Moving In Together
Q: My boyfriend and I have been in a long-distance relationship for the past six months, seeing each other every couple weeks. This will change in a month when I move to New York to be with him. My concern is that when we talk on the phone, we often end up fighting. It happens if I don't answer the phone or if he doesn't. This is so trivial, I know, but this lack of trust and faith in one another concerns me especially now that we are moving in together. Any advice or are we just being childish? (I'm 26, by the way.) -- Andrea
Dr. Susan: Advice? Don't unpack. Seriously, to go from seeing each other every two weeks (and mistrusting one another between times) straight to living together sounds like a recipe for speedy disillusionment. It's not particularly helpful to label conflicts as "just childish," though you're right that the specific reason you fight is quite trivial. At this point, it sounds like the two of you may not be bonded enough yet to feel sure of one another when you're apart. It's also conceivable that you're not quite sure of yourselves yet either. That may or may not change when you're together much more. Only time will tell. Before you actually start living together, have a frank talk about your expectations of this arrangement and of one another. You might want to agree to make an extra effort not to smother one another, and to allow each other independent time without being immediately accused of something dastardly. And do give yourselves some transition time in which you go easy on one another as you really, finally, get to know each other.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.