Q. 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 asks 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’’ (à 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. 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 you two 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. MEREDITH
I don’t think you need help; I think she does. You can’t resolve her insecurities; she must. So, I agree with Meredith, slow things down. BELLAVITA29
I had an “I swear we’re just best friends’’ guy friend that I had to reassure my ex about. It was exhausting. My “best friend’’ and I have a lovely date planned tonight as we come up on almost two years together. That’s not advice. I don’t really have any. The only way I relate to your situation is that your girlfriend will eventually have reason to be wary if there’s a female in your life who’s already stood the test of time. NATURALGINGER
Please don’t move in with your girlfriend until the issues in your relationship are resolved. I fear that the close quarters will magnify her insecurities and lead you to cut out the things in life that you enjoy so that you won’t have to deal with the fallout. MCFRIENDZONE
How many “opportunities’’ have you had to cheat? I mean, unless you’re sending out signals, I highly doubt you’re walking down the street and women are just ripping off their clothes as you walk by. POWDERGIRL
She sounds possessive and jealous. Someone who’s possessive never let’s you out of the doghouse no matter how you behave. She knows perfectly well that your woman friend is just a friend; she just wants you to stop seeing her. If you move in, she may well try to isolate you from anyone with whom you have an independent relationship. GMV2
Do not move in with her. You’ve only been together for a year. What’s the rush? Moving in together will not solve your problems. She will most likely continue to be overbearing and jealous, wanting to know where you are and what you’re doing every minute. You will grow to resent her, and it will end. And breaking up becomes much more complicated when you live together. KISSMYANTHEA
Maybe I’m the crazy one here, but I don’t think the girlfriend’s fears are unfounded. You sound to me like you want to live as if you’re single: You hang out with another woman, you frequently put yourself in situations where other women are hitting on you, you like to go out without your girlfriend, and you have a track record of being untrustworthy. I suspect most of your friends are single and you like the freedom and flirting opportunities when you’re with them.
First flag is early 20-something quoting “Seinfeld.’’ Second is early 20-something habitual cheater suggesting therapy for yearlong relationship. It’s like being upside down on a car and having to replace the transmission. VALENTINOEdited and reprinted from www.boston.com/loveletters. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She chats online Wednesday at 1 p.m.