Q. I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for five years. We started dating when we were 15. I’m planning to move in with him next month, but I’m starting to have serious doubts about our relationship. I thought that if we moved in together, a lot of the problems we have would go away. Now I’m not so sure that’s the case.
He’s been my best friend since we were 14 and has a lot of great qualities. We’ve been through a lot of rough times in terms of losing our loved ones during this pandemic.
I’m just not entirely sure if I want to continue this relationship. I catch myself thinking about what it would be like to be single pretty often. We’re also not really active in the bedroom anymore. He also tends to call or text me a lot even if he knows I’m spending time with my friends, which can be frustrating. We spend a lot of time together, but I’m bored. I’ve expressed all of this to him multiple times throughout our relationship and not much has changed.
I’ve found myself dreading seeing him the past few days. I don’t want to throw away what we have if I’m just overthinking this. I love him very much and only want the best for him, but I’m also tired of waiting around for him to grow up as it feels like we’re not on the same page in life.
A. It doesn’t sound like you’re ready to move in with him (clearly). That’s OK, even though it’s sad and will hurt your boyfriend’s feelings.
It’s not a great idea to move in with someone to fix existing problems — unless the biggest problem has been the commute to each other’s homes. Seeing your boyfriend daily — and nightly — is not going to erase the dread.
For the record, it doesn’t sound like you’re “overthinking” anything. You have outgrown this relationship and want time for yourself.
You can care about him, and even love him, but still want to let him go. You met him when you were very young, which means he’s been a part of so many big things. That makes him important, but he can remain special to you without being your partner forever. You want to end this romantic relationship and try a new kind of life.
But one thing at a time. Start with the move and be very clear you want to call it off. Tell him now because next month is around the corner. He might say he wants to find out if moving in makes your relationship better, but please know it’s usually easier (and less expensive) to cancel a move than to go through with it and move out. Trust your gut here.
If you move in, it’ll only be more of what you already have.
You’re already imagining life without him, and you’re already dreading the time you have to see him. It doesn’t get much better after that if you stay together. Not only are you feeling like you missed your “single” years, but I’m guessing he feels the same way.
Although it does happen occasionally, it is extremely rare for the person you selected as a child to become the best match for you as an adult. You are on different trajectories that crossed for a moment in time. I know how hard it is to break up with your first love, but if you can’t envision staying with him for the rest of your (long) life, it’s best to end it. Moving in is absolutely the wrong thing to do and will make an already difficult situation far worse.
Oh, no. If you’re already looking for a way out, do not move in. This relationship sounds like it has run its course. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t nice or important, it only means it’s done. Neither of you are the same person you were when you were 14.
Send your own relationship and dating questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.