I started to see a guy at my school in the beginning of the fall semester (September) who is a senior, while I am a sophomore in college. At first, it was a purely physical thing (we are sexually active), but as time progressed we started to get closer and it turned into a relationship "without the title" as we joked about it. I met his mother, he met my family, and we even exchanged costly Christmas presents. I felt like I knew so much about him, but not everything about him and around Christmas time I began to feel like there was something he wasn't telling me. We decided at the start of spring semester (January) to give each other space to figure out where our relationship was headed and wether we wanted to stay together.
Recently, after a month of speaking very rarely and not seeing each other we hung out and even had a sleepover, which involved sex. At first, I became angry with him and accused him of being like "every other guy" and wanting sex without strings. However, last night he put my feelings into perspective when he told me the truth that he had been hiding all along - he has an anxiety disorder and is experiencing depression. I feel like the guy I knew suddenly has fallen apart in front of me - he's moody, withdrawn, hates school, and is constantly tired and hesistant to hang out with me. He has virtually no sex drive, looks thin, and can't even relax long enough to cuddle with me and watch a movie. Just being in his presence makes me happy yet sad because I'm worried that he's hurting himself so much. He says he cares about me and my well-being and would love to live his life with me as his girlfriend, but he is so self-consumed in his own mind that he can't bring himself to be with me. Now I just feel soo unstable and confused!
I guess my question is - what would you do if the guy you've been dating revealed something this serious? Does anyone have experience with this? Is it unhealthy for me to want to stay with him or is it better if I begin to move past this relationship?
[ 02-15-2007, 02:30 PM: Message edited by: jersey girl. ]
Posts: 7 | From: new jersey | Registered: Feb 2007
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Sounds like this guy has actually taken a pretty big, cool risk in being this honest with you about this. That's not easy.
If you want to stay in this or not is really up to you, but if you DO stay in, I'd make sure that you're getting more invested with someone who is actually being proactive about treating these issues. Is he? Might he, for instance, be willing to let you have a talk with his therapist or counselor so you can make an informed choice and know what you're getting into? Might he be willing to have joint sessions to help you both learn how to deal? Are you even up to that kind of investment?
(And it's always okay if you're not: any of us gets to make choices about relationships based on our limits.)
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quote:Originally posted by jersey girl.: At first, it was a purely physical thing (we are sexually active), but as time progressed we started to get closer and it turned into a relationship "without the title" as we joked about it.
At first, I became angry with him and accused him of being like "every other guy" and wanting sex without strings.
First, I wanted to talk about this. I can understand why you're upset, but I don't think it's really fair to accuse him of this. You also wanted a purely physical relationship at first, and "every other guy" maybe be every other guy, but it's still a stereotype.
OK, that out of the way... I have mixed feelings about his reaction. I go through bouts of anxiety and depression at times (be it undiagnosised), and a relationship is absolutely the worst thing for me to have at such times. This is actually a reason I often prefer to be single (or have a non-committed relationship), because it's something that pops up if the relationship doesn't seem totally hunky-dory. I can understand how it's really tough for him, that he wants a relationship but can't deal with one right now.
However, I find it odd that he's kept his anxiety disorder a secret from you for so long. It's practically the first thing I mention when discussing relationship models with potential partners. Regardless, his symptoms sound very genuine and his answer very honest, especially this quote right here:
quote:He says he cares about me and my well-being and would love to live his life with me as his girlfriend, but he is so self-consumed in his own mind that he can't bring himself to be with me.
He says he really cares about you and wants to be with you, just can't right now in his current state.
I'm sorry you're feeling so unstable and confused right now -- it's not your fault and he sure doesn't mean for it to be this way either. Has he mentioned how he's dealt with it in the past? Is he seeing a counselor who he's discussed this with?
I don't think it's unhealthy for you to want to stay with him. Best scenario might be you two take a break of sorts while he works stuff out and then you can continue the relationship should you so wish. However, if this is something that's too painful or unbearable for you (and it's something that's always going to be part of the relationship with him, the ups and the downs), it'd also be totally appropriate to want to end it.
Is he open to discussion right now? Could you two talk about this some more? How about giving each other a few days or a week to think things out and then talk about what you want your next step to be? In any case, hang in there-- I know it's really trying right now, but you'll be able to work things out better in a bit.
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