Longtime reader and now I feel like I have a bit of a conundrum that I hope you can help with.
I have been dating a fabulous guy for six months and we are moving in together in September. I'm so excited! Here's the problem: I dated someone on and off for about five years. We loved each other fiercely, almost as fiercely as we fought. When we were bad we were really, really bad but when we were good it was like a high. There was a lot of cheating (on both sides), trust issues, you name it, but for some silly reason (I was young?) I decided to move in with him at his family's home. Long story short, it ended really badly and I was essentially left without anywhere to live. My amazing friends let me crash on their couches until I was able to find something permanent but it was a devastating and incredibly stressful time in my life.
Fast forward almost two and a half years and I am in a happy, healthy relationship, but I can't help having this really annoying (and stressful) pang of anxiety that the new boyfriend is going to do the same thing -- pretty much decide he doesn't want to live with me and I'll be left in another bad situation. I'll be moving into his apartment when my lease is up so I really feel like I am moving into his space and have no "ownership" over my living situation.
He has never given me any reason not to trust him and I really want these anxious feelings to go away so I don't project them onto him and consequently sabotage our relationship/move in. I feel myself already doing this which is just adding more anxiety!
How do I resolve these feelings?
– Am I Just Being Neurotic?, Boston
Is it possible for you guys to move into a brand new place? Because you'd feel more "ownership" if you were both starting over. Maybe this is a lease issue, or maybe his apartment is too great to leave, but if there's no real reason to stay, you might want to talk about finding a different place so that you both feel like the apartment is yours.
If staying in his apartment is a must, find some ways to make yourself feel at home. Redecorate. Claim a corner of a room as your own. You must have your own space.
Please know that you'd probably have this anxiety even if you had never lived with (and left) your ex-boyfriend. Moving in with someone is scary. It's a great and awesome, but it's also a risk. When you find yourself freaking out, take some deep breaths and remember that you'll be fine no matter what. There are no guarantees in relationships, but you're moving in for the right reasons (right?) and have every reason to believe that this is a risk worth taking.
Readers? Any thoughts to calm her down? How can she feel ownership in her living situation? Should they move in at six months?