I’m not used to a stable relationship

Welcome back. We're still looking for people to tell us stories for Season 3 of the podcast. The theme is: "How do you know?" As in, how did you know it was time to get married? How did you know it was time to leave? How did you know it was time to open the relationship? Share here.

Hi Meredith,

I (21) met my current boyfriend (23) on Bumble about nine months ago. At the time, he was just moving here from another state and I was just getting out of a relatively open relationship. I used this boyfriend as a rebound at first, but over time, our connection grew so much and I realized he is a really awesome person. He also liked me a lot and really opened my eyes to what a relationship could be. It was my first relationship after years of hooking up and non-serious connections (largely due to the fact I am independent and quite transient).

We had a short breakup months ago because I was getting clingy and he was very busy, so we stopped seeing each other for four weeks. We sent each other two texts over those weeks and then gradually got back together again. I am going to meet his family when they come to visit in a few months, and sometimes we even joke about what our babies would look like. I have to say this whole relationship caught me off guard. I have never felt more compatible with a person. I am very career-oriented, and I grew up living in different countries, so I have never really experienced anything super stable. This man is so stable.

I can see future with him, but I just find myself not used to the stable relationship thing. I have been so free and independent, and now it seems like I have another person who is a consistent part of my life. I am so used to moving. Given my international background, I would love to live in Europe for two years in my 20s. I know I can do that but I don't want to lose my relationship. I also don't think it's fair to ask this person to move his life for me. I don't trust that long-distance works. I don't want to let go, but I have worries that we met too early in life. I don’t want to be one of those people who finds a relationship and doesn’t grow anymore. I still have so much I want to accomplish and I am only at the beginning of my career. Thoughts?

– Worried


"I don't want to be one of those people who finds a relationship and doesn't grow anymore."

That doesn't have to be a thing. It's very possible to grow, change, and live life to its fullest while in a serious relationship. This idea that you're supposed to experience the world alone, become your best self, and then find a partner ... it doesn't make any sense. Caring for another human is an adventure. It certainly requires growth.

I want to note that you say nothing in your letter about wanting to date others. Your concerns aren't about seeing other people or wanting to be alone. You're happy with the person next to you. That's pretty great.

So for now, why not enjoy what you have and see how it goes? If you had a very specific wish to leave town soon, I'd tell you to have a long conversation with your boyfriend about his plans. But you're talking about later – perhaps much later. It's difficult to focus on what you might want from someone in two years when only you've only been with them for nine months.

Try to get comfortable with the fact that you don't know what will happen next. Be open to possibility that your priorities might change. It'll take a lot of growth, and that's the point.

– Meredith

Readers? Did they meet too early in life?