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Am I too young to commit?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  February 1, 2012 07:55 AM

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It's chat day.

And remember to vote in the next round of the Romance Rumble. I'll give you a link to buy tickets to next Friday's screening soon. Looks like you've chosen Sarah Michelle Gellar over Natalie Portman.


Q: I have been with a 30-year-old man for about 1.5 years. It's been long distance the entire time so it's been tough, but we've suffered through it because of the depth of our love. However, we've hit a wall. We know that to stay together, we need to move in together, but that requires one of us making a trans-Atlantic move. So the plan is for me to come to Europe for 3 months, and then him to the states permanently after that.

I have no issue going to Europe, because I want to be with him so bad. My issue with him moving to the States is that is sounds too much like marriage. I can't have anyone moving here without promising them some serious commitment. This scares me, because I'm only 20 and I'm worried that I would be settling down too young and missing out on a plethora of crazy experiences. However, I love him dearly.

And so now we're on a break -- imposed by him -- because of how I feel. The purpose of it is for me to experience things and see how life is without him. But now I just feel depressed.

I love him so much and it's so unfair that to be together we have to make such a big decision. I know for a fact that if I were to stay with him I'd have a happy, fulfilled life. The bigger risk is looking around and figuring out what's out there. Some small voice inside of me is telling me that what's out there is awful, but it still has not killed my curiosity.

I'm plagued by this 20-year-old "I don't know what I want" mindset. Although I'm a firm believer in holding onto love whenever you find it, I'm worried that all the people who tell me never to settle down young are right.

However, before you comment I urge you to remember that stats show that going along until your 30s to find someone to settle down with actually makes things harder on yourself as far as love. Studies have proven that the dating game tends to give you psychological scars that you could have prevented by settling down younger. Moreover, studies show that by committing your 20s to being carefree and "finding yourself" actually decreases your chances of finding a long, lasting and healthy relationship, considering the lasting effects of having a "me" disposition for so long. Also, who wants to be old with kids? Furthermore, who wants to be without someone who will love and support you?

I'm at a point where I'm worried that I'm making the biggest mistake of my life by taking a break and walking out of my relationship. I don't know what it means to define myself without him anymore.

– Advice?, Chicago


A: That second to last paragraph was awesome. Unparalleled awesome. It was you making a massive case (citing studies!) to convince us that your relationship is worth preserving.

If that's how you feel, preserve it. I'm not going to tell you that there's nothing else out there or that settling down at 20 is always a fantastic idea, but I will tell you that if you're excited about the person you're with, you should pursue your relationship with high hopes. What else can you do?

His moving here doesn't have to mean that you're on the cusp of marriage. Yes, he'll be making a big move for love, but after a few months in Europe, you both might feel better about what comes next. And if he does move here, he doesn't have to live with you. He can get his own place nearby.

All you can promise him right now is that you have the best of intentions. That's all he can promise you. You don't know what it'll be like to live in the same city. You either want to find out or you don't.

Forget the studies, stop trying to force yourself to be single, and go to Europe to see how you feel. If you're still as into this guy after the trip, work with him to develop a realistic, less-scary plan for his move.

Readers? Does his moving to the US have to mean marriage? Should she end this break or give herself more time to be single? Is she right about the studies and the dating scars? What do you think she wants to/should do? Help.


– 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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