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I've been dating a girl for about 3 months and for the past month she has basically been living with me. She has her own apartment, but since we live in different towns it's easier for her to stay with me. This let's us see each other all the time and allows her to get to her new job faster, which is located in my town.

We've been thinking about her moving in permanently, even though we haven't been dating that long. The problem arises when I think about how are relationship is going. When the relationship is good, it's really good. It's very loving, fun, and exciting. However, lately I feel like I'm walking on egg shells around her. She gets mad easily and seems to blow things out of proportion. Here's an example:

We had just let a dinner party with friends and she knew I wasn't feeling well. I had a headache and just felt "off". She had to go by her apartment and I asked if it was ok if I stayed in the car. While I was in the car I laid down and when she came back out she pounded on the window for me to unlock the trunk. She said she yelled at me to unlock it, but I didn't hear her. On the drive home she was totally silent and I tried asking if she was ok multiple times, but she ignored me. I hate the feeling of being next to someone that is upset with me so I always try to resolve it. My headache only became worse as I was, for lack of a better word, "begging" her to just acknowledge that I was right next to her.

Her moving in with me sounds exciting and it's a really great time to do it because her lease is up in a couple months. I just don't want to live a life of walking on egg shells every time I come home from work. On the flip side, if I tell her she should just keep her current apartment, that will be a huge step back in our relationship because we're used to seeing each other all the time. How can I explain these thoughts to my girlfriend so that I can do my best to avoid her blowing it out of proportion?

14

Just talk to her directly and honestly.

What you've laid out in the question seems reasonable to me:

  • You haven't been dating for very long
  • Even for how long you've been dating, things have "moved fast" (she "basically lives with you" already, and started to do so ~2 months into the relationship)
  • Some of your interactions make you uneasy about "officially" living together

For the good of you both, and your relationship, it makes sense to address these issues as your relationship develops. And, at the 3-month mark, it's barely even begun, so there is plenty of development in store. More significant is that the main issue you describe sounds like one that isn't going to just magically go away, and so talking things over makes sense. It will be easier to do that before you move in together, whatever follows.

It will probably also be very helpful if you focus on your own feelings rather than accusing her of specific behaviors. "I'm concerned about making you angry, because when I do I [perceive this situation, which makes me feel this particular way]" is a lot better than "you get angry too often, and I don't like your behavior when you do".

Crucial point: What you are describing is not a problem about moving in together or not. It's a problem in your relationship more generally, which moving in together would make particularly acute. So I don't think it would be helpful to frame the conversation as

You can move in here, if we sort this out

while it would be much more helpful to present it as something like

This piece of our relationship has been making me kind of unhappy

It's true that a deepening relationship will require the issue to be addressed one way or another, but you might find more success discussing the problem that you're actually experiencing rather than a symbolic scenario in which that problem might be especially difficult for you.


Some observations:

  • You seem to be putting a lot of emphasis on your relationship developing quickly. It is not a "step back" to not officially live together after only three months of dating. This progression of events along this schedule is not the typical way that relationships go.
  • Convenience is a terrible reason to make major relationship decisions. That her lease is up is a situation that can come up as frequently as once every month. This is not a unique opportunity.
  • Moving in together right now is not the only option. She could, for example, move to the town you live in and still maintain her own apartment. You could see each other often but avoid the situation in which you officially live together.
  • From your example story, it seems that communication could probably be improved between you, and on the very topic which concerns you. It's worth asking "what have you done/are you doing to address this aspect of your relationship?" regardless of what you choose regarding living with one another.
  • That you are "used to seeing each other all the time" is not necessarily a positive feature of your relationship. You seem concerned about her temper-- how much does that come up in your current arrangement? In terms of time spent together, "basically" living together and "officially" living together might come out (broadly) to be the same thing. If your current arrangement is causing you unhappiness, then it is sensible to address that before looking to make the arrangement more concrete.
  • The observation "when things are good, they're good" is easy to make (I fall into it as often as anyone else, I think). But it's meaningless. It's tautologically true, and the problem isn't that things can be good, it's that they often are not. A statement that you are not totally miserable 100% of the time seems a poor standard.
  • Good answer. I would like to emphasize the It will probably also be very helpful if you focus on your own feelings part, that is the most important to me. You may have some sort of aversion for conflict ("I hate the feeling of being next to someone that is upset with me so I always try to resolve it.") so explain to her how it feels when (close) people are angry at you. Use your personality as a starting point. – Thibault D. Feb 8 at 14:23
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If you cannot communicate for fear of repercussions, you simply cannot communicate.

Or, to put it more simply, if you cannot say what you mean, you cannot mean what you say.

There may be no way to communicate without hurting your SO's feelings. The thing to do is communicate to her that the relationship needs to be stable before there is any living together. Tell her that you'd like to go to relationship counseling and that that is a requirement for the two of you to be living together.

If your SO scoffs at the idea, then moving in together is not a good idea. Right now, you are not communicating if you are "walking on eggshells". You need to speak bluntly and honestly. Right now, you seem to be lacking the skills to do that. Start now, or pay a very high price later.

1

I would talk to her honestly, and quickly. Although I would have two different conversations with her : one about your future, the other about how you resolve conflict in your relationship. Tell her you're not ready to move in together as soon as possible, since her lease is soon up and she'll need to make her own plans.

I'd split those two conversations up because I don't get the sense from your post that the only reason you're not ready to live with her is only the fights you've been having. You don't mention loving her, wanting to always be with her, seeing a future with her. The only reason you talked about is that it would be easier, and that you don't want to take a step backward. So have two separate conversations (on separate days even) to avoid making it seem like "I don't want to move in with you because of your behavior".

Three months is really not a lot of time. It's ok to say to her that you've been only dating three months and that you're not ready to move in with her. That if you move in together now, it will be more out of convenience than desire to, and that's not right to you. Tell her that it has been great to spend more time with her this past month, but that you want to wait before taking this next step. It's true that it would be hard to go back to see each other less, but rushing things could make things way worse than this. Also, since her lease is soon up and her job is in your city, she can still move to your city (this should of course be totally up to her, but you can ask her if she ever thought about just moving closer to her job, and in addition closer to you). Anyway, tell her you don't want to move in together, but that you still want to date her, than talk about the future of your dating life (if she feels rejected, talking about your future, making plans about seeing each other, should help reassure her that you're still serious about her).

The "fight" talk is not the focus of your question, so I'll be brief : talk to her about it when you're not fighting, when you're both calm. It seems you might have different "arguing styles", so you'll need to talk about your needs and expectations to compromise and make sure that you can get past those. Focus on your own feelings more than her actions (I statements for the win), explain how for example silent treatments make you feel, and what your needs are. Hopefully she'll do the same and you'll be able to find common ground (for example, if you know that when she's mad she has a tendency to say regretful things so she needs to be quiet for a bit, it will help you to bear the silence, and maybe come up with something for her to do to reassure you, like holding your hand).

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