Q: Hello Meredith,
I recently started a relationship with an incredible woman. I've known her for years -- we went to college together. Our only communication after college was a few emails and/or texts over the years. That is until a year ago when we really started to talk on a frequent basis (usually text and email and once or twice a week by telephone), and eventually these talks started to be on a more romantic wavelength. For reference, I am a lesbian (and no, not the first woman she has been with). We are both in our mid-30s.
Here is where things get kind of tricky. Currently we live across the country from one another, but I am moving to her neck of the woods in a few months and I have been out to see her a few times. We only decided to start dating about six months ago and decided that the long distance was OK initially as we grew our relationship and got to know one another. She is a very slow mover and I think the long distance has been a relief for her, truthfully. She's also very much a private, quiet person and I believe she will need more alone time than I will in the relationship. I, on the other hand, cannot wait until we live close enough to see each other more often, go on dates, hang out, etc. I can barely contain my excitement just thinking about it. I want to be with her all the time and frequently let her know I am missing her. She doesn't always say she misses me back or return the same sentiments, and admittedly, that is a little worrisome to me. I think that she is happy and excited I'm moving out there, but I am clearly not a main priority in her life (she has definitely become a priority in mine).
She is a single mom, has a great career, and has been all around pretty successful in her ventures. She works hard and would do anything and everything for her children (two teens who are awesomely supportive and protective of her -- so far they like me!). They are most definitely her priority in life. I really admire that about her, but sometimes I wonder where I will fit into her very busy life. There have been times when I have brought up future activities that we can do all together, or even trips we could take, but I feel like she gives me non-committal type of answers -- she doesn't blow me off, she just won't make any major future plans. Even something as simple as taking the kids to a fireworks show on the 4th of July didn't gain a real yes or no answer, instead I get maybes or "we'll see" answers.
She is an amazing woman and I couldn't be luckier to have her in my life. I'm practically ready to say the big "L" word but I am certain it would freak her out. I am so afraid to move too quickly and lose her, but I am also wishing that she acted a little more excited about our future together. I like that she's easygoing, but I would love to see some bubbly excitement occasionally too! How can I balance my falling in love with her and my crazy excitement about our future together when she doesn't seem to be experiencing the same level of feelings for me as I am for her?
– Falling Hard, San Francisco
A: Be excited, but please acknowledge that your relationship is in a "we'll see" phase right now. You assume that when you move to her city, everything will be amazing. You've invented a scenario that involves you joining the family and living happily ever after. That's great, but you have no idea what you'll want when she's living down the street. Perhaps you'll get sick of her or the two of you will realize that you're incompatible. There's no reason to go negative, but just admit that you don't know what this will feel like when you close the distance gap.
Anticipation is awesome, but please change the scope of your plans. Instead of thinking, "I've met the woman of my dreams and I hope we stay together forever," try, "I'm falling for a wonderful woman, and soon I'll live nearby and get to know her better."
She's into you, but she can't make promises about how things will work -- and neither can you. You have to do the move and then find out whether you're really a match.
Readers? Does the letter writer need perspective? How can she calm down? And does it matter that the girlfriend isn't as lovey dovey about all of this? Is this too much at six months? Help.
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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.