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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