There is nothing wrong in feeling that girls need to live before settling down. A lifetime commitment is a serious thing, and you should feel very ready before you jump in. Our dating coach helped to encourage this reader to feel okay about taking a break before settling down.
Do Girls Need to Live before Settling Down?
My boyfriend and I have been dating for 3 years this month. We began dating in our senior year of high school, went to different colleges for freshman year, after which I transferred to his college, which I love. We live together with 3 other roommates, I am very close to his family, we have a very serious relationship and I know that I love him, more than I could ever love anyone else. There is just one problem with our young relationship. I have nagging thoughts about what it would be like to be single again. I feel like I found him too young. I haven't had the chance to go to parties or bars and flirt with other men. I really don't want to hurt my current relationship so I have tried to push my feelings aside but recently it became too much for me and I told him how I feel. He was very supportive. He suggested that over the summer we spend a few weeks apart so that I can be more independent. All of the sudden I wished I hadn't said anything and begged him to forget about it. He said we could put it on hold and we have. But I am so confused. I feel like I want the best of both worlds but I know that is not fair to him. How can I stop having these feelings without destroying my otherwise perfect relationship with a man I want to spend my life with? I will not be unfaithful to him. I wish these feelings would go away but they won't. Your help is very appreciated. Thank you.
-- Contributed by: Ann
The only way you can stop having the feelings of wanting to experience life as a single woman without destroying your relationship with your boyfriend IS to live the experience. Your desire is natural. These pestering thoughts are the way your mind and heart are trying to communicate with you. This doesn't mean you don't love your boyfriend, it just means that there is a part of you wanting to live a full life before settling down with one person for a lifetime.
My guess is your boyfriend is or has from time to time had similar thoughts. His desire to support you in part may be an attempt to support himself as well. There are no guarantees that should each of you take a break, you will find your way back together. However, not taking this step may destroy the relationship. This is because staying with your boyfriend out of fear is not true love, its dependence. Dependence brings with it insecurity, jealousy and distrust. Over time, this will infect your relationship and could lead to a permanent break-up.
If you take a break from each other and experience romance with others it doesn't mean that you and your current boyfriend are doomed to never be together. Quite the contrary, dating allows you both to learn about yourselves as well as love and romance through experiences with other people. By dating others, you discover what is important to you in a partner. This new knowledge will confirm your choice of a lifelong partner. This is because dating helps you to experience relationships and learn what is truly important for a loving relationship to last. Should your dating experience lead you back to your current boyfriend, you will know that you came back because of your choice and not out of a sense of obligation or dependence. Searching and then choosing a partner from all others is the purest form of love.