Before i begin, i think its important to note that there is a history of both depression & generalized anxiety in my family & bipolarity & social anxiety in my boyfriendâs.
My boyfriend & i began dating about 11 months ago. We fell very quickly in love, he a graduate student where i was attending undergrad, & spent almost all of our time together. We were both very happy & very in love. We had occasional fights, but we were so happy otherwise. I had already signed up for a study abroad semester in the spring, & had to finalize the decision a week after we began dating, so i agreed to it. While i was abroad, my boyfriend & i fought often. I felt insecure being so far away from him. However, he was good to me, writing me comforting emails & always being understanding during our calls. There were many times when i pushed him away, hoping he would come back. Sometimes, he, too, would overreact to small things, though, & scream at me, later apologizing. We always forgave each other. I have generalized anxiety, & throughout it, he was understanding. However, when i finally came home for the summer, (we live a 2 hour drive away from one another), he slowly became more distant from me. It didnât make sense to me, because if he were to become distant, i would have assumed it would have been while i was abroad. Having decided that he didn't want to pursue teaching as a career (his graduate program was in secondary education), he became extremely depressed. He had to move back home & still hasn't found a job. Over the summer, his sweetness towards me began to lessen, although when he was loving, he was still very much so. His moods would fluctuate between depression & irritability & mania & "feeling nothing". He blamed me for his moods, constantly talking about "what i did in denmark." i often asked, please just distinguish when you're depressed & when you're unhappy with me. I suppressed all of my anxieties & concerns to support him, but was often met with mixed signals: don't call me so much & why didn't you call me yet today, kinds of things. I was patient with him, loving, & learned to deal with my anxieties so that if something was wrong, i would try to talk & never accuse. I felt like i "owed" it to him, (which is why i unfortunately endured a lot of his moods unquestioningly). Recently, a friend of his offered him a publishing job in new york, (we both were planning on being based in philadelphia next year), & on a whim he decided to do it. I was nervous about the experience, although happy for him- we have waited months now to be together- it hurt me.
Here is where it stands:
last week, early in the week, i visited him. He took me out to an expensive dinner & a night out, & we had a really nice time. He told me he loved me, was still in love with me, enjoyed being with me, & that new york, alone, wouldnât break us up.
The next day i called him upset about the new york idea. I told him i supported him, but i was worried about the relationship. He insinuated that he wanted to break up with me. I called him later & said if he needed space, then he could take some space.
I didn't call him for one week.
When i did finally call him back, he sounded completely depressed. He said that he had barely gotten out of bed in days & that he hadn't pursued the new york job, yet. I, by then, had had my own nervous breakdown (which i didn't tell him about) & simply said that the time was good for me, (as it helped me get some clarity on the situation), that i was going into therapy, myself, & i felt positive about it. I told him we should take some space for a while, casually talk, & hopefully we would date again, if it were meant to be. He said okay. I told him that i would always support him, that i had wanted to stay with him this summer to support him & that he should know that he wasn't alone.
I called him the next day, & he didn't call back, but sent a text the next morning (today) apologizing. When i called him, i asked him, are we dating more casually or are we on a break? I felt like we needed to be on the same page about it. He said, you asked for a break, so i don't know. He said he didnât see much difference between casually dating & what we were before- long-distance. This crushed me. He evaded the answering my question & had to go because he was getting his wisdom teeth out today & was leaving.
I love him. I believe, truly, that he loves me. I could not seriously date him again unless he sought therapy- having read a lot of literature about it, i think he is bipolar. Other times things like this have happened, heâs come back to me saying he doesnât understand how he did what he did. But now, i donât feel as confident about it. How do i make it work? How can you be long-distance on a break? It seems contradictory. It shows no signs of ending in terms of the long-distance. Please donât just tell me to "move on". Thank you so very much for your help.