Is it OK to have doubts about a big relationship decision?

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Hi Meredith,

I have been with my boyfriend for four years. We are both 23 and met when we were freshmen in college. For months I have been struggling with a decision. My boyfriend wants to move across the country at the end of the year and I'm not sure if I want to go with him. I love him but have had a creeping doubt for a long time that I'm not sure I want to spend the rest of my life with him. I'm happy with him day to day, but am overcome with serious doubts whenever it comes time to make long-term future plans.

I don't understand why; we have a great relationship, and on paper he's everything I would want in a husband. Maybe it's just a fear of commitment or my intuition telling me something's not right. My question is: should taking the next step in a relationship always feel like a "hell yes," or are there times when it's OK to push through serious doubts?

- Doubts

".. should taking the next step in a relationship always feel like a 'hell yes' ..."

It depends on the person and the decision, really. Some people might find it easy to be wildly enthusiastic about a decision … until it doesn't work out. Others will always second-guess every life plan because that's the process that makes them comfortable.

In your case, it seems like you've decided that a move with your boyfriend means you've signed on for forever. You're having trouble with that concept because you don't know what you’ll want over time. I have to wonder how your boyfriend sees this move. Has he said that it will put you on a new, more serious track? Or is it just one big change that you might make together? For now?

My feeling, based on your short letter, is that you're more stressed about the idea of forever than you are about immediate steps. That makes me wonder whether you can press pause on making long-term plans and focus on what you might do in the next year. Find out whether this move is supposed to mean that you're in this relationship for the rest of your life. It might not.

As you figure this out, also think about what you want when it comes to geography. If you were single, would you want to move or would you choose to stay right where you are? It's difficult to get excited about something you don't want to do. If he's made this decision for himself, you can feel good about doing the same.

– Meredith

Readers? How much doubt is normal? Does the move have to mean everything?