‘I am terrified of moving in with my girlfriend’

Meredith,

Why am I terrified of moving in with my girlfriend? We have been together for close to four years. She is smart and caring, and I feel closer to her now than ever. We have had some bumps in our past, including a short separation caused by mistrust. However, we have worked through these problems together. We have good communication and we spend most nights at each other's places. So why am I scared?

We talk about moving in together a lot, and I look forward to that day, but I haven't told her about my doubts, mainly because I am not sure what I am scared of. I guess I am looking for some advice from you and your readers on cohabitation. I don't want moving in together to tear us apart.

– To Move or Not to Move


Lately, we've had a lot of questions from people who want to use Love Letters as a Magic 8 Ball. Yesterday’s letter writer wanted to know if a casual relationship would lead to heartache. A day before that, someone wanted me to guess whether saying "I love you" would mean she'd get to hear it in return. I can't predict the future (sorry). In your case, there's only one way to find out whether living together is a good idea.

The only thing I can tell you for sure is that change is scary for everyone – even for someone who doesn't seem to have any doubts. Maybe it's time to ask your girlfriend whether she has any concerns about a move-in. Be her friend and ask her whether she's scared to take the next step. Also ask her what she's looking forward to when it comes to cohabitation. Maybe hearing that kind of list will help you get excited about making a plan.

Really, after four years, the worst thing that can happen is that it doesn't work out. And if that's the case, isn't it better to know sooner than later? Do your best to communicate and to accept the unknown, and try to take comfort in the fact that you'll be figuring out the answers as a team.

– Meredith

Readers? Is this fear normal? Any specific tips for living together?