It’s kind and thoughtful of you to care so much about one of your patients. Working with individuals who have schizophrenia can be challenging and it’s good to know there are people who care about helping them recover.
You are faced with a difficult situation. The goal for you in this situation should be to do what is best for the individual you are caring for. His mental health and stability should be your utmost concern.
You mentioned that you did not want to engage in unethical behavior. Fantasizing about him is unethical. Remember that he is currently your patient and you are his attending caregiver.
Most relationships do not develop like the one you’ve described. You said that you would forgo your needs to be with him. It’s not healthy for you to do this. You’d likely be okay with not having your needs met at first but after a short while you may begin to feel resentful towards him because he could not meet them. One-sided relationships usually do not last very long.
There are also other important factors to consider. You do not know his history. Usually individuals who live in residential living facilities have very serious illness histories. He may be severely mentally ill. If so it may be difficult for him to engage in a relationship. You said that he is withdrawn and quiet. This may be due to illness symptoms or it could be related to the medications he is taking. With regard to medications, we do not know how they are affecting him emotionally. Some medications cause a person to be withdrawn or to have a flat affect. Medications also change an individual’s personality. If he were to eventually come off of his medications he might be a completely different person.
You also thought that you could help him recover from schizophrenia if you and he were together. You seem to believe that your love could help him be cured of schizophrenia. That’s almost like saying that love cures schizophrenia. That line of thinking is an insult to the families and spouses of individuals who have schizophrenia. If we asked them how much they love their family member with schizophrenia we’d almost assuredly find that they very much love their ill family member. But love can’t cure schizophrenia. He is mentally ill. His disease is very real. It’s unrealistic to think that your love can cure his schizophrenia.
I understand that you may not truly believe that you could cure his schizophrenia. You are trying to help him. It seems like you are a caring individual. Your desire to help him is very noble and kind but it’s important to be realistic.
The aforementioned information contains several important points to consider. Given the situation if your goal is to help him recover then it may be best for you to remain in the role of a caregiver. I would advise against attempting to pursue a relationship with him. He could be best served by your help, generosity and kindness with you as a caregiver. The last thing you want to do is to harm him. Engaging in a relationship with him has the potential to harm him while remaining his caregiver could only benefit him. I would suggest you do the latter.