I have been dating my boyfriend for two and a half years now. Lately things have gotten very serious; we've been talking about getting married and having children. Up until a few days ago, I was all a twitter with our romance - I wanted nothing more to begin a life with this man.
But now I'm starting to panic. I've been thinking more and more about how young I am and how there are so many things I want to do - including growing as an independent human being - before I settle down. Part of me is so ready for this kind of commitment, but there's another part that is screaming to run away as fast as I can. I'm not sure if I'm being a commitment-phobe, irrational, or just a normal 21 year old.
I'm with the man of every woman's dreams. He is handsome, successful, romantic and I know I'll be kicking myself in the ass for the rest of my life if I let him go. Is my confusion normal? Or am I showing the first signs of a person who will head for the hills when things get too serious? My biggest fears are hurting the man I love and starting on a treacherous path of avoidance. I can't seem to get any unbiased advice around here, so I was hoping you could offer some wisdom. -- Completely Confused Cameron
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Dear Completely Confused Cameron --
Well, you certainly have your head full of questions, don't you? You're raising a lot of very valid questions that I'm sure a lot of other women have asked themselves in your situation. You are young, but just because you're only 21, it doesn't mean that you need to go out and be wild and crazy if you don't want to be. Are you feeling like you "should" be doing x,y, and z or are you actually feeling like you want to be doing those things? Everyone is different and everyone takes different paths in life, so if you feel like you've found your mate early in life, you shouldn't dismiss it just because of your age.
If becoming an independent woman is your main concern, you can absolutely do that while being in a relationship if you just take things slow. Although you have been together for a while now, you don't necessarily need to race down to the altar. Have you voiced your concerns with your boyfriend? Is he the same age as you? Could he be experiencing similar fears?
Staying together with someone for the fear of him moving on without you isn't reason enough to be together. If you aren't getting everything you need and want out of this relationship, you need to do what feels right. Listen to your gut instinct -- are you simply having some cold feet and facing the reality that you need to start making adult decisions, or do you feel like you need to spread your wings and fly? Take a few days to be alone, reevaluate your situation, talk to your boyfriend, and do what feels right. You can't go wrong if your trust your heart. Good luck.