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Dear Sugar Needs Your Help: His Past Made Him Scared of Living Together

Dear Sugar and Ready and He's Not Nell need your help. She's ready to live with her boyfriend, but he's reluctant based on an awful past experience. Do you have any advice?

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half, and we have a great relationship in all respects. We love spending time together, and we deeply love and respect each other. We've both expressed that we're in it for the long haul, and although we haven't talked about marriage we know we're headed that way. Since we're still young, we're in no hurry but in the meantime we've discussed living together, but he's reluctant.

You see, he once lived with his ex-girlfriend, and shortly after they moved in together, things started to unravel. She never gave him any time or space to himself, and she didn't do her share around the house and became disrespectful and inconsiderate of his needs and feelings. Communication and intimacy went out the window, and the bitterness and resentment continued to build until she finally left him for another guy.

Because this is his only experience living with a girlfriend, he's scared that the same thing might happen to us. He realizes that our relationship is a hundred times better than theirs was, but for some reason he's still not sure about the whole idea. He says that he definitely sees us living together in the future, but whether it will happen soon (when our leases expire in seven months) is still up in the air. It's really frustrating when I'm so confident about living together, and all he can see is the possibility of failure.

I hate being judged based on some other girl's stupid mistakes, and would love the opportunity to show him that we can make it work. Is there anything I can do to encourage him to give it a chance?

—Ready and He's Not Nell


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