Moving Out

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He's moving out...She's freaking out...

Dear WWWFM,

I've been dating this girl for a little over a year. I'm 25 and she's 21. We are both madly in love with each other.



The problem is we fell in love so fast that we made dumb, hasty decisions and I moved into her house about 3 or 4 months into our relationship. I was over there all the time and staying the night anyway, so I just decided to make it official.

The problem: neither of us have ever lived with a significant other. For months I'd been losing sleep and semi-depressed because I realized I just couldn't live there anymore. Our relationship is great, it has its ups and downs like any does, but we're so close that we always pulled through even in the biggest most serious fights. But some people aren't ready to live with a girlfriend, and I'd never lived with one before so I had no idea what to expect.

I value my privacy and freedom and am just not ready for that feeling of pseudo-marriage. I was afraid of us being around each other too much that after awhile that "newlywed"-type feeling would fizzle. I tried to put it in the back of my mind and forget it, but you can't ignore your heart. So recently I sat her down and talked to her about it and told her that I flat out couldn't live there anymore, that I was losing sleep over it, and I didn't feel I was ready for it. I was as sensitive as possible about it.

Obviously her reaction was negative. She flipped out and kept asking me why I never talked to her about it before. Like I said, I'd been losing sleep and had it on my mind for months, but I never knew for sure that I wanted to actually take the step of moving out. So I didn't talk to her about it, because I wasn't 100% sure. My intention was to avoid a possible argument. That was part of what upset her, the other is that she thinks I'm giving it all up and going too far backwards. Because of that, she said if I moved out it'd be over.

I understand why she thinks it's going backwards, but why should it have to end? She won't even try to work through this and us still see each other when I tried for so long to live with her. I told her I tried but I just couldn't ignore my feelings, and her argument was that she couldn't ignore hers either. But the difference is I actually tried to make it work, and she refuses to try to work through this.

I don't want to lose her; she means the world to me. I can't even imagine myself with someone else. It's really hard when we love each other so much but our biggest problem is our different opinions on the living arrangement. What should I do? Am I handling this wrong?

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Dear Confused,

Moving in together is a huge step, not something to be taken lightly, as you discovered the hard way. When couples decide to move in together, they should first talk about what their underlying assumptions are. Women tend to assume that cohabiting is the first step toward marriage. Men tend to think that by moving in together, they will decide later whether marriage is an option.

I know you didn't have marriage on your mind (and she might not have consciously either) but she probably thought this was more than just convenience. She saw it as the next step on the continuum of commitment and that's why it's too hard for her to accept you moving out. It feels like you're breaking up with her and rejecting her even if you aren't technically.

I can understand her feelings of hurt. How is she supposed to feel now when you come over for an evening of dinner, TV, and sex, followed by you saying, "Well, honey. I'm tired and think I'll leave now. Good-night." After months of enjoying going to bed together and waking up next to you in the morning, you leaving her house every day will be very painful.

This is more than just a difference of opinion on living arrangements. You made a certain commitment to her by moving in with her. Living together is much more intimate that just dating. By moving out you are saying you want less intimacy and that feels like going backward to her, which isn't the normal trajectory of a relationship. She wants it to progress but how can it if she wants more and you want less?

You are doing the right thing by honoring your own feelings, even at the risk of hurting hers, but I don't know if this can be resolved. Perhaps all you can do it is let some time pass and see how you both feel down the road. I don't know if it's a matter of maturity and whether you just need more time to feel ready for a lifetime commitment. Or if in some corner of your mind, you secretly know she isn't the right girl for you. You should consider this as a possibility, even though you love her. People who love each other aren't necessarily meant to be together forever and aren't always compatible. I'm only saying this as food for thought.

I'm afraid you got yourself into a very sad situation. There is no easy answer here. She feels hurt and rejected and won't be able to just go back to where you were before you lived together. Don't be so hard on her and accuse her of not wanting to work it out. Maybe you need to acknowledge to each other that you want different things. At the very least I think you have to let her decide how she wants to proceed. You've made it clear that you want everything to stay the same except for the living together part (which isn't really possible because of the intimacy issue I mentioned). Tell her you you'll support whatever she decides. If she decides to break it off, you can tell her you'll be available in case she changes her mind, but don't hold your breath for that.

What advice would you give Confused?

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What Other Guys (and Gals) Have Said

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Same Boat  starstarstarstarstar
I find myself in a very similar situation. We have been living together for a year, dating for about 2 years. Bottom line is, she can not handle the fact ...

She's Not Willing  Not rated yet
If she's not willing to be MATURE and work things out then, dump her and move on. There are BILLIONS of women on the planet. Find another one more suited ...

LIVING TOGETHER - HORRIBLE CHOICE!  Not rated yet

Either you need to marry her or tell her that you want to back off and get out.

Never live with a woman. It is the most terrible thing you could ...

Just as Confused  Not rated yet
I'm in the exact same boat but I'm the dominant(stud) female in this relationship and she is what is called a femme or more passive female. We also have ...

same boat  Not rated yet
my bf of a yr and half moved out 2 weeks ago. first he couldn't figure out if we should still be together so we went on a break. then he finally made ...

You made this decision by yourself.  Not rated yet
In a relationship, certain decisions should be made together. What bothers me most is that you didn't discuss your discomforts with your girlfriend until ...

Same scenario just from the other end  Not rated yet
My girlfriend and I have been living together for almost a year and as I type, she is off signing lease papers to move out. To spare you the details of ...

you can never go back  Not rated yet
Your relationship is over. Learn from it, dude!

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