I’ve been with my girlfriend for eight months and it’s great. I was thrilled when she said yes because to be honest she’s a little out of my league. But I’m a pretty nice guy and I make her laugh so, you know. She’s hot and smart and every time we go out I love to see other guys stare at her. But it’s not just that, we get along great and have tons in common and the sex is unbelievable! My only problem is she’s started dropping hints about moving in together. We’d be watching TV with an apartment on the show and she’d say, “We could probably find a cool place like that,” and she’s never felt like this about anyone in her life.
We’re both in our 30s. I’m old enough to know a good thing when I see it. I haven’t told her yet, but I love her. But I’m not ready to talk about moving in together yet. I lived with roommates until recently and I love having my own place.
I want to tell her I love her. I have a plan to have her over for a candlelight dinner and flowers and I bought her a diamond pendant, just for the occasion. But I haven’t done anything yet because I’m afraid she’ll put more pressure on me to move in together. She is the best thing that ever happened to me and I DO NOT want to blow it. I see myself marrying her down the road. How do I tell this amazing woman I love her but I’m not ready to live together yet?
Thanks, Lucky Average Joe
It’s all about timing, friend. Whatever you do, don’t bring up the fact you’re not ready to live together the same night you drop the L-bomb. Telling her you love her and immediately following that with a disclaimer about not sharing a bathroom takes away the authenticity of your declaration. Instead of getting the gift of your heart, she’ll feel like she’s being jerked around by a commitment-phobe and nobody wants that. Have your big night, let it be what it is. Chances are she’ll be so floored by the uber-romantic evening you’ve conjured, she’ll let it be as well. If she does bring it up, tell her you definitely want to talk about it, but not that night. Tonight is just about enjoying this moment, dig? Only say it nicer.
So, what about the inevitable aftermath? Sure, she’s more likely to launch Operation Cohabitation after this news. Not to be mean, but she probably knows how lucky you consider yourself, and you aren’t going anywhere. Why not acknowledge all this? It’s true, plus it will placate her. Here’s just one sample: “Sweetie, I love you. For the first time in my life, I have someone I want a future with. I’m not scared but it’s made me old-fashioned. I want to move VERY slowly because the thought of losing you is horrifying. I want to make sure we do everything right.” Tell her it’s also important for everyone to have their own space and be independent before they can take care of someone else. It smacks of psychobabble but it buys you time. As long as she has something to relay to girlfriends that they can’t completely pick apart, you’re solid. Just remember, moving in is a big step; you won’t be 100 percent comfortable when you take it, but that doesn’t make it a mistake. Good luck!