I've had a long distance relationship for about 10 months now and we met for the first time in person last week. While taking our vacation I got really depressed; I have major depression. He was on his phone a lot and didn't ask me to do things with him. I told him but he didn't comfort me much and didn't try to be more affectionate. When he left he thought we were good, but I still feel as though there's a problem. I'm worried that I am always the problem or expecting too much. What can I do?
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It sounds like you feel ignored and not prioritized here. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is just him genuinely not knowing what to do here; he may not know what to do about your depression. But for him to be on his phone the whole time is upsetting, period, because it sounds like he’s not paying enough attention to you or spending enough quality time with you. It seems pretty ignorant on his part. Why go on vacation or hang out with someone if they’ll just be on their phone the whole time?
Listen, you are NOT a problem. You are NOT expecting too much. How is expecting someone to spend quality time with you when you’re on vacation with them too much to ask? Why is wanting him to be more affectionate towards you or comfort you somehow too much? It’s not. He probably genuinely doesn’t know what to do.
I think you can discuss this with him by breaking it up into two parts. First, talk about the phone use. You can say something along these lines: “When you are on your phone a lot, I feel ignored and unimportant. It feels more like you would rather be on your phone than talk to me or do things with me.” It’s simple and to the point, but it doesn’t have to be a script for you.
Part two is the depression. Ask him what he knows about depression. Ask him how much he knows how to support someone who has it. Then compare it to how you would like him to support you. He may very well thank you for opening up to him and teaching him this because he cares about you and wants to help you. If he tells you it feels like he’s being given a dating manual, tell him you told him these things because they are important to you, and you don’t want him to feel lost as to how to support you. In other words, you’re trying to help him help you. Feel free to share some resources with him or suggest he look for some if he wants to have some more agency in how he supports you. One such resource is the website for the organization To Write Love on Her Arms:
Keeping communication open is the best thing you can do here, especially because you’re dealing with depression. He should know what’s going on with you so he can support you. I also suggest you two take the 5 Love Languages Quiz because I wonder if there is some miscommunication here. Say quality time is a top priority for you or physical affection is, but it’s not for him. He can learn how to show your love in ways you understand, and so can you. This will prevent some further miscommunication.