Freaking Out About Moving In

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Hey Meredith,

Recently I've been having some concerning thoughts about my relationship. I haven't confided this to anyone since I'm not loving how it comes across and I am reluctant to even admit it to myself.

I'm 26 years old, living in the city (with roommates), and have been dating my boyfriend (he's 31) for three years. Our relationship has honestly gotten better with time and I couldn't have asked for a better partner. He's loyal, loving, smart, funny, attractive, sweet -- everything I value. From the beginning I imagined our future together and pictured our relationship progressing. I LOVED the thought of getting married and having children at some point with him, and it really excited me.

Over the past few months, however, these thoughts of marriage have been freaking me out. We are talking about moving in together, and some days I am super excited about it and other days I feel panicked. (Right now the plan is for me to re-sign my lease and then take our time looking at places together and sublet if we find something.) The thought of marriage, children, and being with one person forever someday is truly overwhelming and almost pushes me to think about calling the whole relationship off.

I know I am in love with my boyfriend and have never been happier with any other partner, but what if there is someone else out there who is even MORE of a perfect match? What if marriage sounded exciting in my younger years as an idea, but now that it might be a reality I'm realizing it's not for me? Am I just freaking out and getting cold feet, or am I with the wrong person?

– Trying to Hold It Together

This sounds like cold feet. It also sounds like you've jumped to the conclusion that moving in means you'll have to get married soon. Have you and your boyfriend ever talked about your pace?

It's possible to move in without committing for life. It's also possible to get comfortable with each step in a relationship before moving on to the next. Try to focus on -- and enjoy -- one decision at a time.

Also know that your boyfriend might have similar fears. It's pretty common to get overwhelmed by the idea of choosing a partner for forever, even if you're happy.

As for your fear of missing out, sure, there are probably some other people out there who could make you happy. But there's no such thing as a perfect match. If you met someone else, it would just be a different relationship with its own set of ups, downs, and freakouts.

Readers? Are her fears normal? Is she ready to move in?

– Meredith