February 3, 2019 at 11:00 pm #108335VampirePenguinParticipant
I have been very close with someone (male, early 20s) with ADHD for a few years. After two years of close friendship, he wanted a romantic relationship with me. This romantic relationship lasted for only a few months before he decided to end it. To make a very long story short, he had dropped out of college and had stayed home roughly 2 hours away from me. He was trying to regain his footing and direction in life. I did my best to be supportive. He was deeply appreciative of my support, especially since he felt abandoned by his other friends and family, but I suppose that a romantic relationship was too much for him to handle at the time.
The ending of the romantic relationship devastated him. Through tears he told me that he was so happy he met me, he does not regret being romantically involved with me, and that my kindness would stay with him for the rest of his life.
After he had calmed down a little, he also promised me he would never leave me and that we could continue to talk as always. So we did.
We Faced Timed, spoke on the phone, and texted one another frequently (as frequently as someone with ADHD can text, that is). We had planned to see one another a few times, but his work schedule didn’t provide him with many days off, so the plans we made fell through. This didn’t stop us from talking, though. We always had great conversations and we even played games together over the phone.
One day, roughly 7 months after, I called him to chat and he was telling me all about the stories that he was writing, like he always did. However, he also told me that he enrolled in a community college near his home. He admitted that he still loved talking to me over the phone, but he was afraid that seeing me in person would be even more difficult now. I told him that this was all okay, but he felt that his decision to go to college was selfish. I told him it was not selfish at all and we could still communicate with one another as always. I did also ask to talk more about our feelings, because I had some things I wanted to express and I felt like he had more to say too. We agreed to talk later.
This conversation about our feelings ended up becoming a conversation over text because I was afraid that talking on the phone would be too intense and upsetting. I said a few things (though not everything I wanted to say) and he told me how thankful he was for me always being patient with him. I asked if he had anything else he wanted to say and he sent me this:
“I want to apologize for the way things are between us. I regret them too. I’ve never been good at reconciling with someone after an emotionally painful or confusing episode in a relationship, and the distance makes it that much more difficult. I’m sorry that you’re the one who’s having to bear the cost of that.”
That was it. That was the last thing he ever said. I tried to tell him that things would be okay between us. I sent texts and left voicemails. No response. I even sent a message over GroupMe in an attempt to see if/when he read it. It still does not display as read. Either he never received it or saw that it was from me and refused to open it.
I haven’t attempted to contact him since. It has been roughly 4 months.
I have never been so confused in my life. The message he sent and everything he has told me prior seemed (at least to me) to clearly communicate that he did not want to lose me. Generally, when one person “ghosts” another, they do not send emotional texts detailing how they seem to care for the relationship. They just leave.
About two weeks before this particular incident I had gotten a little worried because he had not responded to me for over 5 days. Usually the maximum amount of time he will remain silent is 3. He called me absolutely distraught saying how he had been extremely busy, how sorry he was for not responding, and how he hoped I could accept his apology. Of course I forgave him at the time, but this instance prompts me to wonder why he would react this way if he was just going to quit talking in a few weeks? He could have just never responded to me then and, at the very least, I wouldn’t have to deal with his confusing message. There seems to be no motivation for any of it.
My best guess is he just got overwhelmed and didn’t know how to handle the situation, so he just ran away. Maybe he found another girl to replace me with, or maybe he is legitimately not receiving the messages (about a year ago his phone broke and he missed calls for weeks). These theories just don’t seem to work with how he reacted, though. It is suspicious that his phone would “break” immediately after that conversation and I don’t know why he would even answer my initial phone call if he had found someone else.
I want so badly to tell him that things are still going to be okay and no amount of emotional or physical distance could ever drive us apart completely. I have thought about sending him an email or writing him a letter, but I’m afraid he either won’t read it or it will overwhelm him further. I don’t know what to do. I know he has struggled with relationships and has lost people before, but that doesn’t mean he has to lose me. There are so few people in your life with whom you will develop such a deep personal connection with, so you should do your absolute best to preserve such a relationship when you find it. I would give anything just to tell him this, but I don’t know how.
I have attempted to ask others for advice and their unanimous consensus has been, “I don’t know. It doesn’t make any sense.”
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