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What if I can't commit?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  October 27, 2011 05:00 AM

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Early post. Enjoy, morning people.


Q: Meredith,

Three months ago I reconnected with a wonderful man I had met once over a year ago at my friend's party. At the time, neither of us thought twice about the other as he was in a relationship and I (a woman) was dating mostly women. His past relationships tend to last years while mine do not see all four seasons. I am 26 and he is 2 years older.

Within a month of us going out this summer, we became official. We see each other a few times a week and I have a key to his apartment. We work out together, share similar if not the same interests, and have a future trip planned.

He is cute, extremely intelligent, and caring. We get along great. I trust him. He makes me feel safe. He treats me incredibly well. He has said "I love you" and I said it back meaning it, but I'm holding back a bit as this is moving very fast. There is also no doubt in my mind that he probably would end up asking me to marry him in a year or two as he always includes me in his talks of the future.

But... by my nature, I have always wondered if the grass is greener on the other side no matter who I am with. No, I have never cheated. I am worried about becoming bored, missing my single life (have been single for the past 3 years) or falling out of love with him as I see most people in my generation are, and getting divorced. I want thrill and excitement yet love and security. It's not my immaturity; it's just how I've always been. I need stimulation and excitement but not all of the time.

How do I know if he is the right man? Are some people never 100% ready to settle down? I've never imagined myself marrying anyone else I've dated before but I can see a future with him.

Thank you.

– Will I Settle Down?, Massachusetts


A: Some people can't settle down. Some people settle down too quickly. But I'm not worried about you or your guy. You're just two pretty average people in your 20s. Many people just aren't capable of having a serious, multi-year relationship in their early 20s because they don't have any interest or need for constant support and partnership. Those who do manage to have a long relationship while they're young are simply finding themselves in their own way. It doesn't mean that they're in a rush to get married.

The fact that you're drawn to this guy for all the right reasons (love, respect, things to look forward to) suggests that your needs are changing and that you might be open to keeping somebody around. Never underestimate your ability to evolve. In a year or so, you might have no real interest in greener grass, and he might be happy to take his time.

It's only been a few months. No need to make guesses about whether he'll propose in a year and whether you'll want to say yes. It's too early to worry so much.

Readers? Should she be concerned about what happens in a year or two? What's all this about her generation? Discuss.

– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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