I am 22 and my boyfriend is 24. I am applying to law school, and this has been clear in my relationship since the beginning. My boyfriend has had a stable job for two years. We have been dating for three, all of which have been long distance (summers and school breaks have been spent together)
My boyfriend recently pitched that he didn't want to do long distance anymore once I graduated. He offered to uproot his life and move with me to wherever I enroll for law school. I told him that I don't think we were ready, that I personally feel that I'm still too young to live with a significant other, and that I wanted to figure out law school by myself before introducing him into the mix. This brought up a lot of concern about why I didn't feel ready. My boyfriend openly admits that I'm the girl of his dreams and that he would like to one day marry me. I know that I love him, and that I've grown from my relationship with him. However, I don't know now if it's fair that I continue this relationship if I don't want to take the next step.
Our relationship has been long distance since the beginning, which led to a lot of issues over the past where I haven't felt the romantic element of our relationship. Even when we are physically together, my boyfriend struggles to plan any romantic dinners or dates, tells me that it's my responsibility to plan shared vacations, and struggles with paying me compliments. I have openly told him that I feel like we're more best friends with benefits than a romantic couple. He has told me in the past that if he were single, he would be much wealthier. His pitch for moving in together is that when we're long distance, I'm "out of sight and out of mind" so he forgets to be romantic/attentive. I honestly don't think he was ready to be in a romantic relationship, but we love each other and are best friends so he's expressed that he doesn't understand what I'm so unsure about. We have comparable senses of humor and personalities, and I do love him, but I still feel like the underlying romantic element of a relationship is something that I want to feel. Our love languages are just not compatible. I want to feel that my partner believes that I'm beautiful, intelligent and that he's proud of me. I want to be in a relationship where my partner does thoughtful things for me not just because it's my birthday or our anniversary, but because he randomly thought of me. I've told my boyfriend that it hurts me that he only expresses to me how great he thinks I am when we're making up from an argument. Are all of these things realistic to want, or do men not actually do this?
I know that we're both young, but I don't want to do either of us the disservice of allowing the relationship to continue if I don't feel that we have a long-term future. I also may just be being hypercritical of the relationship because we're in a rough patch- but are these normal pitfalls of a relationship that people learn to deal with?
Your BF may be sure that he wants to eventually marry you but you're having doubts. It doesn't matter if you guys have been LD for 3 years, what does matter is that if you don't feel comfortable about your relationship for whatever the reasons, then you need to go your own way. You may love your BF, but you need to determine if you're IN love with him.