Here’s a relationship question from Ashley – who’s not sure what to do about her boyfriend – and the answer we got from our relationship experts Orna and Matthew Walters (authors of Get Your Mr. Right – Right Now!):
“I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 3 and a half years. We are both 23. He’s in graduate school and I am a teacher. We spend every night together, alternating between our apartments.
He asked me to move in with him. At first, I thought it made sense. We basically live together already, but then reality set in and I got a huge knot in my stomach that I still have, several months later. For the past year or so, I’ve had small doubts in the back of my mind about our relationship.
I don’t know if it’s because I think we are not right for each other or just a fear of commitment. The future scares me.
What if we move in and then want to break up? What if we get married and then divorced? What if I don’t really love him or he doesn’t really love me? What if there’s someone better, but what if there isn’t? I just want to feel more sure about it.
The thought of moving in with him shouldn’t make me feel sick. I should have felt happy when he asked, right?
I mean, he’s a great guy. He cooks, cleans, works hard, talks about his feelings, and won’t let me walk away angry.
I’m the one who can’t talk about their feelings. I clam up, not just with him, with everyone. It’s hard for me to be completely open with someone. He’s very patient and puts up with a lot. I told him I can’t move in with him.
He wants to move forward and doesn’t understand why I can’t commit. I’m just not ready.
He told me he might move in with a roommate. If he does, he said things will have to change. He’s not going to stay over very much at my place, because he’s tired of paying for a place and barely using it.
And to be fair to his roommate, I can’t stay at his new place very much. So if this happens, we’ll go from seeing each other every day and night to seeing each other on the weekends (maybe).
I don’t want this to happen, but I can’t just move in with him when I’m not ready, right? I don’t know what to do. Thank you, Ashley”
Orna and Matthew’s Relationship Answer:
Most people have second thoughts about their relationship at some point – particularly around a transition such as moving in together.
You ask a lot of “What ifs” and – let’s face it – nothing in life comes with a guarantee.
We wonder about your childhood and the relationship between your parents.
Were they a good role model for a healthy relationship?
We are curious if there are other things that you clam up about and do not discuss with your boyfriend.
Expecting that you will magically be “ready” one day to move your relationship to the next level is not realistic.
The goal for you here is to talk with him – AND to talk with yourself about what it is you really want…being a person who “clams up” is not ever going to get you love.
And letting this man slip away because of your fear of intimacy will only keep you in this “clammed up” place.
We would like to encourage you to work with a counselor or coach to help you “open up” – so you can make a better choice, based on love and not on fear.
Beginning to share your feelings is a process you can start right now! The only way to break down our fears of intimacy and commitment are by taking a small step to discovering your feelings, sharing them with each other, and experiencing what that feels like.
Once you discover that love and closeness actually feel better than “safe distance” and “comfort zone” – you may be surprised at how “open” you begin to be.
As you discover more how you truly feel inside – you may also discover that he may not be the man for you, and you may not be ready to start a partnership with him.
If that’s true, as things change with the living arrangements and time spent together, you may discover how you truly feel about him.
It never serves any of us to operate on a sense of “urgency” – and yet, if he doesn’t feel fully loved by you, perhaps he feels right in putting down some “urgent” requests that sound almost like ultimatums.
Most women would be wanting a commitment after 3 years with one man, and we would likely encourage them to follow through on talking and negotiating about it.
You are very young, and we respect your questioning the “lifetime” partnership potential of this relationship.
Please start with asking yourself the big questions, and beginning to talk about and make decisions based not on fear (in either direction) – but on discovering what feels best, most wonderful, most fun, most like love.
Love and Abundance,
Orna and Matthew
From Sarah: Orna and Matthew are the only couple working together coaching women on relationships getting the amazing kind of results I personally know they’re getting – you’ll LOVE their ebook-plus-audio program Get Your Mr. Right – Right Now! – it will turn around EVERYTHING you believed about getting the lifelong love you want and help you so fast it’s incredible – just check out Get Your Mr. Right here to get the relationship you want->