I loved yesterday’s comments. Bravo.
For the record -- in case there was any confusion -- I enjoy it when significant others walk on the outside of the curb. That has nothing to do with feminism. It’s just sort of great when someone basically says, you’re curb-worthy. And I don't oppose ice cream on dates. I just want to make that clear.
This letter writer didn’t name herself so I came up with “22 in Boston.” Creative, right?
I am in love with a fantastic guy I've been dating for 2 years and is amazing to me. I am crazy about him but realize that at 22, I'm young and have no clue where I'll be location wise, job wise and emotionally a year from now. Plus it's the first love for both of us so I'm unsure if that is why I am into him as much as I am, since I've never really had any prior experience. He really has become my best friend but it is getting more and more difficult to imagine my/our future.
He has invited me to join him on his family's annual thanksgiving vacation to someplace warm. His older brother brings his girlfriend every year, and they met about the same age we did. I haven't spent too much time with his family but they are a fun group although he has trouble getting along with them sometimes. I really want to go to the beach with him for a weekend but I feel that if I go on this vacation, I'll be a little out of place. Considering our age, and that we've only been dating two years, I feel this is too big of a commitment for his family to take me on their vacation. I just need a more experienced perspective really, am I over analyzing this too much? Should I spend a weekend in the sun or eating turkey with my family this thanksgiving?
-- 22 in Boston
22, the issue here isn’t the vacation. I mean, people take vacations with other people’s families all the time, without the promise of marriage, without big commitments. You’ve known the guy for two years. It makes sense he’d want you along as a companion.
To me, the issue is that you have one foot out the door and you know it. You’ve basically told us that at some point sooner than later, you’re going to break-up with this fantastic guy to see what else is out there. That doesn’t make you a bad person.
What you may want to do is share this information with your fantastic guy. As you said, he’s been a great friend to you. You can return the favor by disclosing your concerns. Tell him you’d love to travel with his family but you wonder if it will give them the wrong idea. Tell him that while you fear losing him, you’re going to have to bolt at some point. Find out if he has similar plans for himself. Perhaps he does. Perhaps the holiday isn’t as meaningful to him as you think it is. Either way, it’s time for a talk about the inevitable.
I don’t think you’re over-analyzing. It just seems like you need to say the thing you don’t want to say, which is: We’re on borrowed, time, my love.
Good luck. This is why first loves are so heartbreaking.
Readers? Should she travel with him or eat her own family’s bird? Am I right to say she should put the real issue on the table? Share here. Twitter here.
Speaking of Love
"I love Lisa Simpson, and when I grow up, I'm going to marry her."
— Ralph Wiggum, "The Simpsons"
CAN’T HELP MYSELF is Meredith’s memoir about giving advice, learning from readers, working with an ex, and moms and daughters. It’s also a story about how an online community can become another kind of family.