I recently started spending time with someone and I am constantly confused by his behavior. We've developed a pretty meaningful friendship (I care about him a lot) over the past few months, but at times he seems to shut me out without a clear reason. He can be very arrogant sometimes, whilst being openly insecure. His sense of humor is quite "raunchy" at times, both with potty and sexual humor. He has a very small circle of friends in his life, and he openly admits he has no interest in making more. Yet, he has completely opened up to me and told me about these issues of his, including his father passing away a few years ago. And then all of a sudden, he will disappear.

Since we have started spending time together, he has shown a personal interest in the things I am interested in. I am an artist, and he has shown a sudden interest in making his home very artsy; painting the walls, creating pieces of artwork, asking my thoughts on his creations, etc. He reads the authors that I read, etc.

I know that he has recently started seeing a psychiatrist to help sort out some issues with his insecurity and almost "hermit-like" behavior. He has openly admitted to me that he is incredibly nervous and insecure, and tries to shut himself out from the world because "out there" he can fall down.

It's important to note, that last week, he was acting almost "manic" with being incredibly happy and things just seemed to roll off his back.

Then, the other night, he asked me to come over to spend time with some of his friends. We were hanging out with a small group of his friends, and he and I were talking amongst ourselves. He started to say strange and pretty inappropriate things to me about situations he has been in with other women. (He had consumed a few drinks by this point, and I'm sure alcohol only aggrivated the situation.) I was getting offended for my own reasons, and I said to him, "I don't get it. Are you telling me these things to make me not like you?" The conversation hit an abrupt halt, and he said he felt really weird and uncomfortable. He made it seem like he was embarrassed and shocked by my reaction. I apologized, but it was clear things were still uncomfortable. He walked away a few minutes later, and the rest of the night he wouldn't come near me. At one point, one of his "friends" was openly making a pass at me, and being quite "grabby", which I was NOT okay with. I didn't want to make a scene, since it was his friend, but when he and I made eye contact, I gave him a "help me!" look, and he walked away. He ended up disappearing at a certain point, and I called him and walked around the neighborhood to find him; he wouldn't answer.

The next day, I didn't hear from him until the afternoon, when he sent me a text message that said : "sorry for disappearing." I said it was okay but that I wasn't okay with his friend trying to "cop a feel." He only replied with a "Yeah, just heard about that. He's a weirdo." That was 2 days ago and the last I've heard from him.

I sent him an email apologizing for the remark I made, and that I really didn't mean to upset him.

I don't understand. I have dealt with people with "issues" before, but I can't figure out with this guy what kind of behavior is going to come next.

I am not sure if he is bi-polar, or just depressed, or if I am just aggrivating his insecurities?

Please help.


2951 days ago
It's very hard to tell what's going on with him and it's good he's seeing a psychiatrist. I think he's showing you who he is and what kind of friends he has. I think you should learn from this and I don't think he's a trust worthy friend - to ignore helping you, when his friends acted inappropriately and then to abandon you and disappear. Personally I wouldn't want to be around someone like this or with his friends. Not to sound judgmental, but I think you're both on different moral levels. I wouldn't bother trying to figure him out.

2951 days ago
I really appreciate your input, bellacutie. Thank you.

2951 days ago
I think Bella has a good point. All of these things are red flags as to what kind of person your having a relationship with and what is likely to happen down the track. It's less about what kind of mental disorder he has, because that won't change anything. He will still behave the way he is, and you will still be unhappy in all of this.

I think like Bella has suggested, your energies would be better spent finding someone who can meet you at your level.This guy has pretty much shown you that he can't. It's ok to say that this is not the guy for you.

2951 days ago

Reading your story tells me a lot about your boyfriend. I can explain some of the reasons why he reacts the way he does to your actions. Keep in mind that these are only guesses. All of my guesses are based on an extremely great tool I have been using to understand personality types. It's calle the enneagram and I recommend it to everyone I come in contact with whom I think might benefit from it's wisdom. Take the free test at this website:


Have your boyfriend take the test as well.

There are two huge items of interest I want to draw your attention to relative to the enneagram. The instinctual varient and the personality type.

In your case the instictual varient is literally leaping out of the story you tell. There are 2 instincts based loosely on how people socialize with others. There is the social type that likes light connections and many of them. There is a sexual or intimate type that like deep 1 on 1 connections, and there is the away or self-preservation type that prefers to spend a lot of their time alone. Clearly your boyfriend is an away or self-preservation type.

For such people opening up is a time of extreme vulnerability to them. The social defenses most people have and the understanding of what to say that is going too far or not are simply lacking or awkward at best. In order to deal with self-preservation types it is often necessary to stowe your own feelings and agenda at lest temporarily. They will say and sometimes even do inappropriate things. rather than act insulted or offended this is your opportunity to help them. Interrupt their behavior and tell them you'd like to talk in private. First tell them that you care for them and would like to share your thoughts. Then logically explain to them in private how what they said might have been offensive to you (or anyone). Use humor in a way that is not laughing at them. Realize that away people have trouble with physical contact so at first dont touch at all. If the away person gets the message and seems to want to do better give them a reassuring pat on the back or hug (or more if you are comfortable). Then and only then should you reveal that what has already been said did indeed hurt you. Explain to the away person what you want their reaction to be. It may remove the enchantment of the moment for you, but again, this isnt all about you. You are trying to teach them the social skills they need to survive and deal correctly with you in the future. Hopefully they will apologize but remember if you want an apology you should probably ask in an unemotional way until they get the idea. Tell them you'd love to hear an apology when they think they are ready and that you will not hold it against them if it takes some time.

Just keep inmind that whenever you are dealing with self-preservation that in general they prefer to do things their way, alone, and without your pesky emotions intruding on their world. This doesnt mean they are not human, not in need of love and compassion, and not wanting a full life with many loving realtionships. It just means that they appraoch this from a defensive and careful posture unlike most of us.

Read the enneagram for your type and ask him to read up on his type. Then read the section on relationships for how your two types interact. Incidently I'd guess you have a lot of type 4 in you which would mean that an away person is understandable to you on some levels.

With regard to the behavior of his friends dont let that worry you or him too much. One guy sees another guy losing control of himself or his woman and he may become inspirde to make a play himself. Plus such socially inadept people hang around others like themselves. So try to forgive everyone their clumsy social faux pas. This doesnt mean you shouldnt call them on their bad behaviors and ask them to stop.

I completely disagree that people should want to or expect others to meet them at their own level. If he or you has more growing to do in a certain area, then how cool is it that the other of you has wisdom to offer there? In any relationship people will necessarily be out of balance. Still, each and every person brings something to the table. Honor the relationship you have already admitted was meaningful. After all you cared enough about it to make this lengthy post and ask for help and advice. Please be very mindful of the fact that away people often turn away because they feel rejected and misunderstood. Dont add your rejection to the scores of others your boyfriend feels without thinking about it and considering how and why you are doing it. Any real and lasting relationship goes through rough times.


Good Luck