Too Soon to Choose Life Mate?
Q: I'm 19 and I have been dating the same girl for almost two years now. I have only had one previous relationship which lasted about 6 months. I think the relationship that I am in now is great. My girlfriend and I communicate very well and I feel extremely comfortable with our relationship. I think I love her but I'm not really sure that I know what love is. How do I know if this girl is right for me? Should I date other people? -- Dwight, 19
Dr. Susan: First I have to say that, at 19, you're awfully young to commit to one woman for the next 60 or so years. But I don't think that means you should suddenly start dating others. That might be fun and exciting, but at the cost of the lovely happy relationship you have now. If you feel that you love her, you probably do. There is no credible checklist to tell you if what you feel is "really" love. If you are able to solve problems that come up, that's good. If no problems have ever come up, then wait until they do, and see how the two of you cope. Being very comfortable with her is wonderful, so long as it's not so comfortable that you'll soon feel bored. The right mix of comfort and stimulation is great. I wouldn't throw the relationship away just because you worry about what you might be missing. If you're feeling a little dissatisfied now for whatever reason, those feelings may get stronger as more time passes. Just be honest with one another. And good luck!
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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.