This guy has FOMO (fear of missing out). Let's help.
Q: I have been dating this girl for about a year, she's 26 and I'm 23 and recently she has become very interested in "taking the next step," so to speak. She's always been very serious about the relationship, and so have I. Right now she lives about an hour and a half outside of Boston but I'm able to see her regularly, and with my graduation in the Spring I plan on staying out here. We've discussed the idea of her moving out here and us living together.
Being older, she's had the opportunity to date, meet people and have relationships. I, on the other hand, am shier and have only had one previous long-term relationship. I also haven't really dated or had the so-called "college-hookup" experience. I've started worrying that I have missed out on some sort of important aspect of life, dating and meeting people, awkward morning afters, etc. I think this is happening because she is sacrificing everything to move out here with me. I'm nervous that after that step, marriage, a house and kids are already in the bag.
It's not even that I care about hooking up with people, it's just that I feel I'm missing out on something. I come from the school of thought where taking "breaks" never work out but I can't shake the notion that she's had her fun and is ready to settle down and maybe I'm not. What should I do?
Future Freaks Me Out, Boston
A: What should you do, Future Freaks Me Out?
I’d say take this letter and forward it to her. Maybe add a few lines about a break-up. Everything about this letter says that you’re more afraid of missing out on experiences than losing her. That doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you a 23-year-old who has more independent living to do before you’re ready to settle down.
People always say “timing is everything,” and they’re right. You may care about her -- you may even love her -- but if you’re not ready, you’re not ready. The best thing you can do is tell her that she shouldn’t move to Boston, especially if you’re the reason for the move. It will take courage, but FOMO (fear of missing out) doesn’t go away. Not at 23. Be honest with her so she can start planning for herself.
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