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Is he marriage material?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  December 26, 2013 08:51 AM

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Q: Meredith,

I'm 20 (yes, only 20) and have been with my boyfriend for two and a half years. Our relationship was great when it started. I loved him right away. We go to different colleges and have been doing a long-distance relationship for two out of those two and a half years. I love him very much and when we are together I have so much fun and he always knows how to put a smile one my face. He isn't a romantic guy and I blame most of that on his immaturity (he's only 21). However, I am graduating in August and I have started to start to think about a future with him.

Our families have raised us completely opposite. His family is rather small, they don't attend church, and they aren't outdoorsy people. I, on the other hand, was practically raised outdoors -- hunting, fishing, and camping with our rather large family. Our family gatherings seem to be more of a party as opposed to awkward social talk where people would rather play on their iPads (like his family does). I grew up with God fully in my life and I plan to raise my children that way. However, when I confronted him about this, he said he was not interested in going to church, and that is a huge turn-off for me.

I just keep having thoughts about whether he is right for me in the long run or if I'm just settling for what is comfortable. I love him with all of my heart, but will that love be enough to get over the fact that he isn't who I imagined spending the rest of my life with?

Everyone who I have talked to who is happily married said that they never had doubts in their minds about their significant other. Yes, they had ups and downs, but the thought of "Is this person really right for me?" never crossed their minds, which makes me think that our love isn't as strong as it used to be.

I love him so much and the thought of ending things with him brings tears to my eyes and so many questions to mind (What if I'm making a huge mistake? What will I do without him? How could I ever move on?). On the other hand, what if I wind up marrying him and then have these feelings again later? He is so good and so kind, and I just don't know if we are truly meant to be. What should I do?

– Confused and Scared to Settle, Michigan


A: You can't make a decision about marriage until you've lived close to your boyfriend and know what it's like to see him all the time. You also have to be sure that he wants to marry you, too. Has he even mentioned that kind of commitment? Have you talked about the future? It sounds like you're trying to answer big questions before anyone has even asked them. The family and religion issues are important, but you're not there yet.

Spend your energy focusing on the little questions. Instead of asking whether you want to spend the rest of your life with this guy, consider whether you'd move for him. Listen to his post-graduation plan and think about whether you share the same goals.

You're 20 (yes, only 20), and you don't know what you want. It's OK to keep dating him to figure it out. And know this: If your gut tells you to let him go, you will move on. You can be sure of that, no matter what.

Readers? Should she end things now? Should she reevaluate at graduation? Is it worth asking these big questions? 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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