Happy you know what.
Q: Hey Meredith,
I have to admit that I feel awkward writing to you. I don't know just how much help I need, but here it goes. I'm in my early-mid 20s and with a fantastic girl. She loves me unabashedly, and I love her with all of my heart. We've been together for a little over a year, and it is the longest relationship for both of us. We're planning to move in together this summer, and I feel like things are on a great path. So what's the problem? Frankly, she's incredibly insecure, and it's exhausting.
She has had issues with men cheating on her in the past, and in the interest of full disclosure, I have had issues with cheating on people in the past. I have never cheated on her, and I have turned down every opportunity that I have had to do so. However, she needs constant affirmation that I love her and will not cheat on her. Whenever I go out without her, she is compelled to ask if I talked to any other woman, or was flirty/flirted with. Her insecurity has caused her to be wary (to put it lightly) of my relationship with my best friend, who is female. My friend and I have known each other for over a decade, had a failed relationship in the seventh grade, and have been happily platonic ever since. However, my girlfriend has constantly had issues trusting me when I say this girl is a friend and nothing more. This has led to constant fights whenever I spend time with my friend.
I am exhausted. I honestly try my hardest to show her all the love and support that she needs to get through this. She is against seeing a therapist, for reasons that I'm not too certain of. And in her defense, she has made efforts to improve on these things, but sometimes it's just too frustrating to deal with. It honestly drives me away from her. I definitely love her and I want to be with her. But I want to be able to have my own life separate from her, where I can see friends, and go out, without having to deal with the drama afterward. I worry that when we move in it will be the end of "independent me" (a la "Seinfeld"). I need her to find a way to resolve her insecurities. But it seems like something she has to do on her own. Any ideas for ways that I can support her while keeping my sanity?
– Exhausted But Committed, Boston
A: EBC, don't move in with her. Not yet, at least. Moving in won't solve these jealousy problems. Moving in certainly won't stop you from being exhausted all of the time.
You're supposed to move in with someone when things are going really well. That's not what's happening here. You're using words like "constant," "wary," and "drama." You're worried about losing your best friend. I know it's all balanced by good stuff, but you're signing up to make your relationship a full-time job.
I do believe that that you guys are in love. And I will admit that a move-in can sometimes put insecure people at ease (they know that no matter what, their partners will eventually come home). But your relationship is too shaky for major change. And your girlfriend is just beginning to work on making this better.
My advice is to slow this down. Tell her that you want to be with someone who's open to therapy if there are problems in the relationship. Tell her that you want to do this right so that you actually have a shot at staying together. Tell her what you need to know before you move in with her.
Readers? Is this relationship too flawed to fix? Can people prone to jealousy explain how moving in helps ... or hurts? How can he slow this relationship down without making her more insecure? Discuss.
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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.