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Offline confusedaboutocd

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Having dated someone with OCD
« on: March 14, 2013, 10:14:55 AM »
So, I have recently been seeing someone with OCD and am still trying to digest the whole experience. Sorry, this will be a bit longer.

Basically we met a while ago, got on really well and then about two years later met again, he had moved to my city, and we started hanging out as friends. All through this time he was eager to meet my friends, eager to meet up with me, we laughed a lot and had a great time eating out etc. Every now and then he sort of disappeared for a few days/didn't answer his emails which I thought was a bit strange, because he was so outgoing and trying hard to be entertaining etc when we were together but I didn't think much of it. Then about after a month of hanging out, we got together. He started sweating heavily when we first kissed, which I thought was unusual, but again, thought it was sweet and put it down to being a bit nervous about being with a girl. A bit of background: He is 26, I am 29. He just started working in a very corporate, stressful job right after law school and I have been working in the media for a little bit longer. He isn't bad looking, but a little bit overweight but very cute (to me) - probably not what "general society" would deem attractive though and I think he has some issues with this. I think he perceived me as quite attractive. So back to the story. Shortly after this night we both left for Christmas (2 Weeks) and before he left, we spent the night together. In the morning he sort of just left without kissing/hugging me goodbye and wrote a text message from the cab saying there's soap in the cupboard if I need it. I thought that was quite strange and felt it was a bit alienating. I left it at that and decided to see whether he would write much or call during the time we were away from each other. He did write here and there, but very short messages and basically just catching up and saying how much he loved being home. Which I thought was totally fine until I wrote him a longer email, expanding a little on the stuff I'd been doing and then didn't hear from him for about 5 days - right over Christmas. No merry Christmas wishes or anything. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed, mainly also, because my family and I had a hard time over Christmas (we ended up celebrating separately) so I would say I was a bit vulnerable and would have appreciated a "hello" over this time. So he answered like 5 days later and I did mention to him that I found our communication a bit "disconnecting" and that we should talk when we get back. I hesitated in doing this but I wanted to have an honest relationship and air my feelings more freely than I have in the past. He answered saying he really didn't feel that way and that he can't wait to see me. So again, I forgot about it and left it at that. When we saw each other again, he was a bit depressed saying how much he'd love to go back home etc. Which again, I found a bit strange, just because it didn't make me feel very "wanted" and like he really wanted to be here with me. So then I found his medication in the bathroom, asked him about it and he hesitated but then told me it's against OCD and that he's had it since he is 14, and that moving to another continent and starting work after university has worsened his condition considerably. I listened and was understanding, in fact understood too little about it to really understand what an impact that has on someone's life. I left a bit later because I needed to unpack etc and he immediately said "Whoa, am I boring you" and I said no. Texted him afterwards saying what a good time I had, to reassure him that the news hadn't put me off. And since then, the "relationship" was really just doomed. He never really replied to any text messages I sent. I tried to show I cared, left him some groceries in front of his door, asked him for advice on issues that I knew he was more competent on -- all efforts to kind of keep things going. He did continually tell me that he just needs time alone but that of course he still wants to see me. And he did at some points write really long emails again, whenever we discussed issues other than personal issues. So 6 weeks went by like this. I saw him once when I offered to come by, he said OK to that, but immediately after I rang the door I could hear him showering and cleaning behind his door, obviously I caused him a lot of stress. He said he had to go into work pretty much 5 mins after I arrived so I kept hugging him and not saying much, and then at one point, like 2 hours later of us lying on the couch, he just totally lost it, got really aggressive and said he needs to do xyz and the laundry etc, he is so behind with all that he wanted to do etc. And I kept suggesting that I could help him with some of the stuff he needed to do like his laundry etc. And he just got really aggressive and asked me to get out of his flat NOW. So I left and didn't text him for a week. I felt pretty shitty afte being thrown out like that when I only tried to help. He did say sorry for his behaviour that day via text. So after another 4 weeks of just emailing, and him basically saying he "can't be there for me", I decided to ask him, where he saw things going with us. I wanted to do it in person because I thought it was better handled in person. He didn't agree to this until right at the end. So I told him what I thought, that after 6 weeks of emailing but not really seeing each other, i wanted to know whether he wanted to continue things, or as an alternative be moving on... And he somehow cut me off after a while saying "yes, maybe we should just do that" and that he has no feelings for me anymore, it happened a while ago, he can't say when exactly. I somehow felt really faint and sort of collapsed in his flat at the news (yes, very embarrassing!), but he was really caring and tried to make me feel better. We ended up in each other's arms again with him consistently going "what is this? it's nothing more than a physical thing" and then, all of a sudden, whilst we sort of got quite comfortable again with each other, said I really had to leave now (it was 4 am) and that he can't have a relationship, that he is maybe crazy but that I need to leave now. So I did. Once again. I felt really bad after that.

Then  I did something that I deeply, deeply regret until this very day. I wrote him an email a few days later saying how f*d up that behaviour was - to throw someone out just out of the blue and that I wasn't willing to take it any longer and that I thought even with OCD, there are limits to how two people should treat each other. I did that because I felt like I had to stand my ground - as a woman and as a human being and to defend my limits. He did respond saying basically the same thing: that he is sorry but can't have a relationship with me because he doesn't feel comfortable with me. I replied saying sorry for my earlier email, the way I wrote that. And that I don't like ending things on bad terms with anyone who I have had some sort of meaningful interaction with, that I hope he feels the same way but if he didn't then that's OK too. That I am not angry with him and that none of us meant any harm. I haven't heard from him since. This was one month ago.

I really liked this person and I would have liked to have a relationship with him. I didn't know about OCD and just tried to be there, writing to him even if he didn't answer (short emails, every few days/1 week),  but didn't realise how that might have made him feel "emasculated". He kept saying he needs to manage this on his own. I am just wondering whether I should apologise again, explaining all this - that I didn't know how to interpret many of his actions, that I hope we can talk again someday etc. Or whether I should just leave it, and not cause him more stress. He did say to me "you are one source of stress for me".  I just don't want to seem like some stalker or give him the feeling that I am not respecting that he broke things off with me.

Any insights into his behaviour, or advice would be much appreciated. I would like to try and understand what happened and why he perceived me as someone that he can't be comfortable with - when in the beginning it seemed so different (we were laughing and had many discussions about different topics all the time). I feel extremely guilty about writing that harsh email saying how f*d up his actions were and acan't put it out of my mind even though I have apologised. Thanks!

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Offline Cheesus

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Re: Having dated someone with OCD
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2013, 11:31:51 AM »
I sort of guess his OCD centres around hygiene, though you didn't expressly say that...? Just so you are aware, OCD comes in a myriad of forms.

It's a bit difficult to give you any insight because you've only shown us what you have seen. Communication is of utmost importance. You needn't have to gain insight from a third party if you have direct lines of communication with the person. You need to ask them to help you understand.

Simply put, I don't know why he would just kick you out etc. I know when I was first seeing my girlfriend I wouldn't like to hang around at her house too much in the morning, but that is because I often feel very irritable in the morning. When you mix that with her love to talk at length at any time of day it would wind me up a bit. I don't know if this is the case with this person? People suffer emotional and mental distress differently and they have different manifestations.

Also, in future posts it might be helpful if you utilise paragraphs a bit more. It was a struggle on the old eyeballs getting through that first bit :)
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