Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Not sure if I did the right thing (broke relationship off)

Community Member

Hi everyone,

I am relieved to have found this space, I am looking for guidance.

Around a year and a half ago I dated someone for a few months, we solely spent time together getting to know each other. He told me eventually wasn't in a space for a relationship at that stage, no worries on my end, I just kept moving dating other people. He messaged on special occasions to touch base and we kept a friendship going. He was open about having experienced anxiety and depression. I am in recovery from a mental illness myself and have done a *lot* of work, no relapses in a number of years.

Fast forward awhile and I realise it felt right to reconnect with him. It turned romantic and due to some really heavy stuff coming up on his end recently (the worst space he's been in in a long time, he is completely stuck and cannot think about anything apart from not feeling the way he's feeling) and not seeing him for a few weeks, he tells me he knows he shouldn't be alone when he's like this, but that's what he wants. That he wants to be alone, but in the same breath doesn't know if he wants space, or a breakup. He is adamant though that this is his private struggle and won't let me in, tell me what is really going on.

I told him I am quite prepared to walk alongside him in this, that's when he said he didn't know what he wants re: space or a breakup. So I had to take a step back and tell him I love him and that I want for him to be well. So it's technically broken off, but I don't know if I have done the right thing, I was a bit knee-jerk when he was like "I have no idea what i'm doing or where i'm going".

Any words of comfort or suggestions as to what to do from here? Thanks everyone!

2 Replies 2

Beyond Blue Staff
Beyond Blue Staff

Hi Swish,

Welcome to this space, I'm sorry for the difficulty you're experiencing. You sound like a really wonderful, caring person and you're partner is lucky to have you. From my understanding of what you've posted, your partner is going through a tough time and feels he needs space, but at times he's not sure.

I think you have done the right thing by trying to stay close, check in on him and be a support for him. There's probably not much else you can do except touching base with him every now and again to see how he is managing and tell him you're still there if he needs you, perhaps just telling him that you'll always offer your ear to him for support and maybe if he opens up a little more to you, you can slowly introduce some ideas for getting him some other support. Offer to accompany him to see a GP if you think he's ready, perhaps suggest the Beyondblue website for resources and support such as this online forum.
Your partner will need their own space and time for sure but it's always helpful to have a support and even though a person may not realise it during a tough time, but its that support that gets them through eventually.
Keep caring and asking after him.
I hope this helps.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Swish, the reply from Haifa has pretty well said it all in an excellent reply, so there's not much I can add, only that I've recognised your situation, perhaps there is one thing you could do is to make sure that you are looking after yourself, because it's going to be an uncertain period of time where you won't know what to do.
Sometimes it's never easy to take a step back wards, because you feel as though you want to be there by his side, to encourage him and then help him, however sometimes this isn't the appropriate way to go, just let him know that you love him and will be there for him anytime he wants you. Geoff.