She might not be right for me

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Hi Meredith,

I'm a 31-year-old woman, and I've been with my girlfriend, who is 40, for around a year. We live separately, and we've been talking about moving in together. I love her, I think she is wonderful, but I can't get rid of the nagging feeling that we're not quite right for each other, or maybe, more honestly, that she's not quite right for me.

My dating background is that I haven't been single for a long stretch of time since I was about 23. I had one awful and abusive relationship for years, and then went straight into another long relationship. That relationship was good but very intense. We moved very quickly and there were a lot of explosive moments. When we broke up it felt like I'd lost the life I'd imagined for myself and had to start from scratch. I started dating my current partner months after that breakup. I wanted to take things slowly, and I really tried! But she knew she wanted us to be together, and although we have taken things much slower than I ever have before, somehow it all still feels too fast.

We've had a bit of a rocky patch at the moment, where it feels like we've been bickering, not having as much fun with each other, and not really having sex. Another element of this for me is that I know that I want children. I'm seeing people around me having babies, and I feel like I can hear the clock ticking. This relationship is good – she treats me well, she's so steady and kind, and we like each other's friends and family. Am I stupid for questioning what we have? Is it normal to question a good relationship in this way? Or is there something fundamentally wrong if I don't feel head-over-heels in love at this point? I just can't tell if I'm in a "grass is greener" phase that will pass, or if I need to end things. Please help!

– Self-sabotageur

Your gut seems to be screaming something at you, and instead of listening and trusting your instincts, you're jumping to the conclusion that you should maintain the status quo and appreciate what you have.

You do appreciate the relationship. That doesn't mean it's the one that will last forever – or that it should. Sometimes a great person comes along at the wrong time. It sounds like that’s what happened here.

If you want space and perspective, get it by being honest with your partner about where you are. You were never really ready for something serious, but wanted to try because she’s so great. Now you're having doubts, and the plan for next steps doesn't feel right. It’s sad, but it's the truth. 
She should be with someone who can be confident about what's next. That's not you.

Maybe you’re afraid that in a year or so, you'll look back and say, "How did I let go of a great relationship? What was I thinking?" But I bet people here will tell you that hindsight usually doesn't work that way. You'll remember how you felt, how hard you tried to dismiss the doubts. Usually when people tell me they have regrets about past decisions, they say they wish they had trusted their instincts sooner.

You have a nagging feeling that this relationship isn't right for you. Give yourself a chance to figure out what might be better. There is time.

– Meredith

Readers? Time to leave?