At three months, he says he wants to marry me

Hi Mere,

I have a new boyfriend of about three months. He's a year younger (24) and in the Army. He already talks a lot about how much he loves me, how much he sees a future with me, how he wants to marry me, etc. He even maps out when he might propose. I, however, went through an incredibly tough breakup about a year and a half ago. In this past relationship, I remember feeling all of those feelings. We also talked about our future, marriage, etc., and it fell apart in a really awful (yet sadly stereotypical) way.

I feel myself holding back from talking about this with my current boyfriend or even letting myself feel comfortable and happy in this idea because I keep reminding myself of how it failed before. I just don't know if this is out of fear or if it's because I really don't know if I see a future yet with my current boyfriend. It is early in our relationship. So ... is it OK to just not know and to try to take it slow? Should I be voicing all of these concerns to my boyfriend? Is it wrong to not be feeling as into it as he is? He is such a sweet guy who does so much for me. We genuinely have so much fun together. But I cannot help comparing him to the last boyfriend at times.

– Concerned

If the marriage talk is stressing you out, you should talk to your boyfriend about it. You can explain your concerns, but please don't say too much about your ex. Your last breakup was disappointing, but even if it had never happened, you'd still want to take your time with this new relationship. Sometimes it's fun to talk about the future at three months (or three weeks), but you don't want to skip ahead. Tell your boyfriend that you fear missing out on all of the incredible, important stuff in the present because you're talking about later.

Have empathy, though, because he might want to focus on the future because of his role in the Army. That kind of service can involve commitments and a timeline, so it might feel natural for him to look months – and years – down the road. You can ask him about that, and then talk about how to share your excitement at a pace that works for both of you. There are many ways to compromise.

As for your last sentence, please know that it's normal to compare exes. To move at different speeds. To think about what-ifs. It sounds like that last breakup was a major disappointment. That means it might take a long time to understand it and let go for good.

– Meredith

Readers? How do you talk about slowing down without stopping the excitement?