looked distracted for the last couple of weeks. He had been showing up really late for dates looking .... Not in the best shape in everyway. I didn't doubt how he felt about me. 

Yesterday, he showed up an hour late for our date and again... He looked... In pain in his eyes and like he just rolled out of bed. He told me that he has mental health issues. He essentially said that he can't be dating right now because it's gotten so bad that he doesn't get out of bed, doesn't shower, doesn't respond to friends. He said this is a long term issue and has been present in the past. He told me that I've been the only thing that's been making him happy and that was just keeping the depression at bay but the depression has been overwhelming. He said that I make him happy, that my smile makes him happy, that I was the person he looked forward to seeing and always was happy to be around. But he needs to focus on getting himself better. I had told him that I had noticed the shift in him a couple of weeks ago and asked if that was why. He said it was and he was running the scenarios out in his mind and was trying to push though but him and I don't deserve that way he's been acting (him stuck in bed depressed which is why he had been late for our dates). He said there has been no other girl, he likes me and saw us going somewhere. However, his mental health is bad and he can't date. He wanted to be friends and it didn't need a conversation we had that day, he mentioned talking about it in a couple of weeks. I told him that I couldn't have that conversation with him right now because I have feelings for him and that I had to process. I told him that when he is in a better place to reach out if he was looking to date. He made it clear he had feelings for me too in this conversation. He said he didn't want to end things but he has to start figuring out how to solve this long term mental health issue. 

 

This morning, I got a message from him. I got to read the preview which said that the conversation yesterday must not have been fun and

 asked how I was feeling.

My thoughts are really disorganized. I'm wondering why he is reaching out. I know that if I kept him around, I wouldn't have friendship intentions. I also don't want to hurt him. I'm grieving myself. But he was so vulnerable with me about his mental health. I could see that he was suffering in the weeks leading up to it.

 

My questions are so selfish. I'm embarrassed but it's what came to mind less than 24 hours after our separation.

What's the best course of action in this scenario? 

How is he able to let go if I make him so happy? 

 

I had done so much work on myself and finally started dating this guy who treated me so so so well. I'll miss that. I didn't want it to end as what we had was truly unique. 

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Step way back. Let him seek out the help he needs and get support from friends and family. He's in no shape to date/have a relationship.

Don't be a support system. This is something he needs to work out on his own in his own time.

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Every time Ive heard there isnt another person involved, there was another person involved. So I would be careful there and take what he said to you with the grain of salt.

Also, people date even when they are depressed. There are people with families who have depression. They dont abandon family because of it but get meds and treatment and get on with life. Its awfully big of him to admit that he cant, because he realistically cant give you that good dating experience as such. But again, people do treat it and move on. So, again, I would be careful about his sweet words. 

Also, dont take him as a friend. He wanted a break up, so you both should deal with it accordingly. No contact, and moving on from one another in due time.

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I would respond “thanks for your message. I’m ok and it’s best if we’re not in contact unless you feel you are available to date me as we were before. I’m sorry you’re struggling and I also need to take care of me by not letting myself get attached to you since you say you cannot be in a relationship with me. I wish you the best and hope you can resolve your issues soon. “

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36 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

I would respond “thanks for your message. I’m ok and it’s best if we’re not in contact unless you feel you are available to date me as we were before. I’m sorry you’re struggling and I also need to take care of me by not letting myself get attached to you since you say you cannot be in a relationship with me. I wish you the best and hope you can resolve your issues soon. “

Perfect, Batya.

OP, you may want to research the pitfalls of involving yourself with a person suffering from severe depression. I've been there.

Severe depression doesn't render a person unworthy or undeserving, it renders them incapable. And unfortunately, it is a contagious situation, where your own life is altered and becomes very small. 

As impressive and as wonderful as this man may be, there are no guarantees that he will find the proper help or that his condition isn't something called 'treatment resistant'.

I'm so sorry you're going through this, and I hope you will write more if it helps.

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8 hours ago, Shelley511 said:

I'm wondering why he is reaching out

He know you're hurt, and I am sure he feels bad about that. 

8 hours ago, Shelley511 said:

How is he able to let go if I make him so happy?

Because his feelings of depression and pain and greater than his feelings for you. If this is truly severe depression, he is being honest that he won't have the headspace for a relationship. He was also trying to soften the blow for you by singing your praises. So while you may indeed be lovely, the more important message is still there - he can't continue dating. He tried to cushion the break-up with compliments, in other words. 

Follow Batya's advice and let him know you can't be in contact with him. 

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18 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

Step way back. Let him seek out the help he needs and get support from friends and family. He's in no shape to date/have a relationship.

Don't be a support system. This is something he needs to work out on his own in his own time.

Thank you for this response. This is what I wanted to do but I worried I was being selfish. He really is so unique and kind that it's difficult to say no. 

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17 hours ago, Kwothe28 said:

Every time Ive heard there isnt another person involved, there was another person involved. So I would be careful there and take what he said to you with the grain of salt.

Also, people date even when they are depressed. There are people with families who have depression. They dont abandon family because of it but get meds and treatment and get on with life. Its awfully big of him to admit that he cant, because he realistically cant give you that good dating experience as such. But again, people do treat it and move on. So, again, I would be careful about his sweet words. 

Also, dont take him as a friend. He wanted a break up, so you both should deal with it accordingly. No contact, and moving on from one another in due time.

Thank you for your response. Always a perspective to consider and can never be ruled out.

He didn't say that there was no one else out of the blue. I had just made a comment about dating and how I thought he had been going on all the dates and such when he has just been struggling to get out of bed and shower which had been very apparent over the past couple of weeks. I'm also summarizing a conversation within a paragraph. I do believe him though. 

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13 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I would respond “thanks for your message. I’m ok and it’s best if we’re not in contact unless you feel you are available to date me as we were before. I’m sorry you’re struggling and I also need to take care of me by not letting myself get attached to you since you say you cannot be in a relationship with me. I wish you the best and hope you can resolve your issues soon. “

Thank you for this template. I used it when I was writing my message to him..

His text to me was essentially thanking me for listening to everything he was sharing yesterday as it must not have been fun. He asked how I was doing. 

I didn't answer his question or ask him anything. I had just thanks him for being vulnerable as it must not have been easy. I told him that I hope that he gets the help that he needs as I do care. I told him that I know mental health isn't easy. 

 

I truly have noticed that he hasn't looked groomed in weeks. I do care. But I don't see us ever being able to be just friends. There would be feelings involved.

 

Thank you again!

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12 hours ago, catfeeder said:

Perfect, Batya.

OP, you may want to research the pitfalls of involving yourself with a person suffering from severe depression. I've been there.

Severe depression doesn't render a person unworthy or undeserving, it renders them incapable. And unfortunately, it is a contagious situation, where your own life is altered and becomes very small. 

As impressive and as wonderful as this man may be, there are no guarantees that he will find the proper help or that his condition isn't something called 'treatment resistant'.

I'm so sorry you're going through this, and I hope you will write more if it helps.

I really appreciate this message. I have abandonment wounds so my depression is always in response to things like break ups. My abandonment wound says 'how could he leave if he cares'. I currently am in therapy so I know my lens is skewed. I don't know what it's like to have severe depression. I would benefit from doing some research. He did mention it was a long term issue and has happened to him in the past. He said that I had helped keep it at bay and even then he struggled to get out of bed and shower. I had noticed that he had looked ungroomed/unkept/dark eyes during the past couple of weeks (3 dates). I made a mental note about it but couldn't figure out what exactly was wrong. 

 

I really appreciate your response. Thank you. 

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10 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

He know you're hurt, and I am sure he feels bad about that. 

Because his feelings of depression and pain and greater than his feelings for you. If this is truly severe depression, he is being honest that he won't have the headspace for a relationship. He was also trying to soften the blow for you by singing your praises. So while you may indeed be lovely, the more important message is still there - he can't continue dating. He tried to cushion the break-up with compliments, in other words. 

Follow Batya's advice and let him know you can't be in contact with him. 

Thank you so much for this. I think you emphasizing that severe depression does impact the headspace really helps me with perspective. I can't relate to him so the situation seems odd. I appreciate your advice about not talking to him. 

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I would avoid researching now as it may hamper you from moving on. My dad suffered from severe depression for over 60 years. My mom was his caretaker and hero.  He complied with meds and therapy. They married in their early 20s in the 1950s. Very very hard. He also was bipolar. I’d avoid it if possible 

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55 minutes ago, Shelley511 said:

... My abandonment wound says 'how could he leave if he cares'. I currently am in therapy so I know my lens is skewed.

It's good that you're aware of this, because it's the thing that enlivens a focus on 'keeping' a person at all costs rather than on whether (or not!) they are actually a good partner to have in your life.

Ask, "What's the point of trying to keep someone who will sink me along with him?"

Sure, your natural inclination is to want to comfort yourself that this really IS 'him-not-me,' as the reason for the breakup, and that's okay. But it's really important to inform yourself on whether life with a depressive would be something you'd really want to commit to anyway, in case he comes back.

I can only tell you from experience that, knowing how badly my lover's depression was stunting my enjoyment of life, and how it nearly turned me into an old woman during the best years of my youth, I gained clarity that I'd made a huge mistake. It was so difficult to undo it by then, because I truly loved and cared about this man, and my concerns about what would happen to him became my barrier to leaving for 2 years.

We never get any wasted time back to re-live over again. This man has given you all the information you need to recognize that further involvement will alter the future you envision for yourself, and you have THIS moment to spare yourself a life of regret.

If you take the sparks of new romance out of the equation, you can take a big tunnel away from your vision and see a broader outcome--you can choose NOW to spare yourself a future that nobody would rightfully wish for themselves.

Head high.

 

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