Posted by: Too Independant | 2004/01/23

Too independant to start a relationship

Dear Doc

I've been single (by choice) for about 18 months due to being in an emotionally abusive relationship before. I recently met someone and we've known each other for about a month. At first things were great, I really do enjoy his company, and he's really caring and considerate. Unfortunately, I'm stating to feel smothered by him! I'm about 7 months older than him, and pretty much financially and emotionally independant from my parents (they live more that 400km away), he's still studying and living with his parents. He's on anti-depressants and he says that since he's met me, he feels as though he doesn't need them. His friends are constantly telling me how they can see such a good change in him as well. All this is fine and well, but to me it feels like a jail sentence, that my "freedom" of being able to do anything I wanted, when I wanted, is being taken away from me so that I can keep him happy. I know that in relationships that you're supposed to compromise, but all of this happened unexpectedly, and he's taking it all a lot more seriously than I am. What I would have liked to be a gradual process, is immediate for him. I know I'm terrible, but when I suggest that I'd like to spend a weekend on my own, he seems hurt and offended...and I'm scared that he might just do something stupid like kill himself or something...if it carries on this way, I'll probably end up being the one on anti depressants!! Can you please advise me how to approach this situation?

Kind Regards,

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Our expert says:
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Dear TI,
Sounds like you need to explain to him, that because of your previous abusive relationship, and the suddenness with which your relationship with him has developed, you're finding things moving a bit fast, and would like to take things more gradually. he should NOT, EVER, stop his antidepressant medications without consulting his doctor about it, and reaching a joint decision on that. You're not well matched, even though you might be otherwise compatible, because he seems to need excessive comforting closeness, and you need space and independence. Is this relationship really ready for prime time ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Storm | 2004/01/23

You are afraid of commitment at the moment. I know the whole story, I just came out of relationship like this. The first few months SHE wanted to be with me all the time, and all of a sudden she wanted personal space. And in a relationship, that does not work for me. Cause we only see each other in the evenings. We were also engaged. She wanted to visit friends and told me straight, that she wanted to do so without me. She did not give me a choice. Always give choices. But if you feel you want to be free then be free do not get involved.

Reply to Storm
Posted by: Puzzled | 2004/01/23

Ok, now that I have calmed myself down a little & stopped myself from screaming "No! No! No!" into the computer screen (this is such a classic case-I've seen it a million times!!!) maybe I can give you some advice. He needs to go back on his anti depressants-he has a chemical imbalance & these tablets help to correct it. After the initial euphoria of the relationship wears of believe me he will be more clingy, he will be suspicious, he will start visiting you at 3am & shouting 'You don't like me anymore, Why don't you like meeeee!" And he may just do exactly what you fear & kill himself. What you want back is your personal freedom. The problem is you should have been honest with him about just how much personal freedom you need from the very start of this relationship & not only told him this when the relationship became more "involved" or "solid". You see he needs a schedule-he needs security & he is used to you being his life line-being there all the time & now you are going to take this away from him-believe me he won't take this very well at all!!! The good news is its never too late, it will take a great deal of explaining (with alot of reassurance & loving care) that your need for personal freedom has nothing to do with lack of love-just that you cannot stand the feeling of being locked up. But he needs to go back on those anti depressants ASAP!!!!!
Good Luck

Reply to Puzzled

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