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liviam 05-27-2015 03:23 AM

Dating someone with dysthymia

I have recently met a man I really like. Unfortunately he seems to have some issues that have slowed our getting to know each other. Some days he will be fantastic but on others he cancels dates, driving me nuts, has low self-esteem and is very worried about hurting me. At the moment we're officially "just friends" because of that, but the subtxt is there that we both want more.
He also wants to go "slow" which I'm really not used to. We've been talking for some 7 weeks now, but have only met 5 times in person, which is an issue for me because... well... I want to see someone when I want to see someone.. ;)

I try to make things easy for him, reassuring him that I do want to see him, that I find him attractive, etc. But I'm always wary of how much to do. I don't want to be too pushy, but he has said he appreciates clear pointers in the past, as well as texting him often. So it's a difficult line for me to walk.

He has been opening up and has told me that he is dysthimyc, though he says he has it under control. He seems to do this by keeping routines and doing a lot of sports. I know he saw psychologists as a child/young man. We're both on our early 40s now and both wishing to find a special someone and settle.

I just wonder how best to approach this. I know it's early to know he's the one for me and viceversa but I do really like him, which doesn't happen that often.
So I'd like to give this a good try.

Any tips, advice on what to read, how to cope, etc?

rosequartz 05-27-2015 10:06 AM

Re: Dating someone with dysthymia
are you looking for a project? because from all accounts, you seem to have found one.......
I wouldn't do it.....he's not stable. He won't even come out and get together.....and you have to constantly re-assure him to keep his self-esteem up......uugh....too much work and after you do all that, I'd bet he flakes out on you......
I wouldn't take the chance. Look for someone who is mentally healthy who you don't have to rescue.

liviam 05-27-2015 01:40 PM

Re: Dating someone with dysthymia
Thanks you for your honesty. That is of course somewhere in my mind, too :(

I must say the reassuring has been done because *I* thought he needed it and I'm happy to be "active" in that department. I'm not sure t's been entirely a good idea.
That said, the flakiness is probably too much, you're right.
Seeing someone you like say twice a week isn't too much even in the begining, right? That was my feeling but somehow I ended up believing it was me rushing into things... :(

bemindful 05-27-2015 02:33 PM

Re: Dating someone with dysthymia
I'm sorry to hear about the concerns you have concerning this man in your life. But just because he is "broken" and has mental health issues, doesn't mean you should just give up on him. I mean, no one in this world is perfect, and if we judged and threw aside every person we meet who doesn't "fit the perfect mold," then there would be no human connection. Finding support groups or talking with a mental health professional may be helpful. Best wishes.

liviam 05-27-2015 02:57 PM

Re: Dating someone with dysthymia
Thank you for another point of view. I realize he has issues and the real question is whether they can be worked out, and whether I can cope with his troubles if they're recurrrent.
The thing is he's supposedly "under control" now and he's given reasons why he has acted the way he has, which aren't entirely unreasonable. They're different from what I'd do (I move fast if I'm into someone, for example) but I suppose it can be reasonable to tread carefully if you want a serious relationship, like he says he does.

He's also been opening up gradually which is good, but it also means there may be more than I 've learnt so far.

Basically my problem is it could be good and worth the extra effort, or it could be just wasted time, energy and sentiment, if in the end he just won't open give enough back.

I suppose it would't hurt to wait a bit longer and see if he manages to be again the man I was happy to be getting to know and appreciate.

Thisby 05-27-2015 10:22 PM

Re: Dating someone with dysthymia
I don't think it's a matter of 'throwing him aside' because he's 'broken' but rather of determining if you two are compatible for the long term and I'm not sure it sounds like you are. This relationship sounds more like it could be a lot of work for you, and be very one-sided and unrewarding. Are you sure this is what you are looking for in a partner?

I would also not hold out much hope for him being again the man you first got to know. People typically put on their best behavior at the beginning and then show their real selves.

Good luck.

parker1261 05-27-2015 10:34 PM

Re: Dating someone with dysthymia
hi sweetie - i'm gonna agreed with Rosequartz.....this is A LOT to take on....if this is his behavior "under control" out of control will be a hair pulling gut wrenching hot mess ! and not in a good way....there's such a thing as giving too much of yourself....will he be able to give back enough to fill you up ? esp. when you're giving so much ? eventually you will feel cheated because he takes waaaay more than he gives but will still manage somehow to make it all YOUR fault....not to mention the elephant in the room - the enabler portion of the equation....don't take this the wrong way but do you have a history of getting involved with men who need "fixing" ? if so, did it end well ? are you trying to find someone so broken that you can try to "fix" him forever but he never changes and so maybe he won't leave ? that doesn't work either because people for the most part don't change and then you create this weird dance thing where you both go round and round and nothing ever gets better or worse....just status quo.

sorry for the rant and hijacking your question....but no, i think you should redefine the nature of your relationship with him.

best wishes

liviam 05-28-2015 02:39 AM

Re: Dating someone with dysthymia
Thank you both!

I wouldn't say he's changed that much. He still seems very thoughtful and caring, but he seemed optimistic and can-do at first, while now it's like he's mired in this "streak of bad luck". You're totally right in that the relationship is now very one sided and I'm not happy with that, and couldn't be long term. It's like hopelessness takes over and paralyzes him - though that may just be my own interpretation, based on an incomplete understanding, or maybe even just wishful thinking.

And no, I don't have a history of fixing anyone. All my previous relationships (8 years, 10 years before that, months-long before that) started very naturally and without major hangups. Reasons for splitting were nothing unusual: life pulling you in different directions, that sort of thing.
So all of this (someone having serious issues, wanting to take things very slowly, being so scared of hurting and getting hurt) is totally new to me. Hence my asking here, to try to make a more informed decision.
If anything I have a history of never spending much time singly so if there's anything that captured me here it was the time when he was charming, caring and looking forward to a stable relationship, and wanting that back.

Parker, out of curiosity, what do you think I should redefine the relationship to?

parker1261 05-28-2015 05:36 AM

Re: Dating someone with dysthymia
i only wish you the best and hope you get your heart's desire ! everyone's different but if it were me, i'd redefine my relationship to just friends.....a movie, dinner once in awhile, if he only talks about himself and his depressing personal issues, i would tell him "put your happy pants on ! if i wanted sad glass 1/2 empty people, i'd go to a family reunion ! you're jamming my frequency ! get off my cloud ! if you keep emoting it will cost you a big fat chocolate dessert ! " or something like that.....but remember, it's not you job to make/keep him happy....constantly being a cheerleader is EXHAUSTING.....just thoughts

liviam 05-28-2015 06:43 AM

Re: Dating someone with dysthymia
Yeah, I think "just friends" is the way it'll have to be for a while. No much choice there, really, unless some switch flips back in him.

For the record, he doesn't much like talking about his problems. Mostly, I've been the one asking him to explain his motivations. You see, my first thoughs on him cancelling a date was "he's lost interest in me" - so I've appreciated hearing from him why he does this or that (like the thing about going so slow). Dysthymic and introvert to boot, I guess? I've appreciated getting to understand his mindset, though I obviously do not like all that negativity in him.
And I guess I have insecurities he's brought out in the open major time, too. :/

I suppose being friends should take pressure off seeing each other. Though it's not really what I long for and there's the danger we'll just lose touch. But then I don't see much choice, other than just waiting for quite a while with no guarantee of progress relationship-wise.
I will try to keep the focus on "positivity only", I think, when we chat or finally meet again.

Thanks once again! It does help a lot to be able to chat about this with experienced people!

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