Relationships can be difficult. When they are going well, emotionally they can provide feelings of happiness, joy, contentment and love. When a relationship is ending it can produce painful emotions, including disappointment and sadness.
In every relationship it is important to be realistic. In this case, it appears as though he is ending the relationship. Even if he hasn’t told the world or you directly, he’s still pushing you away from him. Distancing himself from you is another way of ending the relationship. It could be that he is having problems with commitment. It might also be clinical depression or another issue that no one but he (and maybe not even he) is aware of. It is impossible to know with certainty because only a clinical evaluation could determine the cause but he is unwilling to seek help. He’s not willing to listen to the suggestions of you or his mother. Both you and she have expressed your concerns about his behavior and have suggested that he seek help, to which he has replied and essentially said “no.”
Not only is he pushing you away but he is also moving away from his family and his regular friends. This might be his way of avoiding having to deal with his problems. New friends make it easier to step away from one’s problems. With his new friends, the level of conversation and interaction is likely superficial. It may afford him the luxury of not having to discuss deeper personal issues.
He is not eating in response to stress and that is not healthy. It indicates that he is feeling strong emotions but as you noted, it’s unclear what the cause may be. The fact that there is no event that precipitated his unusual behavior is another reason why it is important for him to seek help. Unfortunately, if he is not willing to seek help, then there is virtually nothing that you or his family can do to force him into treatment. The standard for forcing someone into treatment is that they must be a danger to themselves or others. An individual might also be forced into treatment if he or she cannot competently care for themselves. It is very unlikely that a court would believe that he is incompetent and thus force him into treatment. He may not be eating well but he has a place to live, he’s paying his rent, he’s going to work, and he has a social life. It is evident that he should seek treatment but the reality is that no one can force him to do this.
What should your response be in this situation? It is important to be realistic in a relationship. When you are being shut out you need to be realistic and to realize that no matter how much you may love him he is ending the relationship. Perhaps down the road he may receive professional help or decide that he wants to reconnect with you but at this time he has shut you out. In relationships, both parties have to agree to continue the relationship. When one party decides that he or she no longer wants it to continue, there is nothing the other party can do to change this fact. He has voted “no” to the relationship even if you have voted “yes.” You can’t even be his friend because he is not willing to communicate with you. You could be there in the event that he decides to reach out to you but it is important to recognize that the relationship as you knew it with him is over. It’s essential to come to terms with that fact, as difficult as it may be.
I understand that this is a very difficult time for you. If you need extra support, don’t hesitate to contact friends and family. The more support you have during difficult times the easier it will be to deal with the pain and loss. Some individuals have found it helpful to attend a grief and loss support group when dealing with similar issues. I wish you the best of luck. Please take care.