How Do You Know If It's Depression Or If He's Actually Just Pulling Away As Indoing The "Fade-away"?

Question

Asked by Sue

How Do You Know If It's Depression Or If He's Actually Just Pulling Away As Indoing The "Fade-away"?

I've only known this guy for 1.5 mths. We have become good friends and "dating" but nothing serious. We have not been "intimate" although we've messed around. Both of us have jut been enjoying each other's company. I slowly noticed him pulling away from me about 2 weeks ago. He text me and called me constantly and we spent almost every day together for the first week or so. Then he kept in contact but it's slowly faded. So I called him and asked him if he wanted to make dinner together and he said no, his mom was coming over to help him get some things done. Not a big deal and a valid excuse. But I then asked him if he was ok and noticed he'd been less receptive to me and if we were ok. He said, "we're fine. I'm just really down." I said, down as in sad? or down as in depressed. He said, "well if wanting to crawl into a cave and hide from everyone is depressed, I guess I am." I didn't push it and told him I was here for him but the conversation seemed very stilted. :-( We Im'd for a little the next day then nothing. He just disappeared. So I didnt bug him for a week. Then I decided to start seeing my counselor again and during my session she asked if I wanted to call him. He had some of my things and I thought I'll just get them back and go our separate ways. So my counselor left the room and I called. He answered and talked to me like nothing was wrong and seemed happy to hear from me. I told him I'd found a place to move and I was very busy and needed to figure out HOW I was gonna get move. He kinda reprimanded me and said, "I told you I would help you" I said, "I'm not sure what you want from me. I feel like you're doing the fade-away." He said, I told you I've been down." I said, "well you came on so strong at first and now nothing. I don't know what to think." Anyway, I'm leaving for a week and he mentioned seeing me when I get back but did not make definite plans.

I know there is not much time invested here. I just don't know how to approach him. Do you think he's honest in his claim he's depressed? I guess since I've had the fade-away done so much to me it's hard for me to trust he's not doing it. I miss talking to him. We could talk for hours. Now he doesn't even call. I could walk away now and not be heartbroken but I really miss him. I just want to know the truth and I want to genuinely be there for him if he's really down.

He is a single dad and just had a serious accident in March that broke both of his feet so he's in constant pain, he tends to overdue it too. His dad committed suicide a year ago. He has a childhood of abuse and that's not all. I'm still talking to and dating other guys. So I think I could be a good friend although I won't deny it, I like him. I know he has a lot of issues and many of you will say, "he's got too much to deal with, move on" But I would like to know how I should be there for him. I know I can't fix him. So........do you think he's genuinely depressed or making excuses. He was so happy when we first met. I'm just wondering how to handle this. Do I wait for him to get hold of me or contact him every once in a while to see how he is. He didn't ask me to leave me alone but his actions are showing me differently.

Answer

Hi, Sue. Based on this guy's history, it's very possible that he's depressed because there certainly are factors there that could trigger it. But it's really hard to say what's going on. He might be afraid of getting too close but might not even realize it. If this keeps on much longer, you could suggest that maybe he should get some help, but when you get back from your trip, I'd call him once and then let the ball be in his court. Yes, it could be the fade-away, too, and he just doesn't want to hurt your feelings. Time will tell, I guess, and you'll have to decide what you want for yourself, not just figure out what HE needs from you. Maybe your therapist can help you work through that.

Thanks for writing in and let us know if we can be of more help.