I’ve been seeing a really kind, considerate, smart guy for the last six months. Let me start by saying that we’re nearly 30. We have a lot of fun together, and we have great chemistry. He has some personal issues, however, that I feel are getting in the way of our relationship. He suffers from social anxiety (most significantly at work – he avoids any interactions with more senior people, avoids taking on responsibility and just tries to get by). He also has what seem to be significant insecurities. For instance, he sleeps with his light on at night when he’s alone because he’s afraid of the dark. Another example: one night at dinner after a somewhat serious conversation he said he wanted to ask me something, and his question was: “Do you think my head is physically too big?”He also has a ‘victim’ outlook on life – he says things like, “I don’t deserve to have this happen to me,” or “life has just been harder for me than it is for other people.”
His friends sometimes take advantage of him because he can’t really say no. He offers to do things for me that are clearly extremely inconvenient for him. I make a point of explaining to him why it would be unreasonable for me to ever ask something like that of him, and say thanks but I can’t accept. I refuse to ever take advantage of him, but I want HIM to realize what’s happening.
So the question is: do I stay or do I go? I genuinely care about him, and I had a serious bout of depression in my early 20s so I really understand what he’s going through. I’ve been encouraging him to see a therapist, and he’s agreed to but still hasn’t made an appointment after about a month. Part of me wants to at least wait until he gets into therapy and see how things go, and the other part of me wants to tell him to call me in a year after he’s figured himself out. What is best for him? I am fine either way — I really care about him and would miss him but I really just want him to be happy. — Not Afraid of the Dark
Well, you’ve already pretty much decided that you can’t be with him as he is now, right? So, that would mean you’d need him to change in order to have a happy relationship, and one thing I always say: be happy with your partner as he is NOW not as you wish he would be. If the success of your relationship is contingent on him getting himself together — going to therapy, figuring out his shit, getting better — and he has shown zero signs of doing that, then you need to break up with him and explain why you’re breaking up with him. If he chooses to then get help, great — but it has to be his choice and he has to do it for himself. You probably wouldn’t see evidence of that being the case for many, many months. And when you say you’d be “fine either way” — whether you break up or stay with him — it seems even more obvious what your decision should be, because clearly you aren’t fine with how things are now or you wouldn’t have written to me. So, MOA, darlin’. Then you’ll probably be fine.
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