fb-pixel Skip to main content
LOVE LETTERS

I’m worried about moving in together

Love Letters

Let’s fix your relationship problem. Send your question to loveletters@globe.com or fill out this form.

Q. A couple of years ago, my guy friend and I realized we had feelings for each other. I was in a long-distance relationship at the time and I broke it off with him for my friend. It was a rom-com type of story, for sure. We began dating and haven’t stopped since.

Now we are moving in together. We’re both in our late 20s. I’ve been in serious relationships before and he hasn’t. Neither of us has lived with a significant other. That being said, I’m actually really worried about living together. I love him so much, but lately have been really fixating on the negatives. If we have a fight, I find myself wondering if it will be like this when we live together or if we get married. I’ve always romanticized love and our future together. I have been eager to move toward the next steps, and now that it’s finally here, I wonder if I acted too quickly.

I don’t know why, but I don’t feel as excited as I should. A friend of mine said living with her boyfriend, now husband, was such a magical time. And I can’t help but feel like I do not feel that way. I just think of all the ways we will fight or problems we might have. (We don’t fight often, but when we do it never ends well. He is very bad at accountability and has a temper.) I don’t know why I am fixating on the bad and catastrophizing instead of being super excited to move in with someone that I love. Maybe we need a set of ground rules. Help.

Advertisement



BOXES ARE ALREADY PACKED

A. “I’ve always romanticized love and our future together.”

Advertisement



The best relationships are real relationships. They’re not perfect. Sometimes they’re frustrating.

As far as moving in goes, there will be discomfort ... toothpaste tubes not closed correctly ... a bunch of small issues that require patience, openness, and empathy. Some parts of the experience should feel magical, but it’s OK to feel nervous about the reality of the change.

But let’s talk about the fighting. The “it never ends well” line gave me pause. This is something you both need to work on if you’re planning a future together. You can tell him you want to make sure you both have the communication skills to make this work. You can learn about conflict — and how to have it — in therapy.

I keep recommending therapy when we all know it’s difficult to find appointments right now, but it might help to reach out to couples therapists with a very specific request. This might not require a year of weekly sessions; this is about learning some tools for better communication. Be clear about why you’re going and someone might make space for you.

The big thing is making sure you’re with a partner who’s open to help. You want a housemate who’s capable of working on things and having uncomfortable conversations. Find out if he can do that.

I don’t expect this problem to be fixed before you move, but you can start the process. If he refuses, boxes can be unpacked where you are.

Advertisement



It’s OK to be nervous about the reality of cohabitation (again, it’s not a sleepover party), but the fighting stuff is real. Address it now. Maybe you’ll be excited again if you know he’s on board for making it better.

MEREDITH


READERS RESPOND:

Moving in together isn’t going to make your boyfriend’s temper go away automagically. Is this something new, or has this been part of your relationship over the couple of years you’ve been dating?

HARRISBSTONE


Trust your instincts; you’re not ready to live with someone yet.

AMAZINGCOINCIDENCE


^If everyone waited to be ready, nobody would ever do it. Life is a lot of sink or swim when you come right down to it.

SATURDAYSSOCKPUPPET


You want this to work because you convinced yourself at some point that this is a rom-com. There’s no theater full of people watching your story unfold in awe. It’s just you and him and your life, and you do not sound happy with it.

BONECOLD

Send your own relationship and dating questions to loveletters@globe.com. Catch new episodes of Meredith Goldstein’s “Love Letters” podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen to podcasts. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.