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Boyfriend going quiet

(17 Posts)
MrsJasonIsbell Sun 15-Mar-20 09:04:03

I am a single parent, 2 kids, one is an adult really but she's still at home and the other is 11.

In late 2017 I started online dating after being single 6 years (I'm 43 now).

I met a guy early 2018 who I really, really liked but it fizzled out quite quickly as he was always busy/took ages to get in touch and I ended it. I wish I'd persevered but I really wanted a relationship. When we did see each other it was amazing - brilliant chemistry, loads in common, same degree... When we were together I knew he liked me.

I then met someone else quickly and had a 6 month relationship which moved far too quickly - he was a really abusive guy and ultimately assaulted me, I ended in hospital, him arrested. He was a skilled abuser and saw me coming. Regret this enormously and am having counselling.

Shortly after, guy #1 got in touch. I levelled with him about what had happened, he was understanding but didn't pry.

He also levelled with me telling me he had long suffered with depression controlled with medication and he also suffers erection problems which is why he held back when he met me before as he could tell I wanted more than he could offer. This doesn't worry me too much, I'm much more interested in a meeting of minds than bodies.

We speak all the time, I see him about once a fortnight, at his house. He makes me laugh, feel loves and cherished, he's kind and thoughtful and I really love him. He's not met my kids although it's hard to have secrets here and they know of him. They're happy I'm happy. Youngest one wants to meet him but not urgently.

Since Coronavirus, he's gone quiet after 10 months of chatting, seeing each other infrequently and telling each other 'I love you etc'. I work in a front line role in health care and I think he finds our chats too stressful now.

I haven't spoken to him for a few days (unusual) and should have gone and stayed with him last night, after working out for youngest to go to her dad. He messaged yesterday am and asked me not to, said he was feeling low. I messaged, said I understood, love him and a few nice things. I haven't heard from him since. I have a dread feeling and am not sure what to do.

He already has his own three grown up kids, ex wife (amicable) and older parents. Maybe I'm just an added burden which, as an independent woman, I'm not.

I tried to call him yesterday and he didn't pick up. Should I just leave it? I'm not worried he's suicidal, my gut feeling is he knows life's going to get stressful with Covid-19 and he's not able to handle having me and my 'problems' in his life too.

I know the answer probably is to give him space and be cool about things and I will try to. I'm really sad about the prospect of losing him, he's the best, loveliest, smartest, sweetest guy I've ever met.

MrsJasonIsbell Sun 15-Mar-20 09:04:57

This did have paragraphs argh!

TheTea Sun 15-Mar-20 09:16:06

Sounds to me like he has some anxiety/fears over the coronavirus.

Just ask him what's going on and why he's pulled back.

TigerDater Sun 15-Mar-20 09:18:48

None of us know what’s going on about anything OP, the world’s gone a bit crazy and it’s probably making him focus elsewhere for awhile. Stay well

copperoliver Sun 15-Mar-20 09:26:57

I think he is suffering from anxiety over coronavirus, maybe just message him and say I know it's tough for you at the moment and you may not want to talk.
But I would like to hear from you by text message two or three times a week, so I know how you are.
Don't talk about CV in the messages or anything negative. Try to keep the chat up beat. X

alexasaymyname Sun 15-Mar-20 10:21:19

It does sound as though he's having issues, maybe with Coronavirus. Anxiety often goes hand in hand with depression. All you can do is reassure him you are there to help and understand his worries, then back off until he feels better.

MrsJasonIsbell Sun 15-Mar-20 10:51:26

Thanks all, you're all right! I was going to drive to see him (15 miles) but have sent a text. Just saying hi, hope you're ok, keep in touch and he's replied saying he is.
I suppose I can't control anyone's reaction to this scary time. I just need to concentrate on keeping on top of things here with the job/kids...
I hope everyone else is managing and I'm really sorry for those of you who are struggling. Xx

itsjustme555 Sun 15-Mar-20 13:58:31

I definitely agree his mind/focus may be elsewhere.

In my own on/off relationship I was pulling away a bit anyway due to our problems, now covid-19 has hit my sole focus is as much social distancing as poss and looking after my elderly parents. I also have some MH issues including depression and anxiety so if he also does he really could be preoccupied with coronavirus and protecting his family at present.

Normal life seems to be a bit up in the air for many people at the moment. I agree it would be nice to occasionally message him to check he is ok though without expectation perhaps other than a reply.

MrsJasonIsbell Mon 16-Mar-20 17:45:32

He's ok I think. I've asked him to send me the odd message to check in and his messages are defo more cheerful...

DeeCeeCherry Wed 18-Mar-20 12:55:11

He could have anxiety issues re Corona

On the other hand my horrid elder brother always claims 'depression' when he wants to dump a woman. It's an easy way out isn't it - go silent, withdraw contact, claim to be feeling down, then just sneak off with someone else. Funnily enough his 'depression' - like a lot of these men - never stops him seeking out women tho. Well, the women think its a relationship but its not really is it, you're just there for a time.

You can't tell if your man is genuine or not OP. Whatever the case you sound as if you need time and space to yourself to heal. Less focus on finding a man at the moment. Self-care can be a good and inspiring thing. Good luck & hope all turns out well.

Seaside1234 Wed 18-Mar-20 13:37:45

As a long-time partner of someone with depression, this sounds very much like a depressive episode. These will continue to be a feature of your life together, so gauging now how he treats you during this and how well you feel able to handle it is important. Is he being treated for depression? How willing is he to seek help when he’s having problems? These are all things that will affect how the depression impacts on your relationship. Best of luck to you both, I hope it works out ok x

MrsJasonIsbell Wed 18-Mar-20 16:19:00

DeeDee thanks for the advice about whether I am able to date at the age of 43. With respect, I'll make my own decisions about that, perhaps with the help of my counsellor! I also appreciated your story of your brother who, indeed, sounds horrible. I don't think that's what's happening here and I can see why you may assume from my recent experience that I have really crap taste in men! You may be right about that but this guy is not an arsehole, he's a gentle soul who wishes he could fix the problems of the world.
Seaside, I think you are right. I have spoken with him today and he seems to be recovering and plans to return to work tomorrow. He also was appreciative of my concern and grateful for my gentle perseverance. I am glad of the advice I've had on here - thanks all.

DeeCeeCherry Wed 18-Mar-20 16:42:08

OP my reply is only 2 above your comment so you can see I didn't mention your age at all neither did I say you had crap taste in men. How extraordinary🤔.

Maybe you have another poster's comments in mind.

Your guy's a gentle soul appreciative as you've now said so good luck..

MrsJasonIsbell Wed 18-Mar-20 18:37:56

Well, that's how your tone came across whether you meant it to or not. Thanks for your good wishes x

anotherdisaster Wed 18-Mar-20 19:52:01

Hi OP, it can be worrying dating someone like this. You worry about their mental health, state of mind etc. Try not to. Let him find a way through his dark times with some gentle encouragement and let him know you are there if needed. Focus your efforts on yourself and kids at these times. It can become consuming at times but I;m sure he will come through in the end.

rvby Wed 18-Mar-20 20:02:25

He sounds like someone who doesnt have great relationship skills and is probably going to drain you over time.

Imo choosing a partner who cant be there for you when the going gets tough is really unwise.

I'm slightly leery of just how many excuses you have lined up for him as well... and based on your pp, it sounds like you're fully committed to assuming only the very best possible version of what's going on here...

For what it is worth, relationships really should not be this complicated and draining. Perhaps one can stand having maximum 1 friend who is this unengaged, unsupportive, etc but it's usually only sustainable if you have a partner or another very close friend who makes up for that drain on you. Otherwise it just cant last very long without doing damage to your self esteem.

You absolutely dont sound ready to date at all, as much as you dont want to hear that. You sound very much like a rescuer who lies to herself in order to keep indulging in rescuing. Perhaps it is better to read this man's actions and see that he isnt really partner material and you would be better off cutting your losses.

MrsJasonIsbell Thu 26-Mar-20 19:45:40

I went and way and digested this advice for a couple of days. I really thought about what DeeDee and RVBY said as I sometimes do second guess myself.
I have concluded that, while there's a lot of truth in what you both say, about self esteem, me being a rescuer, my 'friend' being bad at relationships... What I told you was, of course, a snapshot of what has happened across my life.
I am aware that men can be much better than my guy but I'm also aware they can be much, much worse. We do lead very separate lives and until my youngest is a lot older, I have no intention of having a live in relationship so, on balance, I'm really gonna make the effort, while also not being a pushover, and cross my fingers we're all still here in a few months!
Thanks everyone. This has been good for me.

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