How do I get him to trust me and not shut down/drift away?

I recently became close with a guy in my class. He really is an introvert and often has little to nothing to say, but I think it is because he doesn't trust people.

He was in my microbiology class, and was my lab partner and we got along well. Most of the class was often us poking fun at each other, and me throwing him to the sharks because although he is smart (over a 2000 on the SAT) he doesn't really apply himself academically. The teasing was all in good fun, and we would occasionally eat dinner together and things were really light, and they do stupid things together.

We weren't overly close or anything, but we got along well. We recently went on a service trip through our school building houses together and I got to know him a lot better, and I learned that we have many things in common. The more I get to know him, the more and more of myself I in him. He is basically who I was 2 years ago after I was really struggling with the death of my father. He is just so out of it, of which what seems to be sadness. Teachers tend to go after him which isn't fair either, and I think this is part of the problem as well.

When he was a sophomore he was madly in love with a girl, and she devastatingly broke his heart. It took him close to 7 months to remotely get over her, and in the meantime he picked up some bad habits, and got himself kicked out of his then, at the time school. Since that happened, I don't think he has really, truly trusted anyone since. He has since gone to 3 schools total, and just came to the school we both attend as a senior (I am a junior who just came as well). He didn’t really transition well into the school, and eventually found himself in a group of jocks/(douche bags) because they kind of accepted him and do the same (bad) recreational activities he does. Which is fine, I don’t judge him or anything-- its his choice what he does, but I of course feel he deserves far greater friends than that. I assume he enjoys their company also because they don’t ask him about his personal life, which he kind of steers away from talking about.

So on the trip I learned all these things about him, some of which no one here really knows. During that time the teasing continued back and forth, but there were also moments where he was really sweet. He would go day to day from being really engaging, to being completely secluded from people. A couple nights I stayed up late talking to him and I really learned a lot about him. We both have the some of the same issues for different reasons, and I feel like we became closer.

There was one night on the trip we were trying to engage him into the group and someone asked him opinion on boob jobs. It was all in good fun, but he seriously said that he wouldn’t answer because I was there. He was afraid I would judge him for his response (of course which I knew the answer) because over the past week we had formed some sort of friendship and didn’t want to mess with whatever was going on between us.
Kind of hurt, but understandable, I guess

He is really frustrated with the fact that girls keep getting involved with him expecting more than just friendship, because he really hasn’t wanted anything more. Though he has had 8 or so short relationships this year alone, so I really don’t know what that is about. He says they kind of just throw themselves at him (he’s pretty easy on the eyes), and he just picks the prettiest one; to which I didn’t judge, but of course didn’t agree with.
Around me though its different. He watches his words, and really worries what I think about him. And I can tell he’s emotionally hurting and although I know he’s not ready to talk about it, I think it spooks him off that I can tell.

His friendship means a lot to me, but it’s getting very hard to keep on with, and I worry that he’s going to keep drifting down this spiral he’s on. He seems like he really wants to talk to me, but just can’t trust me, and I don’t know how to get him to trust me.
There are some days he talks to me and other he avoids me. I think it is because we are so similar and I am starting to understand him more and more, and this scares him. I think he is afraid to get hurt again, which isn’t my intention at all. I just want to be a friend, and let him know he had someone there for him.

He’s the kind of person that I can tell exactly what he’s thinking just by the expression on his face and the way he looks at me.


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What Guys Said 1

  • Only time can heal a broken heart

    So what you need to do is invest a lot of time with him

    He will take tiny steps which would be one at a time but if you can walk with him, he can be the person that he has the potential to be

    He needs someone to confide into and for that he needs to test that person so he might tease u, bully you and even try to hurt you a little but once you pass his tests he will be there yo protect you for the rest of your life

    • How do I get him to spend time with me, when he avoids me too? I mean I can only invest so much, so I don;t know when enough is enough. Maybe I should give him space?

    • Well you need to throw yourself at him(not sexually), you need to be there always, text him, call him and tell him that you need him

      He won't open up unless he feels that you are opening up but make sure that you don't play the damsell in distress but be his beauty who needs the beast

      go to movies or shopping with him make up reasons to meet him but please don't try to get into a relationship with him because that's the last thing he needs right now and if you are his girlfriend he won't open up

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