So what now? Marriage, world travel...?

I've been in a relationship for about 5 years now, and it seems pretty serious :) Problem is, I don't know whether to continue taking it this seriously and let it move along to the next step, or whether we're both still too young, and should be getting out there seeing more of life before we settle down.

I have had a lot (probably more than average) of previous relationships both long and short, and however infatuated, amused or entertained I was... I deep down never took seriously. Yeah sure, when you're 21 you might feel like you might die if you aren't together forever, but that definitely pased!

This relationship has been very different from the start. We both work in the same field and were great friends beforehand, everything evolved into a relationship very naturally, and we're now at the point that we're semi-living together (we're trying to decide who moves in with who or if we try for a bigger place), we pretty much share a lot of our finances (and look out for each other when one is a bit short), we share so many interests and just every-day life things, and heck! We have a kitten that we got together who was meant to be mine but has very much turned into ours... everythings great :)

But i'm just not sure where we're going, I guess? I'd actually be perfectly happy to settle down (probably not get married or kids anytime soon, but really settle into that sort of life) but I don't know if he's ready and I'm not sure how to suggest that, or if it's even a good idea!
I'm younger than him but played the field quite a bit, so I feel like I've already got all that out of my system. But I know he's always wanted to travel for a year or two, and I'm pretty sure part of that is the passionate, spontaneous romances he's always imagined :P He's a bit of a dreamer, and while I don't believe he'd even think of cheating on me, I kind of don't want to cut him off from the experiences he's always dreamed of while he's still relatively young (mid to late 20s).

Yes, we're in love, and I don't think he's thinking of anything else right now, but I'd hate for there to be regrets later, and I know that experiences like that (and as I said, getting them out of my system!) have really formed a large part of my personality, life, and the way I experience things now. I don't want him to look back in 10 years time and think "this is it, it's all over, I'm too old to go and live in india, or ski in japan, or wander through europe". Worse yet, I don't want him to leave in 10 years time to DO all of that, if he really needs to.

Sure, some people get married young and stay together for the rest of their lives, without having another partner, living anywhere else, or experiencing anything else. But because I know he's always planned and dreamed of travelling, living in different cities, going new places and meeting new people.... and I don't want to lock him into this life that wont suit him now, before he's realised he needs something else.

Now a lot of my friends are getting married (when they've known their partners less than a year, but we wont go into that! :P) and people are asking about me and my boyfriend a lot, the usual stuff "so when are you two getting hitched? When are you two having a baby?" and while I know neither of us is at that stage yet, I really don't want him to feel locked in by the outside pressure of friends/family assuming that stuff, or by me increasingly assuming that stuff as time goes by!

...But... I'd be devestated if he did leave, and crazy jealous if he did travel and have some sort of relationship overseas!

I've thought about giving him my blessing (or a carte blanche) and waving him off for 6 months to go experience the world... but not only would I be jealous if anything happened, but I don't WANT to distance myself for 6 months!
I've also thought about going with him, or travelling with him half the time and going off and doing my own thing... but I'm in a really great career position right now with almost definite promotion within the year, and an amazing experience either way.

Added to that, neither of us is really swimming in money so swanning around the world isn't particularly practical right now... but if we wait a few years and then he wants to take off? What would that do to our relationship?

I guess I'm just looking for some words of wisdom. Our relationship is great now and looks like it'll keep being great... but I know there are things he's dreamed of that it feels like I will just cut out of the picture completely if we let our lives go down this path, and I don't want our future relationship destroyed because we let it go so far without facing them.

By AimeeK 14 years ago :: Dating
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