I’m worried about moving in together

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Hey Meredith,

A couple of years ago, my guy friend and I realized we had feelings for each other. I was in a long-distance relationship at the time and I broke it off with him for my friend. It was a rom-com type of story, for sure. We began dating and haven't stopped since.

Now we are moving in together. We're both in our late 20s and I've been in serious relationships before, and he hasn't. Neither of us have lived with a significant other. That being said, I'm actually really worried about living together. I love him so much, but lately have been really fixating on the negatives. If we have a fight, I find myself wondering if it will be like this when we live together or if we get married. I've always romanticized love and our future together. I have been eager to move toward the next steps, and now that it's finally here, I wonder if I acted too quickly.

I don't know why, but I don't feel as excited as I should. A friend of mine said living with her boyfriend, now husband, was such a magical time. And I can't help but feel like I do not feel that way. I just think of all the ways we will fight or problems we might have. (We don't fight often, but when we do it never ends well. He is very bad at accountability and has a temper.) I don't know why I am fixating on the bad and catastrophizing instead of being super excited to move in with someone that I love. Maybe we need a set of ground rules. Help.

– Boxes are already packed


"I've always romanticized love and our future together."

The best relationships are real relationships. They're not perfect. Sometimes they're very frustrating.

As far as moving in goes, there will be discomfort ... toothpaste not closed correctly ... all of these small issues that require patience, openness, and empathy. Some parts of the experience should feel magical, but it's OK to feel nervous about the reality of the change.

That said, let's talk about the fighting. The "it never ends well" gave me pause. It sounds like it's something you both need to work on if you're planning a future together. This is the right time to tell him that the way you fight has been making you nervous. You can tell him you want to make sure you both have the communication skills to make this work. You can learn about conflict – and how to have it – in therapy.

I keep recommending therapy when we all know it's difficult to find appointments right now, but it can help to reach out to couples therapists about what you need. This might not require a year of weekly sessions; this is about learning a specific communication skill. Be clear about why you’re going and someone might make space for you.

The big thing is making sure you're with someone who's open to help. You want to be with someone who is capable of working on things and having uncomfortable conversations. Find out if he can do that.

I don't expect this problem to be fixed before you move, but you could start the process. If he refuses, boxes can be unpacked where you are. It's OK to be nervous about the reality of cohabitation (it's not a sleepover party), but the fighting stuff is real. Address it now. Maybe you'll be excited again if you know he's on board for making it better.

– Meredith

Readers? Is now the time to address this problem? Are all move-ins magical?