I need advice Mamas, as I am faced with something that is new to me. First a quick update about Cyclist: we are no longer dating, which is good. As we got to know each other better I realized he would never be the man I wanted him to be and he would never be able to give me what I wanted/needed (emotionally, and otherwise). Writing things down really helped me with this (journaling). Ok, so I've been dating cute Professor for a few weeks now and we hit it off. He's so honest, I love it. Put his cards on the table, told me what he was looking for (a relationship), is artistic, expressive (major plus), funny, a great cook, not codependent, environmentally conscious, grows his own food, etc....BUT, he also told me he is chronically depressed. As in, he's been depressed since he was born. I appreciated his honesty and told him that scared me a little as I have never dated anyone who was chronically depressed (as far as I know). He takes welbutrin and goes to therapy every other week. I am so happy with my life right now and have such a happy-go-lucky attitude...this information really caught me off guard. He described it as a "low grade depression" and when he's down it just means he prefers to stay home (as opposed to going out with friends) and lets things go a little, but he's never incapacitated. So he still goes to work everyday, etc. I don't know what to think. I really like him so far. I've also been depressed in the past, and took medication for it and went to therapy, but it was never chronic.
I told him I'll never be "his other half" or the one who "completes him" or "what he needs to be happy", etc., and he told me he is perfectly aware of that and that he is not codependent and he knows there's nothing and no one who can truly make him happy. It is extremely difficult for me to picture life like that...unable to be happy. And if he hadn't told me, I never would have guessed. He said none of his friends can tell either, and the few that he has told have been surprised. We talked about this, and many other things last night in front of his fireplace. I also gave my spiel of "it takes me a long time to get close to someone" referring to kissing and sex, and he's fine with waiting til whenever (if we ever get there). We are so incredibly similar in so many ways...I truly think he might be what I've been looking for (a male version of me lol) but this depression thing...I don't know what to make of it.
Advice? Have any of you been with a chronically depressed person before? Would it be a waste of time to pursue this any further? Can someone stay happy dating a self-professed "unhappy" person? On the outside, he looks perfectly fine. Are any of you chronically depressed? Would you be able to shed some light on this for me?
This is so tough to answer. I think it really depends on your guy and how he and you relate to each other and how strong a sense of self you have.
I was married to a chronically unhappy person and it turned out to be hell. Though mine wasn't that aware of it and blamed much of it on me (meaning he held me responsible to make him happy in the marriage). I like the fact that this man has self awareness and that he is open and honest about it with you. I have had episodic depression, though this last bout has lasted a long time. I couldn't really give you advice on what it would be like to be chronically depressed, but I go through something similar to him: I stay home and let things go. If you have a good feeling about him, I would say, go for it with your eyes open. If something doesn't set well with you, talk to him about it and see if he is open to it. If he lashes out at you...that will give you something to think about..if he is open to discussing and not blaming...sounds promising.