Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend is Depressed and I’m Turned Off”

I met my boyfriend six months ago on a dating website and we fell in love very quickly. What I loved about him was his kindness. He seemed very sweet and hard-working, and treats me very well. He’s funny, loyal and my best friend. My friends love him because he is a nice guy and they see we are happy. My family is less fond of him because they don’t like the fact that he has no career plan or ambition. I hate to admit that they are right.

I saw some signs of depression and things happened to make it worse such as him losing his job, gaining weight, and isolating himself from friends. I try to support him and make him feel better, but I also try to gently let him know that I cannot fix him. I am also very busy with my job, so he guilts me that he feels lonely. He says things like how I am the only good thing in his life, and I make him feel like less of a loser. I think to him these remarks are romantic, but they scare me.

I love him and want to make him happy, but I know that the insecurities he has are not things I can fix, even if I was the world’s greatest girlfriend. When I tell him that if there is something he doesn’t like in his life, he is young and healthy and can change it (i.e., go to school, exercise, job hunt), he gets upset and snaps that he knows it’s his fault and me reminding him doesn’t help. So, my attempts to kind of give a pep talk and empower him backfire. I am turned off by the victim mentality and it’s becoming frustrating, but I don’t want to seem cold.

In addition, we got into a fight because an ex liked one of my pictures on Facebook. It was of a cupcake. Just typing this is embarrassing. I am 24 years old and feel too old to be having a fight about FB relationship drama. He overreacted and said that my ex liking my picture was an offense to him and was like asking, “How does my di*k taste?” I am becoming increasingly embarrassed as I type this. He has never talked like this before, and I told him he sounds controlling and paranoid, and, yes, I called him crazy.

He can be so funny and goofy and fun when we are together, but this person I fought with was such a turn-off. My gut is telling me to flee. I love him and he loves me, but I am not 16 and know love is not enough when something feels wrong. I want a confident, kind, good man. And while my boyfriend is a good man to me, (until this fb fight), I am turned off.

My friends have told me that I can be dismissive of others’ feelings and my first instincts in the past have always been to flee. This time, I really love this man, so I am ignoring my instincts to flee. Is that the right move? β€” Cooling Off Girlfriend

These are some pretty big red flags you’re talking about: behaving like a depressed person; blaming you for his feeling lonely; depending on you way too much after only six months of dating; and going ballistic over some some ex-boyfriend liking a cupcake picture on Facebook? If you’d been together, say, a couple of years and this kind of behavior was new, then I’d suggest sticking it out for a while. Certainly, if you were married or otherwise committed to each other in a longterm relationship, I’d advise supporting him through whatever it is he’s going through.

But the truth is that, after only six months together, you can’t say that this behavior is unlike him because you’re still getting to know him (especially considering that you met online as opposed to meeting through mutual friends or another way that might give you some added insight into his life). It sounds like he could potentially have some mental issues, perhaps even something he might need medication for β€” or, at the very least, some talk/behavior therapy to treat. And if that’s the case, no amount of love and support on your end is going to “fix” him if he’s not being proactive about seeking treatment.

Even if it’s just general, run-of-the-mill blues he’s dealing with, he needs to be proactive in making himself feel better. It’s not fair of him to put the onus of responsibility on his girlfriend of six months. It’s not your job to make him happy. And it’s not fair for you to bend over backwards making him feel confident in his relationship with you. If he’s afraid of losing you to an ex-boyfriend, he needs to stop acting like a nut-job.

My advice? Stick it out a few more weeks and if he doesn’t show signs of getting it together, MOA. And if he does get it together but reverts backs to these random acts of weirdness again, apply the “three strikes and he’s out” rule with the whole Facebook debacle being strike one. Two more strikes before your first anniversary and you need to MOA.


You can follow me on Facebook here and sign up for my weekly newsletter here.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

154 comments… add one
  • GatorGirl December 11, 2012, 9:07 am

    Wendy I keep getting a “404” message when trying to use the forums.

    Reply Link
    • Eagle Eye December 11, 2012, 9:10 am

      I’ve been getting them as well. For like the last 5 minutes, they were working right up until you posted this letter.

      Reply Link
      • bethany December 11, 2012, 9:19 am

        omg, me too! I might not make it through my morning w/o forums!
        (is it really sad that this literally had me in a panic?- I love DW)

      • Fabelle December 11, 2012, 9:29 am

        Nope, I’ve also been clicking it all morning in hopes it’d be fixed! I won’t be able to last the day…for reals.

      • GatorGirl December 11, 2012, 9:31 am

        If you’re sad, I’m sad. I have no idea how to get through my morning!

      • the_optimist December 11, 2012, 10:02 am

        Oh man, the forum thing is getting to me, and I realllllly need to rant….

      • Classic December 11, 2012, 10:20 am

        Uh oh. We might need to write to an advice columnist about our possible addiction… maybe write to Dear Wendy?

      • Diablo December 11, 2012, 11:09 am

        Total conflict of interest. We’d have to claim we were addicted to Dear Prudence.

        Then Wendy could correctly advise us to get our addiction under control and take steps to avoid the behaviours that led us to be addicted in the first place.

        Either that or, “Dear Wendy, my SO thinks I am addicted to your site, and complains when i spend all my free time reading about other people’s issues. Should i MOA or what?”

      • katie December 11, 2012, 11:13 am

        my boyfriend would write that letter. seriously.

      • Diablo December 11, 2012, 11:22 am

        In my scenario, we would be the ones MOAing, because our SOs couldn’t deal with our “other relationship.” Like smokers: “Hey, this is who I am.”

        “Dear Wendy, Am I cheating on my real life by living vicariously through your site? Did my real life MAKE me cheat by not being as interesting and exciting as DW?”

      • Classic December 11, 2012, 10:48 am

        If I am logged in and I try to go to the forum, I get the 404 error. But if I log out I can go to the forum without an error.

    • Wendy December 11, 2012, 10:52 am

      Fuck, that’s aggravating. I see it just fine. I’ll look into it and try to figure out what the problem is.

      Reply Link
      • Wendy December 11, 2012, 11:23 am

        Is there anyone who can see the forums? I’m able to see and use them just fine, so I’m having trouble figuring out what the issue is.

      • CatsMeow December 11, 2012, 11:30 am

        Like Classic said, I can only see them if I am not logged in.

      • LadyinPurpleNotRed December 11, 2012, 11:31 am

        Same here!

      • Diablo December 11, 2012, 11:30 am

        Sorry, nope, can’t see ’em.

      • Diablo December 11, 2012, 11:30 am

        Sorry, nope, can’t see ’em.

      • iseeshiny December 11, 2012, 11:30 am

        I can only see them when I’m not signed in. Once I sign is when I get the error message.

      • jlyfsh December 11, 2012, 11:30 am

        like classic if i’m not logged in i can, but the minute i log in i get the 404 error….

      • GatorGirl December 11, 2012, 11:31 am

        I can see it when logged out, but not when logged in. I tried Google Chrome and IE- it’s the same way on both.

      • jpkrueger December 11, 2012, 11:35 am

        Same here…tried getting to the forums from the banner link, and also the links on the right with “latest forum posts”. Both sent me to the 404 page.

      • Wendy December 11, 2012, 11:36 am

        OK, I still have no idea what the issue is and Jackson will be home soon and I’ll have my hands full so I can’t promise this will be fixed today, but I will try. In the mean time, I adjusted the settings so that you don’t have to be logged in to comment (but you may want to say who you are when commenting to keep things from getting too confusing).

      • Iwannatalktosampson December 11, 2012, 12:43 pm

        This brings back old memories though. Remember the good old times when Addie would just hijack every letter and talk about herself and her life and most importantly what she had for lunch?

      • Addie Pray December 11, 2012, 12:56 pm

        Whaaaa? I NEVER did that. Ever. Lies, all lies. I always only offer pearls of wisdom, and then I get off the pot. (I dunno.)

      • SGMcG December 11, 2012, 1:22 pm

        If it helps Wendy, I WAS able to see the forums before I logged in, but unable to post (I’m on IE, in case your tech guy needs that info).

        Yet when I tried to login (and forgot my password), I was sent to a new window to login my password, and I was able to. Not only that, but there was a reply option on my window – so I saw the forum – probably from your disabling in order to comment.

        However, when I tried signing into dearwendy through that side login, that’s when I got the 404. Wordpress may have updated a bit in response to the gmail crash on Monday. Have your tech guy look at the SQL code and see if something wonky is happening there.

      • Wendy December 11, 2012, 1:29 pm

        Thanks, I will pass that along.

      • MMcG December 11, 2012, 1:37 pm

        Damn you IT people and your fancy language! If the solution isn’t turn off and on again it goes over my head… Good luck Wendy πŸ˜‰

      • Wendy December 11, 2012, 1:44 pm

        Me too. This whole thing has given me a headache…

  • csp December 11, 2012, 9:11 am

    I have three suggestions.

    1.) Start him on a multivitamin. The reason I say this is that if you live in an area with low sunlight, it might be SAD. I get it every year and my world changes when I start taking vitamin D.
    2.) Someone once told me, “How can I consider myself an honest, trustworthy person if I cannot make the promises to myself every day.” That one comment helped motivate me to make time for the gym, good skin care, and getting on my to-do/bucket list. Maybe put it to him that way and he will start making positive changes.
    3.) When he freaks out about something little. Ask what this is really about. Don’t say crazy. Say “overreaction” Or that the amount of anger he has doesn’t seem to match the situation. See what happens when you do that.

    Reply Link
    • MissDre December 11, 2012, 9:50 am

      Yes! 1000 IU of Vitamin D and a Vitamin B-100 complex! Omega 3 oils are good too. Seriously keeps me going during the winter months. Helps with my energy levels, mental clarity and my moods. Also, my mom started her husband on this regimen and he’s way less of a grump!

      Also, I used to be just like this guy. I was very depressed and I lost some friends and a relationship because of it. Several things helped me including the right antidepressant, therapy, and my best friend giving me a link to The Optimist Creed, I printed it out and put it on my wall and read it everyday. It won’t fix someone on it’s own, but it helped with my recovery.

      Reply Link
      • csp December 11, 2012, 11:48 am

        I just think that sometimes it can be such a small tweak. I just remember telling my doctor that I was down and she ran routine bloodwork and the vitamin d thing was all it was. It really changed my life. I know some need more than that but it is just such a simple, cost effective thing to try, ya know.

      • 6napkinburger December 12, 2012, 10:10 am

        you just reminded me to take my vitamin! Good work on your good deed for the day!

      • genevathene December 11, 2012, 12:01 pm

        I second this! I take a Vitamin B complex especially for stress along with Vitamin D and it’s made all the difference. Apparently, lots of stress means your adrenal system uses up those vitamins a lot more…

      • *HmC* December 11, 2012, 2:59 pm

        I like that MissDre. Sometimes something small like that can make an amazing difference in your outlook. For me it’s the Desiderata:


        I know it wouldn’t have the same impact on everyone, but for me just reading it when I’m down can help a lot.

  • katie December 11, 2012, 9:15 am

    this guy sounds terrible!

    LW, the thing is that even if someone is very kind, awesome, fun to be around, insert-whatever-good-trait-here, if they still have some really terrible trait, that is enough to tip the scales in favor of the bad trait. its like what some battered women say- oh, but he is so nice when he isnt angry/isnt drinking/whatever. ok, thats all fine and good, but the fact that he physically abuses you is enough on its own to out weigh any other positive traits. in a healthy relationship, the bad traits should be pretty petty/superficial stuff that really cant tip the scales in favor of the bad, like leaving their socks on the floor (jake) or something.

    i like wendys suggestion to give him a few more chances and a little bit more time to really see if this is him or just a slump or a bad period in his life or whatever. i do really agree that 6 months is not enough time to know someone. he might have had this depression problem the whole time and just was able to hide it really well from you in the beginning. i dont know how long you are willing to wait, but try to figure that out roughly. try to figure out the amount of shit from him you are willing to take while in the relationship as he is trying to fix himself vs. the amount of shit you will take until you are fed up and leave. figure out what that looks like for you, and then live your life and see what happens.

    also, i think that this situation might be a good one for a ultimatum. one such as, if you do not start putting effort into your own life i am leaving or something. i do wonder if he would just try to turn that around on you, though (see, my life is terrible/even you are going to leave me/you are all i have left/you cant leave/ect), but i think that if you go the ultimatum route and he does that, you will have your answer.

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    • katie December 11, 2012, 9:53 am

      also, im with everyone else concerning the facebook fight. that on its own would be enough for me to give him an ultimatum/just leave.

      Reply Link
  • kerrycontrary December 11, 2012, 9:15 am

    WWS! And I’ll add, if your friends need to convince you to stay with someone you probably shouldn’t stay with them. Every time my friends have had to “convince” me to date a guy “Oh, he’s so nice” “Oh but give him another shot”, it has never worked out.

    Reply Link
    • ktfran December 11, 2012, 9:54 am

      Yeah, my biggest problem with this letter is that her friends are trying to convince her to stay with this dude. Some friends. LW, you might need better ones.

      MOA, LW. Just MOA.

      Reply Link
    • FireStar December 11, 2012, 10:39 am

      Agree. It’s always when I “gave someone a chance” that things bite me in the ass…with men or friends. I’m in the “earn your place” camp now. Earn it with kindness or humour or being interested – same as I have to do with the people in my life. None of this relationship born of pity thing anymore. It just never works.

      And can we just say that a boyfriend of 6 months isn’t your best friend? A boyfriend is a boyfriend. A best friend is who helps you deal with the boyfriend. What did he do for a best friend 6 months ago? What did you do?

      Your problem is that you are starting to be his “everything”. No one should be anyone else’s everything. He should have other friends, interests, employment, a whole life that has nothing to do with you. So ask him what his plan is. What is his plan for employment? for health? for building a life outside of you? Because you want someone to share his life with you – you DO NOT want someone to revolve his life around you. It is unfair to you and that kind of thing is just dangerous (given what his cupcake reaction was – can you imagine running into an ex and having coffee?) So if you love him and don’t want to just walk (completely understandable by the way) – give him a chance to start fixing things by a certain date – fix not talk about fixing. If he doesn’t, then I guess you will know how truly important you are to him.

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      • Diablo December 11, 2012, 10:56 am

        The “earn your place” philosophy is a hard road to follow, but I think it is wiser in the long run. I think entitlement is one of the worst things for anyone at any time of their lives. You don’t “deserve” happiness, financial security, etc. You have to earn them. Even when you do your best, it may not always work out, but if you aren’t earning it, you don’t value it enough to deserve to get it.

        For me, this works even better in a longer term relationship. You are never done working on it, and you are never done earning it. You can be as happy as pie in the first year, but if you want to stay happy for twenty or forty years, you have to remain humble and realize that you still have to earn it today, just like you did years ago. Would you really do ANYTHING for love? Would you keep trying to be your best every day for decades?

        If you met someone who wasn’t really even willing to work on current problems, would that person be worthy of your love? we often say that love alone is not enough. Well, kind, funny, goofy and fun isn’t enough either, though it sure doesn’t hurt. But whatever else you bring to the party, you have to prove you will do what it takes to be happy. Nice point Firestar.

      • katie December 11, 2012, 11:06 am

        WFS & WDS.

        i agree that it is a hard road to follow, and id say its also a road that will get you labeled a bitch, but in the end, YOU will be the happy one surrounded by good people who also make you happy.

      • kerrycontrary December 11, 2012, 11:22 am

        I think that once I stopped being afraid to be labeled a bitch and started asking/demanding what I wanted/needed from a relationship is when I found the best relationship (and I’m still in it!).

      • Vathena December 11, 2012, 11:46 am

        “If you met someone who wasn’t really even willing to work on current problems, would that person be worthy of your love? we often say that love alone is not enough….Would you keep trying to be your best every day for decades?”
        Reordered a bit πŸ™‚ But this says what I was thinking. If it’s THIS difficult already, after only 6 months, think about the long term. How is he going to be treating you in 10-20 years? He might recover from his funk, but you have to decide how long you are willing to wait around to find out. (Agreed with Wendy and others that his putting it on you is a red flag, too. Also that this might be a long-term problem that you are just now seeing after he’s become comfortable in the relationship.)

      • mf December 11, 2012, 3:20 pm

        Diablo & FireStar: This is fabulous advice. I’m going to print these comments and tape them up on my wall or something. Given that I’m newly married, I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes relationships work in the long term and I really think you two are on to something.

      • lets_be_honest December 11, 2012, 11:51 am

        Just piping in to agree on the best friend comment. A boyfriend of 6 months is not your best friend and it just makes you sound immature saying that.

      • FireStar December 11, 2012, 12:25 pm

        Can I admit it is a pet peeve of mine when people say that? Or when someone “stage-jumps” a friendship? My best friend has called me with news she is going to be godmother to a child for people I’ve never heard of – and when I ask her how long she has knows them, her answer is in months. Just crazy.

      • FireStar December 11, 2012, 12:38 pm


      • lemongrass December 11, 2012, 1:24 pm

        I’m not a fan of the term “best friend” at all. I have my oldest friend, my closest friend, my hanging out friend, etc. None of them are “better” than the other!

      • FireStar December 11, 2012, 2:49 pm

        So I guess bestest friend is out?

      • Iwannatalktosampson December 11, 2012, 12:37 pm

        It annoys me too. I think some people think it’s romantic to say that their S/O is their everything – but it’s not. They sound desperate and clingy and like they suck so they don’t have any actual best friends.

      • Eagle Eye December 11, 2012, 2:36 pm

        Ugh, there was a period there were my boyfriend was my everything and it was awful! It was probably the MOST unhealthy period we’ve been through as a couple.

        It was right after college and we both hadn’t really made new friends yet, I was working a job without any real coworkers, he was in grad school but just wasn’t clicking with anyone, I was applying to grad school and so I wasn’t leaving the house much except for work and we were both pretty depressed.

        Ugh, I get shudders just thinking about it!

        Moral of the story – make friends who are separate from your SO it will make you so much happier!

      • Addie Pray December 11, 2012, 3:00 pm

        I don’t know why but I think it’s super annoying when people write on Facebook “happy anniversary to my husband and best friend!” or something like that. I think I find it annoying because EVERYONE seems to say it. My gut always reacts with a “duh, idiots, alright already geez, shut the fuck up, how predictable, poop” – my gut makes noises that say those things. But I’ve been such a hater lately so no one judge me too harshly.

      • lets_be_honest December 11, 2012, 3:01 pm

        Its funny, people really all do write practically the exact same message.

      • Iwannatalktosampson December 11, 2012, 3:04 pm

        Seriously! It’s like why don’t you just look over on the couch and say that to HIM. I hate public displays of affection and public displays of facebook love equally. It’s especially bad when the spouse doesn’t even have facebook. I have to delete those people immediately.

      • FireStar December 11, 2012, 4:09 pm

        I just had a friend tell her “boo” “R” thank you for an amazing year of dating with his quiet smile and amazing conversation……the thing is – he isn’t on Facebook and they aren’t exclusive and he has told her he just wants to be casual… SO WHY????? WHY????? and if you can’t type out his real name is he really your boo?

        and why do people ask me why my husband doesn’t post on my page on my birthday? because the answer is he sleeps beside me and already woke me up at midnight to wish me happy birthday for the love of all things holy.

      • lets_be_honest December 11, 2012, 4:15 pm

        That…or he just doesn’t really want you to have a happy birthday.

      • FireStar December 11, 2012, 4:26 pm

        he is okay with my birthday….as long as it doesn’t involve him buying diamonds…

      • Addie Pray December 11, 2012, 3:36 pm

        I know, right? It’s the exact same. Those people – no offense – also tend to write stuff like, “I want to thank all the PTA moms and dads for a very productive meeting tonight!” Oh, I figured out what it is that annoys me about these updates: they are so serious. Basically, I get annoyed when people take things that I don’t take seriously seriously. Geez, that’s not fair. Ok, go forth and be serious. Imma stop judging.

      • bethany December 11, 2012, 3:05 pm

        I hate it, too. My Step-MIL says it all the time, and it really bothers me, for some reason. I love my husband, and I’m very happy that he’s my husband, but he’s not my Best Friend in the way that any of my girlfriends are. He’s just not. I couldn’t sit and drink wine and laugh and talk and gossip with him all night they way I can with my best friends- There’s something to me that makes a husband/wife relationship very different than a straight up friendship.

      • lets_be_honest December 11, 2012, 4:13 pm

        I’ve a very busy few months, and one of my closest girlfriends was going through some stuff, so I hadn’t had a good talk with her (or any of my few gfs) in a while. We met up last night and it was such a reminder of what you’re saying. Even though a lot of the talk was sad, I felt great when I got home just by getting to vent and listen to her vent. I really need to make seeing my gfs more of a priority.

      • bethany December 11, 2012, 4:21 pm

        Most guys don’t’ really get the whole “You’re going to vent, I’m going to sympathize” thing the way women do…

      • GatorGirl December 11, 2012, 3:11 pm

        I’m torn on this “issue”. I like the idea of occassionally sharing with the world something mushy/relationship related. Like our 5th anniversary is coming up, I’m 99% positive I’ll put something on FB. But it will probably be like “woo woo 5 years!”

        But like every day being all “my man is the best in the world and i love him so so so so much!!!!!!!!!!!” now that gets annoying.

      • Addie Pray December 11, 2012, 3:32 pm

        Now see, none of that annoys me. Public displays of affection don’t annoy me at all. My annoyane is linked specifiaclly to the “Happy anniversary to my best friend” comment. It just feels so … phony, for some reason. The “my man is the best in the world and i love him so so so so much” already rings truer!

      • lets_be_honest December 11, 2012, 4:05 pm

        What bothers me is not necessarily acknowledging things like anniversaries, but “talking” to your bf/spouse/friend/enemy in your status. Examples:
        “You are the best thing that ever happened to me Tom”
        “i must be here for your entertainment”

        That last one is copied from someone of my fb who constantly writes things intended for some guy to see. Why don’t you just post it on his fb. Or grow up.

    • 6napkinburger December 12, 2012, 10:24 am

      I dunno. I just had a conversation with a friend who was debating no longer seeing a guy because he was “too nice” and was too organized (the example was :she’d suggest wanting to maybe go a restaurant that night, and he’d call up/go on open table and make a reservation, rather than just “winging it”)… and she’s 29. I told her that was kind of a stupid reason for breaking up with someone — if she didn’t like him or just wasn’t attracted to him, even after giving him a shot, then that was one thing, but that falls in the “dumb reasons you kick yourself for rejecting someone when you are 40 and alone.”) Also that spontaneity is good but so is having someone organized and that it often is a ying and yang thing that works best when one person is more one way than if they both are.

      So sometimes friends need to be told: that is a stupid reason for breaking up with someone and you should revaluate your balancing test of his pros/cons.

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      • 6napkinburger December 12, 2012, 10:29 am

        Like, no reason is better than a stupid reason. Same with jobs: you can fire people for no reason, but not a bad reason.

      • Iwannatalktosampson December 12, 2012, 10:32 am

        At the same time though someone will love that quality about him. Maybe it just means they aren’t matched. He seems like a great guy and someone will just love the crap out of his organization. So why should he settle for someone that considers it a bummer? I don’t like using “you might be 40 and alone” as a scare tactic – which is what it seems like here. Like you’ll kick yourself if you don’t give this guy another shot. That is implying that the world is over if you’re 40 and single. I know a lot of awesome single 40 year olds. I think everyone needs to quit looking at being single as a bad thing.

      • lets_be_honest December 12, 2012, 10:39 am

        I think its good to point out to a friend that they should probably evaluate whether they are just being picky/looking for issues or whether they aren’t a good match. I say that bc I found myself agreeing with both of you. I know I’ve needed a wake up call like this from friends before.

  • bethany December 11, 2012, 9:23 am


    I agree with Wendy, 100%. This is why it bothers me when people get married after knowing eachother for 3 months, and stuff like that… I feel like there’s so much about a person that you might not know in such little time. I think Wendy’s spot on, in that he might have a mental condition, or something like that. And honestly, if he does, he should have told you about it by now. If he hasn’t, that’s concerning. But even if that’s not the case, Wendy’s right. You don’t have 3 years or a marriage with this guy. The whole point of dating is to find someone you’re compatible with and want to be with for the long term (assuming marriage is your ultimate goal). It sounds like you’re not compatible with him, and there’s no shame in saying that and moving on.

    Reply Link
    • Addie Pray December 11, 2012, 10:29 am

      “This is why it bothers me when people get married after knowing eachother for 3 months, and stuff like that… I feel like there’s so much about a person that you might not know in such little time.” Agreed, Bethany! Last week a wise friend told me about her “4 seaons” rule. Everyone should see their relationship through the 4 seasons of the year before they make any life-changing decisions (even at our age – in our 30s – when you seem “to just know” a lot faster). She believes, even if things are going peachy (peachily?), you should see how the relationship (and he) handles all seasons. I like the rule because it’s not just a technical thing – wait a year – it’s also the idea that you need to see how he reacts to life, and changes in life, and in just a few months you can only see so much. … (Shit, maybe she was just telling me this so I’d slow down with my boyfriend, ha. That sneaky bitch.)

      Reply Link
      • Classic December 11, 2012, 10:37 am

        Good advice, Counselor.

      • Addie Pray December 11, 2012, 10:59 am

        Like! … Would I be pushing it if I asked for “Dr.” Counselor? Ok ok, I won’t push that, everybody calm down…. And go comment on the Doctor Debate thread b/c I am loving how passionate everyone is about their points of view.

      • lets_be_honest December 11, 2012, 11:27 am

        If you’re not interested in reading the whole thread, I will provide a summary:

        1. Only AliceinDairyland is allowed to be called a doctor.
        2. PhDs think only MDs are “real” doctors and are confused by the “D” in their PhD title.
        3. No one knows what the Ph means at all.
        4. IWTTS now goes by Dr. IWTTS, JD, Esq.

      • Addie Pray December 11, 2012, 11:55 am

        But Alice is a vet so some might disagree with that. Also, all moms are doctors.

      • lets_be_honest December 11, 2012, 11:59 am

        Also, no one actually says the letters PhD anymore. They just say it phonetically: Fud.

      • CatsMeow December 11, 2012, 12:00 pm

        haha, that’s my grandma’s philosophy. “I had 3 kids! I’m practically a doctor!”

      • lets_be_honest December 11, 2012, 12:02 pm

        My mom claims to be a pediatrician too. After 6, she seems to know more or at least as much as my kid’s doctor.

      • jlyfsh December 11, 2012, 12:02 pm

        everyone knows that PhD stands for piled high and deep, right? πŸ˜‰

      • lets_be_honest December 11, 2012, 12:05 pm

        Not pretty hot and…dusty?

      • MMcG December 11, 2012, 2:58 pm

        Probably Haven’t Done it πŸ™‚

      • lets_be_honest December 11, 2012, 4:16 pm

        We gotta winna!

      • Iwannatalktosampson December 11, 2012, 12:40 pm

        I also go by Doc for short and bubba if you’re into it.

      • Rouge December 12, 2012, 12:54 pm

        PHD: Permanent Head Damage πŸ˜‰

      • Rouge December 12, 2012, 12:56 pm

        This comes from a Researcher in the firm I work for. He has 3 PHD titles

      • FireStar December 11, 2012, 10:46 am

        We have that rule in my friend circle too!

      • bethany December 11, 2012, 10:48 am

        I also agree with the 4 Seasons rule. A girl who grew up across the street from me just got engaged. They live in separate states, met online and have only actually hung out in person like 4 times, over the last 2-3 months they’re “known” each other. Oh, and they want to get married in the Spring. I don’t’ get it at all!

      • MissDre December 11, 2012, 11:21 am

        That’s insanity. Recipe for disaster if I ever heard one!

      • Skyblossom December 11, 2012, 11:05 am

        I agree except I like to make it two years. After just twelve months lots of relationships are still “perfect” and yet they fall apart in the second year at an incredibly high rate.

      • kerrycontrary December 11, 2012, 12:33 pm

        I agree with the 4 seasons rule–especially around this time of year. Seeing how people behave around the holidays, and see how they act around their family, can be eye opening! It also reminds me of Fever Pitch-How Drew Barrymore likes Jimmy Falon during the winter but not the summer.

      • MMcG December 11, 2012, 1:41 pm

        I find that the 4 seasons rule works for jobs and other things too… a nice measure of time to see how people/places can react in different settings!

      • MMcG December 11, 2012, 1:43 pm

        UGh… places can’t react, but they can be very different at different times of the year is what I meant. Like how you may love Chicago or DC in the spring but in the heat of summer think it’s awful. Or if you live in Louisiana and you find out about the 2 weeks of termite season (or some other flying bug that takes over — I so could not handle that)

      • Addie Pray December 11, 2012, 2:44 pm

        I hear ya.

        Also, on a dare in high school I didn’t wash my jeans for one year – my junior year. By the end of the year I swear to God they stopped smelling, and they were so soft. So the Rule of Four Seasons kind of works for pants too. (Maybe?) I had to keep them in the garage. I also had no boyfriends my junior year. Or sophomore or senior year. Or freshman year. Aw, memories.

      • MMcG December 11, 2012, 3:00 pm

        I didn’t have any boyfriends either AP – I was the lucky tomboy who got crushes on the guys, then had to hook them up with one of my hot friends (I like to think I was the nicer of all us mean girls as well, not that it got me a date ever).

        Some other night when I’m on the drunk DW forum I will share how me going to the prom my senior year became a school project. Good times.

      • honeybeegood December 12, 2012, 4:41 pm

        I read the weave of real (not stretch) denim is so tight it’s not a good host to bacteria.

        The moar yew kno >^..^<

  • MMcG December 11, 2012, 9:24 am

    The FB comment is way over the line for me… Potential deal breaker/red flag to use that kind of aggressive vulgarity when there are so many other, healthier, ways to express feelings to someone you love. Cupcake to Blow Job = serious issues. Ugh.

    After 6 months I think that people are entitled to be turned off/have concerns/etc and want to move on. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially since the LW seems to have such a good head on her shoulders. Or WWS and stick around but only with an understanding that the jealousy has to stop as does pushing all his feelings onto the LW.

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    • Kelly L. December 11, 2012, 11:38 am

      Yeah, this. I get depression and I have a lot of compassion about it in general–but it’s not an excuse to be an utter dillhole, and that’s what the cupcake comment is. “I like the cupcake you posted”=”how does my d**k taste”? WTF. Not unless “cupcake” is a euphemism. Not cool.

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      • FireStar December 11, 2012, 12:37 pm

        I hope cupcake isn’t some new euphemism…because wow that would make for some awkward PTA bake sales…

      • lemongrass December 11, 2012, 1:27 pm

        I really want a cupcake.

      • Aya December 11, 2012, 5:53 pm

        I really really want one right now too

      • Iwannatalktosampson December 11, 2012, 1:34 pm

        It sounds like he’s been watching a little bit too much chris rock. That’s from a comedy special.

    • csp December 11, 2012, 2:58 pm

      I disagree. It is one stupid fight. To throw away a whole relationship because of one off color comment is too high of a standard for me.

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      • MMcG December 11, 2012, 3:03 pm

        I guess that’s where I disagree – 6 months in no matter how many butterflies I may be feeling, it isn’t throwing away a whole relationship, it’s making yourself available for the next one which might be a better fit. And that’s why it was just dating in the first place!

        Plus, I don’t see it as one stupid fight – I see it as the sign that many others are referring to below based on their prior relationships, a red flag that shouldn’t be ignored because in hindsight it will be the beginning of a much more controlling and jealousy-fueled future.

  • Fabelle December 11, 2012, 9:25 am

    I know people always disagree when I say this but,to me, 6 months is NOT enough time to feel “so in love”. Falling in love? Sure. But at this point…come on, is he really your “best friend”? I get that sometimes strong bonds form very early on, but there’s no reason to feel so attached to the point where you can’t move on after what seems like a series of red flags.

    You say “My gut is telling me to flee” & “something feels wrong”. I think you should listen to those instincts. You seem to be factoring in things friends have said about you—you’re too dismissive or whatever—but your boyfriend’s clinginess isn’t something that be coddled. From what you’ve written, it’s been incrementally worse, & getting very defensive when you try to build his confidence shows that he’s not willing to work on his depression.

    The fight you describe sets off so many alarm bells for me. Trust me, if somebody can turn a Facebook ‘like’ (on a damn cupcake picture??) into “He’s basically saying remember how MY DICK TASTES” that’s not, like, an accident. A person who makes that leap is accustomed to making all sorts of irrational connections in times on anger. You do not want a person like that to be your S/O.

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    • Amybelle December 11, 2012, 9:43 am

      This! You said exactly what I wanted to say.

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    • katie December 11, 2012, 9:50 am

      i think that you are right about the love thing, but i will say that i think people can be “in love” pretty much instantly, but a different type of love, more like a lust/love, and not “in love” in the sense that you want to be if/when you decide to marry or otherwise seriously commit yourself to someone.

      its like when BGM was saying that teenage love isnt real- well, yes, its real in the sense that it is a real emotion people (teenagers) feel, but it is not real in the sense of a deep love, an understanding love, a i love you even though you do ___ that pisses me off love, a ill work through our problems love, ect.

      so id say that the bottom line is that you need to bank on the right type of love. the new infatuation/lust type of love? not good enough to make serious decisions on. the teenage type of love? not the right type to make serious decisions on. people need to wait for that deep understanding kind of love before they make serious decisions.

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    • JK December 11, 2012, 9:56 am

      WFS! You have seriously been making amazing comments lately, Fabelle. πŸ™‚

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    • MMcG December 11, 2012, 9:56 am

      A person who makes that leap is accustomed to making all sorts of irrational connections in times on anger. You do not want a person like that to be your S/O.

      You said it better than I – exactly what I was trying to get at!! Even if it would be normal to see a SOs ex like something on FB and feel jealousy… Even flipping out and screaming things like “when did you see him” “why is he on your page” “I know you must have talked to him” — leaping to the sexual imagery and assumptions that anyone in your life would be so manipulative and disgusting — is just a huge indication that something is way off about this guy.

      Also, LW you mentioned how everyone in your life likes him, But that he’s distanced himself from people in his world. Is it possible you’re being told a story and he doesn’t have anyone close to him bc they refused to go along with his crazy?? Not giving a diagnosis here… But people with mental illness tend to run through cycles — and friends and jobs — and depending on what you know about his family and background I would be very wary.

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    • Fabelle December 11, 2012, 10:07 am

      Aww, thanks guys πŸ™‚ !

      @katie, I do agree with that! I think maybe my expectations are for the LWs to make those same kinds of distinctions in their letters, instead of just putting “__ months” & “in love” in the same sentence. It’s largely a phrasing thing that sticks, with me.

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    • Copa December 11, 2012, 10:32 am


      I sort of emphatized with the boyfriend at the beginning because being young and unemployed is hard. Despite my education, I spent about 7 months unemployed in 2011 after I graduated and I found it incredibly depressing. It didn’t mean I was a rotten person, but had I been with an SO still, I would have hoped they would see that my sadness/state was situational. So, I didn’t want to jump to the conclusion that this guy’s moods were just how he happens to be or an ongoing psychological issue. Becoming depressed and being mentally unstable are two different things.

      Then I read the cupcake fight. Seriously? Your ex “liking” a cupcake set him off? That’s not normal. It’s actually really weird. (Don’t feel too embarrassed, though — my ex once got legitimately upset with me for saying an actor was hot while we watched Ellen. Really! Not! Normal!) Assuming this guy is also in his mid-20s, he should be able to 1) NOT jump to ridiculous conclusions like that, and 2) actually have a discussion about it with you if a friendship with an ex boyfriend truly bothers him THAT much. Maybe he’s just scared he’ll lose you, but I find this argument fairly unsettling. Even if you called him crazy (which I don’t think you should have done, btw), it’s not normal.

      I say trust your gut and MOA.

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      • Copa December 11, 2012, 12:44 pm

        Oh, and I feel the need to mention that if you decide to walk away, LW, you’re not an awful person. If you do and feel guilty, know that there is a difference between walking away from someone who is depressed and doing nothing to better himself (which sounds like your boyfriend) and someone who is depressed but trying to figure things out. I could write a really long, “Wow, are you dating my ex?” comment here, but I’ll just say that it is NORMAL to feel frustrated and turned off by someone who complains about his life but refuses to DO anything about it. It’s childish and naive and plain stupid to sit and hope for the best, or sit and hope for change, then act mopily when nothing happens. Maybe he can’t do anything about being unemployed, but shouldn’t the support of a girlfriend at least motivate him to do SOMETHING proactive? From one allegedly dismissive girl to another, sometimes it’s a-okay to dismiss someone’s feelings if it means doing the right thing for yourself.

      • lemongrass December 11, 2012, 1:32 pm

        Yes, it is okay to break up with someone in a relationship for WHATEVER reason. If that reason is big enough to you that you don’t want to be with them anymore don’t feel bad about ending it. That is the whole point of (seriously) dating- seeing if you want to be with the person in the long term. If you don’t, that’s okay! You’ll both be able to find someone better suited to you if you move on.

      • FireStar December 11, 2012, 2:06 pm

        I like this. It annoys me when someone writes in about a boyfriend breaking up with her and then doing “x” – dating another girl, moving to Paris, whatever…. and people are all up in arms. He is ALLOWED to break up with her. This LW is ALLOWED to break up with her boyfriend the second she wants to. It does not need to pass a reasonableness test – her friends don’t need to sign on. It is valid on the face of it and it doesn’t make the breaker-upper a bad guy.

      • Copa December 11, 2012, 2:45 pm

        Yes. You get to the point I attempted to make, but that I never actually got to making. But basically I was trying to say that I can understand why you’d feel guilty, particularly if the guy is trying to turn his life around. My distinction was to point out that I have far less sympathy for people who don’t try to better themselves or circumstances because it’s REALLY annoying to be around — and you really SHOULDN’T feel guilty for not being able or wanting to help someone who refuses to help himself. Feeling guilty for ending it doesn’t mean it’s the wrong thing to do. You don’t need a reason or approval to end a relationship if you’re no longer happy in it and feeling in your gut that something is wrong. This is the kind of situation where your desire to move on should trump the fact that he’ll be really hurt if it ends.

  • LK7889 December 11, 2012, 9:46 am

    Trust your gut instinct. Very, very rarely will it be wrong.

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    • ktfran December 11, 2012, 9:52 am


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  • Older and (hopefully) wiser December 11, 2012, 9:46 am

    His depression/aggression could very well be organic (he needs to be checked out)..or you’ve just had a glimpse into his dark side. At 6 months, I would think he’d be on his best behavior. Unless he needs meds. A fist fight, huh? Eeeeeesh.

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    • FireStar December 11, 2012, 10:49 am

      Fist fight?

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  • MMcG December 11, 2012, 10:03 am

    One last point LW – you wrote that what he tells you scares you. Not sure if you have shared this with him or what his response was, but that is not ok!!! Unless it happened and y’all have talked about the pressure he’s putting in you by not taking responsibility for himself, and he’s acknowledged the need for change (which it doesn’t appear from what you wrote) DON’T STAY WITH A GUY THAT SCARES YOU.

    Simply no reason at this early stage of a relationship (especially one where they met online so theoretically there’s less concern about mutual friends/classes/weird work situation) to feel any level of fear from your SO, his attitude or actions. Huge deal breaker for me and I hope for many others!

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  • Desiree December 11, 2012, 10:10 am

    First, I agree with WWS and many of the comments above. However, I wanted to correct something on your letter. You say: “I saw some signs of depression and things happened to make it worse such as him losing his job, gaining weight, and isolating himself from friends.” The things you list could be making his depression worse, but more likely they are actually *symptoms* of his depression (at least the weight gain and personal isolation) if he is clinically depressed. He could be a manipulative not nice person, or he could very well be the victim of some deeply unfortunate chemical imbalances that merit your compassion. However, that does NOT mean I think you should stay with him just because he might have a clinical problem. It sounds like you are becoming a crutch in his mind, and that won’t turn out well for you or him.

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  • j2 December 11, 2012, 10:15 am

    What LW has observed may be cyclical.

    That is, person works to get GF or BF, doing all the right things then “relaxes.” Weight gain, job problems, loss of drive, dependency follows.

    G/BF exits. Person gets lonely or angry, shapes up, works to get new G/BF ….

    I only suggest this because a couple people I know seem to follow this pattern.

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    • emjay December 11, 2012, 2:19 pm

      I agree with j2. this doees seem like a pattern the BF is showing. IDk why…. call it a gut feeling.

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  • MISS MJ December 11, 2012, 10:15 am

    LW, these are your own words used to describe the situation:

    “he has no career plan or ambition”…”they scare me”…”I know that the insecurities he has are not things I can fix”…”I am turned off by the victim mentality and it’s becoming frustrating”…”embarrassed”…”I told him he sounds controlling and paranoid”…”crazy”… “I am turned off”…”My gut is telling me to flee”…”I am ignoring my instincts to flee.”

    MOA. I’m sure this guy has nice qualities, but this relationship is not right for you. And that’s a perfectly acceptable reason to stop dating someone, no matter what your friends say.

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    • emjay December 11, 2012, 2:15 pm

      ITA! And the LW knows that she needs to leave, I think that she is looking for someone to say that it is OK because of what her friends are saying, and if she asks her family, they are just going to tell her to leave him. So I believe she is looking for outside her circle validation she is doing the right thing fo herself.

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  • SixtyFour December 11, 2012, 10:16 am

    LW – you don’t need anyone’s permission to break up with this guy except your own. So your friends have said that you tend to be dismissive of other’s feelings? So what? You’re 24! You’re at an age where your allowed to be a little selfish and look out for your own happiness and best interest. And because no one else is going to care about your happiness as much as you.
    Things may be have started off great with this guy but they have certainly taken a nose dive. You don’t have to wait for another blow-up to leave him. If you’re feeling so turned off by his behavior, soon that will turn into resentment, then you’ll start taking it out on him. You don’t need to wait for that to happen if that’s where you truly see this all headed.

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    • Desiree December 11, 2012, 10:23 am

      I think of 24 as an age where people start to settle a little into their adult selves (post-college, etc.), and I don’t think anyone at any age should think, “I’m this age so it’s okay to be selfish.” However, I think early romantic relationships are definitely a time to look out for one’s happiness/best interest.

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      • kerrycontrary December 11, 2012, 10:52 am

        I think SixtyFour may have meant that if you are 24, and not married and don’t have any children, you can make choices based on exactly what you want.When you are 35 with children you may want to move to Korea to teach English, but it’s probably not feasible. Whereas this is relatively easy to do when you are 24 and uninhibited by other responsibilities.

    • katie December 11, 2012, 10:33 am

      honestly, if letting people fix their own problems is being “dismissive of their feelings”, then i hope that everyone is a little dismissive of others feelings.

      i feel like there is a difference between like telling people your SO that his feelings are wrong or they dont matter or something vs. not taking them on as a “project” to “fix”. i would never really want to get involved in someone’s life issues so serious like depression, if that is what this guys issue is. especially so soon into the relationship- that is a time where you say, well, sorry, this isnt my problem. bye.

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    • Lindsay December 11, 2012, 10:43 am

      I’ll say too that I don’t think looking out for your own happiness should be construed as being selfish or something you should only do when you’re young. And as for actual selfishness, as in having no respect for others, that’s not OK at any age.

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  • Lindsay December 11, 2012, 10:39 am

    I’d just move on. At six months, dating is about deciding if this person is right for you, not being guilted into sticking by them. If at that point, you feel scared and embarrassed by a guy, they aren’t right for you. This may be depression or a temporary mood, but either way, it’s still a part of his personality. I seriously doubt this is the first time he’s acted like this, and it’s probably not going to be the last.

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  • Ladybug December 11, 2012, 10:44 am

    WWS. One red flag that really jumps out at me thanks to past relationship experience is his apparent over-dependency on you. It’s rarely a good sign when someone needs or wants you to be their entire emotional support system, especially so early in a realtionship. That’s way too much to hang on one person. The reality is that no matter how much you love someone–be they family, friend, or significant other–you’re going to disappoint or hurt each other at times because we’re all human and we make mistakes in realationships just like we do in every other facet of life. When someone’s made one other person their sole emotional support, every disappointment or hurt tends to take on more signifigance than it might otherwise until the relationship implodes. It’s not a healthy situation to be in, and if this guy continutes to show that kind of dependence you may want to distance yourself a little more if you don’t MOA entirely.

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  • Skyblossom December 11, 2012, 10:45 am

    He has some great traits, being sweet and loving and funny and loyal. BUT, he can’t handle stress at all. That’s a huge red flag to me. The stress he is experiencing now is really fairly mild compared to stress that he’ll experience in the future. Right now he has no one depending on him, what would he do if he had kids needing food, clothes and a warm home? How would he handle major illness like cancer? How would he handle stress at work?

    The jealousy over a like on Facebook is a second red flag. Really, that upset and crude over an ex liking a cupcake photo. If he can be jealous over that then you have serious problems in your relationship. If he can make an issue of that he can, and will, make an issue out of anything.

    When his behavior is so bad that you are embarrassed that’s a red flag.

    That’s three red flags. Time to MOA.

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    • emjay December 11, 2012, 2:07 pm

      The facebook fight really got to me too. It was so stupid. The ex probably likes cupcakes i know i do. This is a big giant huge red flag that is just screaming at the LW ” RUN AWAY AND DO NOT LOOK BACK. I AM A COMPLETE JEALOUS PSYCHO AND NOW YOU ARE MINE AND NO GUY IS ALLOWED TO LOOK, TALK, GLANCE AT YOU OR COMMENT ABOUT A CUPCAKE BECAUSE HE IS TELLING ME YOU SUCKED HIS DICK!!!!!! ROOOOOAAAARRRRR!!!!!! YOU ARE MY PERSONAL PROPERTY ROOOOAAARRRR!!!!!!!!”

      Thats how I envisioned it anywayz lol!

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      • lets_be_honest December 11, 2012, 4:18 pm

        Isn’t it possible the cupcake had a sugar dick that resembled the ex’s dick, with lips similar the LWs on it though? I mean seriously, lets not jump to conclusions here.

  • CatsMeow December 11, 2012, 10:57 am

    LW, I think MY gut is also telling you to MOA. I had an abusive ex, and some of the things you mention are things that, in hindsight, I wish I had recognized as “warning signs.”

    We met, fell in love quickly, and moved really fast. After a while he became depressed. Now I have also struggled with depression, so I know what it’s like. I’ve pushed people away and lashed out and done things that I would consider “out of character” for me. So when my ex started behaving differently, I tried to be as understanding as possible and do everything I could to help. He was unemployed, isolated from his friends, etc. and also did NOTHING about it. Every time I tried to make suggestions it turned into a fight, and the fights gradually became more and more scary. And he guilted me into staying, saying things similar to what your boyfriend tells you – I was the only good thing in his life and if he didn’t have me, he might hurt himself. The jealousy and controlling behavior also escalated, and eventually he became physically violent with me. None of this was “out of character” for him; I later found out he had done this in his prior relationship too.

    LW, our situations are obviously not the same. I am likely projecting, but I can’t ignore the similarities. Maybe Wendy is right; maybe he does deserve a few more chances. But maybe by you ignoring your gut and giving him more time, you’re just alleviating your own guilt. On one hand, you don’t want to leave him in his time of need; but on the other hand, you’d likely be dodging a bullet by leaving now. One of my biggest regrets was not getting out before it got REALLY bad. Even if he’s not the piece of shit my ex turned out to be, you DON’T have to put up with this behavior.

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  • Essie December 11, 2012, 11:01 am

    OMG, run. Please. Run, now.

    I wish someone had said that to me 5 years ago, when I fell in love with this wonderful, sweet, caring, smart, funny guy. Who quickly turned into exactly the person you’ve described.

    I thought he’d get better. He didn’t.

    I thought he’d find a job. He stopped looking after two interviews.

    I thought he’d get help. He didn’t.

    I thought I could help him. He wouldn’t take my suggestions, requests, pleas. Or anyone else’s.

    Please don’t become a martyr to this guy’s unwillingness to get help. It’s so easy to get trapped. At six months, you’re not in that far.

    Tell him that unless he makes an appointment with a therapist, and goes, and shows real signs of trying to get better, you’re leaving. Don’t let him bargain with you. Don’t let him say ‘I’ll do it after the holidays’. And if he doesn’t, no matter how much he begs, pleads, cries, threatens to harm himself, stand firm and break it off, and get on with your life.

    Oh, and re: the Facebook thing. You were right to call him out on that, talk about unacceptable behavior. That alone is grounds for dumping him.

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  • no more twinkies December 11, 2012, 11:07 am

    Wow LW. You basically just described everything that happened to me and my ex. Maybe it’s the same guy lol! But seriously, everything is basically the same, like how he was depressed, unemployed, feeling victimized, blaming everything/everyone else, lashing out at me for stupid things…etc etc and meanwhile I’m giving him unsuccessful pep talks, trying to cheer him up/motivate him, be the best girlfriend and support him etc etc. Maybe minus the weight gain but everything else absolutely echoes what happened to us.

    So you can trust me 150% when I say that you need to move on with your life. He has no career plan, which didn’t seem much to me at first since I thought “Oh he might find an okay job later” but no. Trust your family on that. He lashes out at you, which in itself is wrong, but more importantly he does these things because of HIS problems since he feels so inferior, insecure, paranoid etc. You say he’s controlling too (and very jealous it seems), and I think this alone would be enough to make someone flee. Sure you can give him some more time and another chance or two but none of this is going to change. His life is a huge mess and he’s bringing you down too? Forget it girl! You have better things to do.

    I thought my ex and I were very much in love; he certainly was seeing how much he clung onto me. I know I definitely was, and thought we could somehow make it through. That maybe if he found a job these issues caused by his “depression” will go away. But nope, they definitely don’t because that’s the kind of person he IS. I stuck around with mine for over a year but I should have left around 7-8 months in because I kept on hoping he would get his act together. Nope. I’ll tell you from personal experience that you’ll be so relieved of getting rid of him and all his problems. Only when you step away will you realize how much he’s been bringing you down and causing you to be unhappy. Please please let us know through updates what you decide because I definitely would like to see what happens! πŸ™‚

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    • MMcG December 11, 2012, 1:54 pm

      His life is a huge mess and he’s bringing you down too? Forget it girl! You have better things to do.

      LOVE LOVE LOVE!! Since this won’t fit on a coffee mug, can we get this in a bumper sticker or fridge magnet, in addition to a nice ringer tshirt with some 70s styling?

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      • no more twinkies December 11, 2012, 7:51 pm

        Haha thanks! You made me laugh out loud. Go ahead and do whatever but hurry before I trademark the phrase! πŸ˜‰

  • cdobbs December 11, 2012, 11:14 am

    LW if I was in your shoes I would feel the exact same way…It may sound crazy but the best thing for you to do might be to break up with him…he is using you as a crutch…it is ok to feel depressed, but when things are down, that is when you need to pick yourself up and do something about it (counceling, looking for a job, reconnecting with friends, hobbies, working out)….you can’t be this dependent child, relying on other people to fix your life…he is an adult and needs to stand up and get his life together….I think if you gave him some tough love and forced him to stand on his own two feet it would force him to get out of this funk…keep your chin up, it sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders, so don’t feel bad about making some tough decisions in the near future πŸ™‚

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  • CatsMeow December 11, 2012, 12:01 pm

    Haha. I love how there are 3 comments in a row basically saying, “This is my ex! Get out NOW!”

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  • bittergaymark December 11, 2012, 1:03 pm

    MOA. You can’t fix somebody who won’t fix themselves… And if he’s THIS depressed and victimized at fucking 24, wait until he’s 42… (I’m just assuming he’s about your age.) Meanwhile, the whole cupcake drama? Equating that with asking how his dick tastes? That. Is. Just. Fucking. Psycho. Don’t give it a few more weeks. There’s no point in that. It’s time to rip the bandaid off. And to throw it away.

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  • lemongrass December 11, 2012, 1:15 pm

    People, you have instincts for a reason!!!! LW, run, don’t walk away from this guy. Seriously, my sister married him and it is not good. This guy does not have the ability to have a healthy relationship right now. He needs to work on his issues and THEN find a relationship. You cannot and should not be any kind of a motivating factor to his getting his depression under control. That is not fair to you and it is emotional blackmail. He is not willing at this point to work on having a better life and he will just bring you down.

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    • lemongrass December 11, 2012, 1:39 pm

      Now that I’ve read all the comments- I disagree with those saying give him an ultimatum “start working to get better or I’m leaving.” Just leave! If you give him that option he will just do barely enough to get you to stay and then go back to doing nothing.

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  • emjay December 11, 2012, 1:53 pm

    I did not read the comments, so if I am repeating anything, I apologize in advance.
    When you state that his behavior is scaring you, that is a sign you need to run for the hills. I have bipolar and I do not act like this. Also listen to your gut. If your gut is telling you to MOA then there is a reason for it. This guy does sound off his rocker. You are not his mommy, you cannot snap your fingers and make his life all better for him. And the facebook fight….OMG! I would have told him that he was crazy too! Just because someone can be nice and funny doesn’t mean that they do not have any underlying issues. It seems to me that this guy is showing you who he really is, without all the blue skys, sunshine and cotton candy with rainbows and bunny rabbits.

    This is his true self. He is a clingy, depressed person who wants you to be with him all the time and forget about the life you made for yourself. I can see what will happen already if you stay…

    You will have plans with your friends or family and he will start with guilt trips about how you never have time for him etc. Then he will try to isolate you from them, and try to make him your ENTIRE WORLD. And if you do not “obey” him, then you must not really love him. And he will start to accuse you of cheating on him every time you leave the house and whatnot.

    This is not a relationship worth saving IMO. I say get out now before this guy can really sink his claws in to you. I have a feeling that he has done this in the past, and he will continue this cycle of behavior in the future. So please, listen to your gut AND RUN LIKE HELL.

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  • lilypad December 11, 2012, 2:06 pm

    I was once in the position of your boyfriend. I am usually a very independent and self-assured person, but with my last ex I became clingy and needy and insecure. I was isolated and chemically depressed because of medication, and I felt like he was my lifeline to happiness (gross, I know).

    Looking back, I see that the main reason I acted this way was because he and I were a *terrible match for one another.* Our lifestyles did not match up, and I often felt like his 3rd or 4th priority. He didn’t mean to, but he often made me feel silly for being sad. And, worst of all, he let me get away with playing the victim card or overreacting to his ex girlfriends. I’m not saying that you are fueling his bad behavior, but he’s doing all of this to get attention from the one positive thing in his life. He wants all your attention, whether in positive or negative form. If you keep letting him do it, he’ll never stop.

    I changed my life and attitude when I broke up with that boyfriend. I am a new, healthy person that has worked very hard to kick my depression and insecurities. A breakup may just be the kick in the pants he needs to turn everything around. Obviously, he does not have the motivation to change while you guys are still together, since he gets to be depressive and irrational, AND still have your emotional support. It’s a win for him, no matter how sad that is.

    Just my thoughts! Maybe this is a one-time thing for him…only you can know whether your gut is right here!

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    • painted_lady December 11, 2012, 11:27 pm

      I definitely pulled some of that – not the crazy jealous part, but the “You’re the only good thing I have!” part. I don’t blame him for letting me get away with stuff (I doubt you meant it exactly like that; I’m not picking on you), but I definitely did some pretty humiliatin stuff because of how unhappy I was, and I didn’t realize how dark I got until after it had ended. But yeah, ultimately what it was, was we were terribly mismatched. I think he was honestly looking for someone who would ask nothing of him and enjoy whatever he was willing to toss my way – not out of malice, just out of not wanting to step out of his comfort zone – and didn’t want a relationship so much as a very monogamous, affectionate friends with benefits arrangement. And I was looking for a relationship, but I was so unhappy that I didn’t see how I was trying to force something that wasn’t ever happening. It was so hard to figure out what was me being depressed and what was me being in a bad relationship. And you’re right: the second I figured out what had gone wrong, I started doing everything in my power to fix my own life – got the job I wanted, a house I liked, shored up my friendships, got healthy – it was the best wake-up call I ever got.

      Funny thing was, when I was a year and a half into my current relationship, all those issues came right back to the surface, but this time, because the relationship was good, I could see clearly that I was the problem. And I realized it was mine to fix, and I also wanted to fix it for myself and also for my relationship. It’s amazing how the right relationship pushes you to be better and happier and healthier.

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  • *HmC* December 11, 2012, 3:28 pm

    He’s interpreted a “like” of a picture of a cupcake to mean that your ex was asking him “how does my dick taste”? Hopefully he has recanted and apologized for that comment. Otherwise, there’s so much immaturity and borderline sexism in that one comment, I’m not sure I could personally get past it if my boyfriend seriously said that to me.

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  • painted_lady December 11, 2012, 4:34 pm

    LW – Just wanted to add two things to all the other awesome advice. The cupcake fight. First off, it sounds like he’s angry with you for that guy’s “like.” Which, even if he had written in all caps “REMEMBER HOW MY DICK TASTES?” why the fuck is he mad at you? He’s blaming you for some other guy’s perceived violation. Forget how crazy it is that he makes the immediate connection between the like button and oral sex, some guy still wanting you is somehow your fault. I wouldn’t date a man who thinks like that. That guy scares the shit out of me.

    Also, the reason he assumes that’s what your ex thinks? It’s because that’s very likely how he thinks. When someone is that irrational about something, it’s because they assume everyone thinks like them. So the mildest, most innocent of interactions with people boiling down to how a guy would like to have sex with you are because he approaches even the most innocent of interactions that way as well. So…you know…that’s creepy.

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    • oldie December 11, 2012, 4:40 pm

      Very true. After just 3 months, MOA and cut your losses, before it is more emotionally difficult to leave and there is greater physical danger of him injuring you when you leave. Your bf is very creepily controlling and jealous and blames you for all the problems in his life, which rightfully are his. You can’t fix him. You likely can’t help him fix himself. Despite your sense of ‘love’, which seems to be your being seduced by an abuser’s tricks, there is nothing for you in this relationship. Nothing worth trying to save. Save your life, your sanity, your future happiness and MOA. No ultimatums, attempts by him to change, counseling — just run, as if your life depends upon it.

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    • *HmC* December 11, 2012, 4:54 pm

      “He overreacted and said that my ex liking my picture was an offense to him and was like asking, β€œHow does my di*k taste?” – LW

      Do you think that the LW’s boyfriend interpreted the ex as saying “remember how my dick tastes” or do you think that the LW’s boyfriend interpreted the ex as saying TO the boyfriend “how does my dick taste”? I interpreted as the latter… as in, you’re sleeping with her now, my dick has been there, how does it taste? Gross and creepy and borderline sexist (girlfriend’s body is my property to defile) either way. I don’t know why I care so much about understanding why exactly he was offended. πŸ˜›

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      • painted_lady December 11, 2012, 5:02 pm

        Oh, I get the ambiguity there. I’m not sure, honestly. But either way, the end result is the boyfriend being angry with LW for something she didn’t do. And that’s my biggest problem.

      • bittergaymark December 11, 2012, 11:55 pm

        HmC — that alternative theory is just too be of a stretch in my book. At any rate, the BF is whackjob in my book. It’s time to kick that ass to the curb.

      • *HmC* December 12, 2012, 1:18 am

        Ha, yeah maybe it is a stretch, but it’s honestly the first interpretation that popped into my head for some reason and I was surprised that others interpreted it differently. I think I’m too creative for my own good sometimes.

  • SallyS December 12, 2012, 1:33 pm

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. Something very similar happened to me, except it had been nearly four years and we were engaged. It was gut-wrenching, and I eventually had to end the relationship.

    I got engaged to a man before he told me that debilitating depression had been recurrent in his life. I didn’t find out until I realized he was depressed. Depression had torn apart my parents’ marriage and I was wary of the same thing happening to me, so I urged him to get into counseling and find a medication that worked for him (he is from another country and the meds he had taken there are not available here). He did these things. In turn, I tried to help with support, love, and plans and ideas to help get around some of his stumbling blocks.

    However, a year passed and nothing seemed to help, and finally, two months before our wedding, he decided that, although he loved me, it was “too much pressure” to continue the relationship with me. We parted ways for about five months before he decided he wanted to get back together, which I was happy to hear. However, he just wasn’t much better, with no motivation to do anything, no improvement in his moods or the kinds of things he felt “up to” doing, and it was sucking away my energy and taking me right back to my childhood experience of my dad’s hurtful behavior and my mom’s helpless reactions to it.

    He wouldn’t set an alternate wedding date, wouldn’t come to see me (we lived four hours apart), and wouldn’t even do things like grade papers for the classes he taught. Sometimes he just didn’t show up to teach at all. I realized that I couldn’t live my life and also make sure he was always doing what he was supposed to be doing, and I came to know that planning for a wedding – or even a future with him – was asking too much. So I ended the relationship around Thanksgiving of 2010.

    Two years later, he is much better and still my best friend. We’re not back together, though – a lot of time had passed, he now lives ten hours away instead of four, and although we’ve discussed missing and still loving each other, I believe what happened is for the best. I don’t know how long he’ll be better, I don’t know how long it will take for treatment to work next time – for there will be a next time – and I don’t know what I’d do if the sudden “pressure” of the relationship meant a divorce, but he might change his mind again.

    It was a strange situation, but it led me to believe that simply loving someone is not enough for a successful relationship, and I also know you can’t “love someone better.” I feel badly for the situation that you’re in, but you’re right in knowing that you can’t “fix” him – that’s up to him.

    Best of luck to you!

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