I feel like myself and my long term boyfriend are growing apart.
We're both 24 and have been together since we were 19, all through college (different courses). College is coming to an end for both of us this year and we'll both be moving into the 'real world'.
The thing is, I'm not sure what I want from my life in the future. I don't know exactly where I'm going to be working after college, although I will have a job in Ireland for a year anyway. After that, while I currently think want to stay here, I don't know where exactly I'll be, and I may change my mind and head abroad. He knows he's going to be here for another 3 years minimum.
Besides the work thing, I feel we don't have a whole lot in common anymore. He's someone who values routine, definite plans, spends a lot of time with his family, and is a total morning person. His hobbies are things he shares with his family.
I'm the opposite: I like spontaneity, flexibility in plans, I'm not as family-oriented, a complete night owl, and tend to explore hobbies individually or with friends. I've tried to get my boyfriend to take up a few things with me, but nothing's lasted.
While I'm not a huge party animal, I do enjoy going out, whereas he's the complete antithesis to that. If someone else in our group of friends organises a night out he'll go and enjoy himself, but he never does the organising, and will never go if it's just me and him. When we started dating we used to go out for a drink a lot (non-alcoholic, neither of us are drinkers), but I can't remember the last time that happened. He feels we don't need to now we know each other, and prefers to stay in and watch TV.
He'll do things like go on walks, or for dinner out, or a trip somewhere, provided I organise it. Left to his own devices, he'd happily spend every night in on the couch cuddling. But I'm getting tired of organising everything.
I've painted a very negative picture here, which isn't really fair: he's a great guy, very caring, funny, respectful, affectionate, and he's always there for me when I need him (which has happened a lot in the last 4 years, as I've had a lot of family issues to deal with). But I guess I'm just finding the lack of variety in our lives (unless I organise it) sort of boring. Stifling even. Even conversations tend to revolve around his family and college. And when I talk about things, while he listens respectfully, I get the impression (perhaps the wrong one) that I'm boring him too. I also know some of my habits, like sleeping on till the early afternoon when I've a day off, are starting to annoy him. Phone conversations sometimes don't go much beyond 'hello' now unless I deliberately make small talk. Yet he still rings me all the time.
I guess I feel like we're different people now than we were 4 years ago. When we first met, I was thrilled to find a guy I had so much in common with: I'm now struggling to remember what those things were.
Also, if I'm honest, I'm sort of curious about the world out there (I don't mean playing the field, but just being single, able to do my own thing, not worry about a partner). I was a bit of a late developer socially, never really went out much till my late teens, right before I met my boyfriend. I've only been with one other guy, which lasted 2 months and hardly counts. I guess I feel like I'm missing out on part of the experience of being young.
I'm not sure talking is going to change much. We've always talked our way through differences in the past, but I feel this is a question of basic nature more than anything else, and that's not something a partner can or should try to change, I think.
So what do I do? Do I stay with a guy whom I care deeply about, whom I know will always treat me well, even if he's not the most exciting person in the world, and doesn't share a lot of my interests? Or do I take the plunge, face the hurt (and the hurt I know a breakup will cause him), knowing that it's temporary, and see what my life, rather than our life, is about?