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Emotional Wall?

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  • Emotional Wall?

    I have been friends with a guy on and off for almost three years. He told me he is bipolar (although I am not certain he has been formally diagnosed and I recently learned he is not being treated for it) and leads a rather solitary life outside of work and a few friends with whom he has been close for many years. We were friends for a while, but he was deeply depressed and essentially picked me apart whenever we got together so I distanced myself. His mother died last year and we reconnected then. While I am mindful that he is grieving, his behavior toward and with me has not changed other than he is more respectful of me. The notion of whether we are attracted to each other has come up occasionally, but nothing has ever come of it. When he says or does something rude, he often replies with "I'm not trying to impress you" or "I'm not trying to date you." This is odd to me as I've not expressed the desire to do this.

    We have never gone anywhere in all this time and he has cancelled every plan we have ever made. I have struggled with mental health issues, so I have been understanding of the (even irrational) limitations I know it can place on someone. He explained that he has a wall up because everyone he loves leaves him and he is intimidated by my friends whom he has not yet met because they have PhDs. I know that he is uncomfortable about what he perceives are our differences in terms of background, education, and lifestyle. Part of this is the fact that he does not really know my struggles because we have never had a deep conversation.

    During our last get together at his house, he told me I'm a better person than he is and that I'm a lot of things that he's not. Later, he expressed he was going to start going out to try to meet a woman (though he has said this before and does like to talk more than actually do) and he was going to New York to see his friend. While I hope he does as this would be good for him I think, I cannot help but be confused by the ease with which he at least expresses the desire to do these things but is full of anxiety about going out with me. I told him I was confused by this and that I often feel like I don't matter. He explained why he has a wall up and said that it would matter if I wasn't in his life. His insecurities and anxiety are apparent, but I'm not sure what to believe. Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

  • #2
    You believe his actions that are clearly showing you that he's not going to be your boyfriend. Stop all contact with him so you can get him out of your system. He needs years of therapy before he'd ever be a good romantic partner to you or anyone else.
    "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!


    • #3
      You seem to care waaaaay too much for this dude. I think if the rule birds of a feather flock together, you should put your phD to good use and use some logic. You both have mental health issues and it appears one of you isn't dealing with it or getting treated. Good luck to having a balanced friendship or relationship or any mutual respect. You claim to understand limitations but you're not practicing your understanding. If you want to spend more time with this guy as a friend, act like a friend and less like his mother or a clingy ex-girlfriend. I think you're overly concerned as a friend and it's time to back off. He explicitly said he is not trying to date you, for heaven's sake. It also appears you give him anxiety. Move on.


      • #4
        Drop the guy. Both of you need time to figure yourselves out first, get settled within your own being and then you can share your life with someone else. Two unstable people put together doesn't work out. It turns into confusion and complications. Save yourself the drama and make the exit now.
        "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."