Post # 1
I have been seeing a man for about 8 months now, but taking it very slow because I was engaged just over a year ago, and am a slow recoverer. He’s a sweet, kind-hearted, and gentlemanly fellow, just finishing a degree when I met him. We normally spend many hours together; he’s been training me to dance and we love to hang out and cook together or just talk. He recently ran out of money, and in desperation got a pretty crappy job. He’s normally been super attentive, but since he got the job (about a week ago), he will barely respond if at all to me. I’m worried it’s my fault. I don’t want to bug him, but I also don’t want to distance myself from him. With a graduate degree, he seems totally depressed that he has ended up sorting garbage at a plant, and says some pretty self-deprecating stuff about himself. We’ve just been close for months (kissing but not having sex), and now it seems over……
Any words of wisdom? I’m really worried about him.
Post # 3
@fullyalive: help him find a new job. that is the best thing for both of you. Poor man, no wonder he is down and no wonder he barely wants to respond. Consider that he might be suffering an existential crisis. Either way, talk to him openly about it.
Post # 4
Let him know you are there for him, plain and simple. Try to not make this rough patch about your, or your relationship, but definitely about him. If you feel he has been unresponsive, then shoot him an email/text/vm, etc stating that you do not want to be overbearing during this time, but that you are here if/when he is ready to talk, needs to vent, etc.
Post # 5
Thanks so much! I appreciate the advice.
Post # 6
It sounds like he’s just really sad about his job situation. I would let him know that you believe in him and that you think he’s plenty smart and that this is just a phase. He will find a job and you will help him in any way you can. You could also let him know that you admire him for going out and doing what needs to be done to make ends meet. That’s pretty admirable stuff!
Post # 7
@fullyalive: He’s probably understandably depressed about his job situation, and depression changes people. My SO went through major depression, and he’d go through phases of being very attentive and wanting me around, to wanting to be left alone because he didn’t know what I saw in him. He couldn’t even figure out how to start getting better let alone trying to maintain the same relationship we’d had before. He got help, and slowly recovered. When someone is depressed, they feel worthless and like a burden on others, they withdraw. Why not call him, or send him a message and saying ‘I want to take you out for dinner/mini golf/10 pin bowling’ (if finances permit, otherwise you could ask to practice dancing together)- something fun that he might like. Get him out of the house. If he doesn’t feel up to it, don’t pressure him. Just tell him you are there for him, and it would be nice to see him.
Post # 8
- Wedding: September 2013 - Creek club at ion, SC
awww … poor thing
I would be round his with things trying to cheer him up but my Fiance says I can be quite overbearing sometimes trying to fix things when i need to just let them be…..
sooo …. I say just be there for him. Maybe suggest going out somtime but dont push it and when you do go out let him know that you still think hes amazing (in a subtle way). That way hell know you still like him and dont think anything less of him (this could also be the problem – many men have fragile egos and can really put themselves down wen they find themselves in a a bad situation)
Men are weird cos sometimes they need you to love them from a distance and give them space and sometimes they need you right there with attention and praise making them feel like they are “the man”.
Post # 9
Thanks for your advice! I appreciate it. I’ve been as loving and encouraging as possible for months. I went a spoke with a counsellor (I’ve been seeing her for other things in my past), and she said from my description that this fellow is a “leech”. I thought this was pretty harsh. I don’t really know what’s true. He’s been super loving and attentive, but his flattery has also been a bit over the top. He also has been unemployed and penniless since I met him 8 months ago, and he didn’t start looking for work until a week or two before his money ran out (although he had a job in there for a month or two), which tells me that something isn’t right. I don’t know if the counsellor is right or wrong. I’ve told her all the details, and she’s been helpful in other areas.
Basically, I’ve poured out a lot of emotional energy on this guy, and he doesn’t seem to have it together. I’ve loved, supported, listened, had fun with, encouraged, and listened to his whole liiiiiiiiiiiiist of hurts from the past and present. Mostly, I couldn’t understand how anyone who was running out of money could wait that long.
I’ve done all the loving, supportive things possible to this man. This may be harsh, but it’s like he’s created the whole situation he’s in. When I even offered him bus tickets, so he didn’t have to bike to work in the rain, he said, “No, I deserve it.” Yuck, how horrible is that?
My plan is to give him a bit of space, to see if he pulls it together or if he “returns” to me or what I hear. I think he may have also lost interest and this is a sucky way of him breaking up with me. Siiggggh.
Post # 10
After your update, I’m not sure that I would call him a “leech,” but it does make me think that he may not have himself together enough to be a good partner at this time. It might be depression, it might be immaturity. I think your plan is a good one: supportive, but not smothering, and definitely not getting too enmeshed in his issues.