Depression, relationships, and breakups - help! Perspective needed!

A little over 2 months ago, I started dating this guy. He was (and is) absolutely perfect for me, though not perfect himself.

Things were great! We saw each other often, but not to the point of smothering. I got along with his friends and family, and he got along with mine. We communicated well. We had a healthy amount of "alone time," though we didn't have sex (and I feel like around 2 months is acceptable for me to start that), and we even talked about that. We had a lot of fun, but of course we had our serious conversations when they arose.

Lately (within the last few weeks), he's been feeling down on himself. He's been frustrated with his lack of a job out of college and financial situation, his friends around here are kinda flaky (except for one), he doesn't get along with his mom and dislikes living in his house, he misses being at school and with his fraternity. All of this has caused him to go into a bit of a depression, and he has been more withdrawn. I noticed him looking off into space more, zoning out more. He's been sleeping less at night and more during the day time. I know when he was younger a few years ago, he was treated for depression, so I know he's more susceptible to depression.

Last week, his ex-girlfriend whom he had broken up with in December of last year and had not spoken to since about that time - who had treated him badly and made him feel low, who was bossy and picky, who was disrespectful of his wishes, and who compared him to her ex boyfriends during sex, and when he was with her he felt depressed and gained a lot of weight - sent him a message and a voice mail apologizing for how she treated him and said she hoped they could be friends still.

I think her messaging him, on top of everything else going on, brought back up everything. When we talked about it, he said he never wanted to get back with her, and that I treated him amazingly. When I asked him where he saw us going, he said, "In a really good place." Everything was fine...until Friday afternoon, when out of left field he broke up with me, saying that he's been feeling depressed and can't be in a relationship right now, despite my asking him where he saw us going days before that and him saying "a good place." He said it was nothing I did, that I was amazing, he just couldn't be in a relationship right now. When asked if we could ever get back together, he said he wasn't sure if it was a good idea, even though I told him we weren't breaking up over a fight or because we hurt each other, and that we couldn't know the future.

Later that night his best friend called me, asked me how I was, told me he was confused by it too, and that he knows it was nothing I did and that it was a hard thing for him to do, and that he feels my ex needs time to sort his life out, and even offered to still talk and hang out with me.

I think he and I owe it to ourselves to try again and see where we could have gone, especially because we didn't break up out of spite. Is there hope?


Most Helpful Guy

  • Indeed there is hope. There would've been more hope if he had opened up to well before he made a unilateral decision on behalf of both of you. From the cloud of his depression the decision seemed logical, even inevitable: he’s not good to anyone, even himself; he’s only going to drag down everyone around him; he cares about you very deeply therefore if he doesn’t break it off, he’s going to hurt you. I assume he didn’t talk it over with you for fear that his resolve would weaken and he’d selfishly agree to stay together. There are many wrong assumptions in this way of thinking but depressive thinking is self-contained and self-fulfilling. The more he thinks about this, the more depressed he’ll get and the more reason he’ll feel to protect you.

    If he pulls out of this, his mind can clear and he can see the hope and sense of getting back together. With you on the outside, you don’t have many options to help pull him out. It’s a very good sign that his friend recognizes the mistake in his decision and is rooting for the two of you. Perhaps he can play some role in drawing him up from dark places.

    I’m not sure what you can do beyond waiting it out, if you are willing. Perhaps you can send him stories or articles or books that would be meaningful to him. I don’t recommend things to try to cheer him up, because that often feels trite. I’m thinking material that would maintain some kind of shared connection between you. Another idea is to get in touch with his fraternity and see if they have contacts who might lead to an opening nearby. Or you could recommend this to his best friend to pursue if it feels too interfering.

    Good luck on this.


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What Guys Said 2

  • He probably feels he doesn't deserve you the way things are for him.

    If there is to be any hope, you may have to do something that will either be the truth or a lie to you, depending on how you actually feel. You need to tell him you can look past his screwed up life and love him anyway (don't use those words, just list the issues your looking past). Let him know why you love him - what it is about him that does it for you - that he may build up a little value in himself.

    I can't garauntee results, but I believe this is your best bet.

  • Debt, jobless, anxiety, stress, rejection from employment, lack of attention and recognition as a human who wants to experience life, can drive a person to serious depression. It's common for people to make bad life decision when their mind isn't in the right state.

    I've been through similar difficulties before except that I have meddling and really abusive parents. Fresh air, new work, cash flow, new hobbies and friends normally help a person start fresh, recover and regain mental health and make progress in many aspects of life.

    There's hope. Be at the right place and right time, when he recovers, he'll be better than you'll ever imagine. Took me 4 years though, but now I feel super good and things keep feeling better :-)


What Girls Said 1

  • Pretty much verbatim the situation I went through with my ex... except with him I don't think we will ever get back together. We have been broken up for 2 months now and I know for a fact that he is beginning to date another girl. However, we are still Facebook friends, friends on instagram and he has been liking a lot of my statuses and pictures lately.

    We finally talked about things and he ended up saying that he cared about me but he couldn't be my boyfriend because he thought that we weren't compatible... we only weren't compatible because he was going through a hard time during when we were dating and it's frustrating that he won't recognize it.

    I think that there is hope, but you have to move on like you won't get back together because afterall, it is YOUR life and YOUR happiness. I think that a big factor in getting back together is his willingness to get help, recognize that there is a problem, and not put the blame on your relationship. Also, if he is stubborn (like my ex) he may not do any of the above.

    You also have to realize that it takes time to truly heal from depression, so be prepared to let him go for at least a couple of months if not a year.