I’ve been with my boyfriend for a little over a year now. We dated on and off and were friends for a year before we actually became a couple. We are about to move in together and I’m really starting to have reservations about our relationship. First of all, he was engaged previously and proposed to his then girlfriend after just three months—they were both only twenty years old. Things ended badly between them. While I didn’t have a desire to get engaged that early, I can’t help but feel that maybe his feelings for me are not as strong as they were for his ex. We have talked about marriage, but he really wants to wait a few years.
He has also said that as long as I don’t cheat on him or treat him badly, he will never break up with me. Those words seem to lack passion, and it makes me feel as though he’s just settling for me. I was the first to say "I love you" and sometimes I feel like he said it back because it was the polite thing to do. I believe that he means it now, but I can’t shake the feeling that he isn’t nuts about me like he was with his ex.
He was really affectionate when we first started dating and now if I ask him to cuddle or kiss me, he acts put out. He has no problem taking me out or buying me things, but this is not what matters to me. I don’t know what to do. We are a month away from moving in together and I’m afraid that things are only going to get worse after that. Is he just settling for me? Or am I just being crazy?—Not So Crazy in Love Casey
Dear Not So Crazy in Love Casey,
There seems to be two issues going on here. The first being your concerns about your boyfriend’s feelings towards you, and the second is your hesitation at the prospect of moving in together. To address the latter, moving in with your significant other is a huge commitment, so I think it’s only fair to both of you that you’re ready and comfortable with taking that step. I agree with you that any issues you’re currently having will only manifest themselves as greater problems once you’re sharing a home.
Consider putting the breaks on the move-in date while you work through these fears. I think it’s far more likely that you’ll regret moving in too soon than waiting a little longer. As far as feeling like your boyfriend may not love you the way you like, it’s important to take a step back and force yourself to stop overanalyzing things. It’s possible you’re correct, but you’ll never know if you don’t start considering things more rationally.
Keep in mind that your boyfriend’s engagement was both too young, too fast, and had an unhappy ending. That alone is enough to make any person, guy or girl, want to slow down the next time around. I think it’s actually a good sign that he’s put a past mistake to good use. And perhaps his words about cheating and treating him badly are connected to this previous relationship as well. It’s normal for affection to die off a bit, but make sure you let him know that his reaction when you ask for a hug hurts you. In fact, I’d let him know how you’re feeling about all of this. Give him the opportunity to explain himself. If after a talk you’re feeling the same, then consider if this is the kind of relationship that you want to have.