A couple of months ago I started seeing a guy (he’s 27) who had recently been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, which he was very open about. 90% everything is good. He seems pretty high functioning. He works from home and makes enough to support himself.
The problem is that every week or two he’ll get into this mood for a couple of hours where he is clearly upset with me but refuses to admit it and says sort of mean and provoking things while denying that he cares. For example, tonight he asked “Do you actually want to hear my opinions ever? It’s ok if you don’t I just want to know.” I told him that of course I did. That I didn’t like to force him to come out with them because in the past he had been very hurt when I disagreed with him. He said “Ok, well I’ll just keep them to myself. You don’t really care. I’ll talk to people who do.” I told him that if he wanted to work on a way for us to communicate better I would do that. “It’s ok. I don’t actually care. Your answers just make it clear that I should never bring up my opinions.” At that point I told him I was tired and wanted to go to bed because I knew that he was in one of those moods and nothing I could say, no matter how kind and open and generous, would make him not be angry with me (while denying being angry with me!)
We actually got in a big fight about this a while ago and only reconciled on the understanding that he would be less defensive/ dismissive when I pointed out problematic behavior in him. But I don’t know if there’s much point to calling this out because he can always say “I never said I was upset. I’m not. I’m just asking questions” when it’s obvious to anyone that he’s angry and saying spiteful things. (In the course of this conversation he even said “I’m not going to bring up what you’ve said to me in the past because it’s probably problematic or emotional blackmail or whatever you call it.” UGH)
I don’t know how to approach this behavior. We’re not serious yet (and I don’t know that we’ll ever be), but I’d like to keep him around at least for the immediate future because 90% of the time I really enjoy his company. My new feeling is that if he gets into one of these moods I’ll just say I’m too busy to talk or going to bed early and leave him alone until later or the next day. Does that sound like a reasonable approach? Does it sound like this behavior is related to his schizophrenia?