Hi Miss A,
I am a 19 year old Sophomore in college, and I made the decision to transfer schools to be with my BF of 2 years. Ever since I met him, this has been what we both wanted– to be closer. It was so hard financially doing the long distance thing, and FINALLY we are going to be closer together. Our relationship has been amazing. He spoils me to death, and we talk non stop all the time. He is always there for me, even though we are hundreds of miles apart. We love each others families, and spend every holiday together. We have the best time together. He would take me to look at engagement rings a lot, and he even bought me a promise ring and diamond earrings. He sent me over 24 pink roses just a week ago… just because.
My bf is 24 years old, and he is a really great guy. He is my best friend. Up until now, when everything is finally coming together, things feel scary. A few nights ago, he wanted to tell me something. He said he wants to be honest with me because he loves me. He said he doesn’t want me moving close to him thinking he was going to propose soon. He said he isn’t financially or mentally ready for kids or a marriage. He doesn’t want the financial burdens of having a home, and in all reality, he couldn’t even afford it right now. He said he wants to focus on having fun together and not worry about “frivolous spending.” He told me that getting married means settling down, and he isn’t ready for that. He repeatedly tells me nothing has changed, everything is fine. There are no problems and I don’t need to be worried. He even said that “down the road” he wants a marriage and a family with me, just not now. But for some freaken reason, I am so paranoid and worried. It feels awful.
My entire relationship with him I’ve always been 110% sure of everything. But now, I feel so scared he doesn’t want to be with me anymore. I don’t know why. I am not ready for marriage and kids either, so that obviously isn’t the problem. I want to enjoy school and focus on getting my degree. He said he doesn’t want to date around or anything, but he is just not ready for marriage.
I took a semester off of school, and I’ve been away from him for over a month. He has a new job that keeps him super busy, so on top of my worrying about going to this new university, I feel like we haven’t talked as much. But then, I look back at all the texts and he is talking to me just the same and I think just as much. The conversation he had with me just really scared me. Until now, I’ve felt like I’ve had the control in the relationship. I love him so much, and I just don’t want to lose him.
I’m so excited to be closer to him, and I can’t wait to make up the time we could’ve spent together if it wasn’t for the 400 miles in between us. So I guess I’m just wondering why I feel so scared… It is really a crappy feeling. I want to be excited about school and being close to him. I am so worried about him leaving me, and I don’t know why. I feel so stupid, but I just can’t control this awful awful feeling.
Dear Love Transfer,
Thank you so much for writing me. It’s totally understandable that you are feeling scared and out of sorts. Moving to a new place, transferring into a new college, and taking this big step forward with your boyfriend is a lot of change taking place at once, and change can be scary, but it’s what we have to do to grow and evolve.
You are very young, and so is your older boyfriend. In this economy, your boyfriend is certainly not alone in not being able to afford to marry you now, even if he were emotionally ready. Fortunately, he has a job, and it sounds like he wants to enjoy what money he makes having fun with you, and buying stuff guys love like flat screens and other toys. To be honest, there are a lot of men in their 30’s and 40’s who aren’t emotionally or financially ready for marriage or kids. These days, both men and women are enjoying taking their time, and enjoying some of the rewards that come from success in the workplace before getting married. I think he brought up delaying marriage to make sure that you were both on the same page. It sounds like you are, but it’s still a bit of a let down to hear it said out loud.
We grow up watching Cinderella and other fairy tales, and Prince Charming never says that he wants marriage “down the road”. No, Prince Charming always wants to whisk us away on his white horse and marry us right away. So even though you want to wait to get married until after you graduate, and get out in the real world, it still stings a bit to hear this, especially from your boyfriend/best friend. Don’t let it feel like rejection. Don’t let it freak you out and make you feel like something is wrong. Just realize that this is good for you too, and really what you want, and what is best for you both. Don’t let this make you feel out of control in the relationship. He still loves you, and you all still have fun together.
It may help to set goals for yourself whether it’s grades, fitness goals, financial goals of your own, or giving back and getting involved in your new community. Set some short term goals for things you want to do in the next month or so, and some long range goals for a year out, and figure out a plan to achieve them. Be sure that you are building a support structure for yourself outside of your relationship with your boyfriend. You will need to have friends of your own to lean on, so that you won’t be overly dependent on him. If you are religious, or grew up in the church, consider finding a church you like. I know that a weekly Bible Study was a great support to me when I was going through hard times. Taking control of your studies, finances, health, and networking will help to build your confidence in your new home, as you achieve your goals. These things will all be beneficial to you, and will be there for you whether or not you and your boyfriend eventually get married, or not. You will have these achievements and strengths to bring to a marriage with your boyfriend, or someone else.
I wish you the best! Please stay in touch!
– Miss A