Girlfriend pushing relationship faster than I'm comfortable with, any way to hit the brakes?
So I've been with my girlfriend for about a year. We have a great relationship and really up until recently I thought we were perfectly matched, both on our viewpoints and values and how we treat each other... its one of those natural relationships where you dont feel like you have to force anything, you both just naturally make the right choices that makes each other happy. We both know this is the best relationship either of us have been in.
However, it seems as we neared the 1 year mark, her interests are no longer in the here-and-now of what fun things we're going to enjoy together, but rather the what-will-be of moving in together, getting a puppy, getting married, etc. She starts these conversations often, and despite my obvious disinterest, she persists. While I am not against the concept of marriage, I have no interest in it now... I'm in my mid-20's and living on my own for the first time in my life, and really enjoying it. I have an awesome girlfriend, a tight crew of friends, and alot of personal hobbies on top of our shared hobbies... to me, this idea of "domesticating" is basically a downgrade of where I am now. I don't know a single married couple, young or old, who displays a positive example of domestication, at least its not the lifestyle I envision for myself. Would 30 year old me like that life? Possibly, but current me does not.... and if I had to accurately guess, I'd predict more like 35.
What I dont understand is that we know plenty of couples who moved in together or got married or got a puppy and they all eventually disappear from our social world and we're left talking about how their current lifestyle seems so lame to us, the exciting fun loving couple... then a few days later she's asking which breed of dog "we" want to get or what neighborhood "we" want to move to. If I protest she quickly says oh she's just thinking of the future, with a wistful look in her eye. This sort of talk is, unfortunately, just a big turn off for me... I've been thinking of it lately and trying to think around it, but thats just the truth. These conversations feel smothering, as I'm not ready to pigeonhole myself into expectations of when I have to pop a question by to hit a deadline that we arbitrarily set one fateful night after 2 glasses of wine. She asks when I'd be ready to move in together, which maybe is an innocent question and I'm overreacting, but if I said "after my lease is up" then I'd feel like the next 6 months are my last months living awesomely alone... basically I wish the question was just "are you ready to move in together?" "no" "ok".
A month ago I would have never expected to be asking this question, but now here I am, and I'm left wondering... is there any way to put the brakes on my girlfriend, and bring her back to "normal"? Our relationship has been awesome up to now, and we went through the standard phases.... super energetic sex filled awesome new relationship novelty time, the period of hey-what-do-you-know-this-is-still working where you happily start getting comfortable around each other but sex is still awesome if just a bit less spontaneous, with an abrupt shift to where we are now. In the last month, really since this all started happening, our sex life has curbed too, and I don't think its me... I now always have to initiate (this is new), we come home from a night out on the town and she's too tired to have sex by the time her jackets off. The big one, that kind of slapped me in the face and kicked off all this introspective thinking, is that after I treated her to a very extravagant and romantic Valentines date on Tuesday, she was weirdly surprised that I wanted to have sex when we came home... she wanted some time for her food to settle, then passed out. This was after 2 nights we spent together that she didn't want to have sex "so we could build up to Valentines day" and taunting me with new lingerie she had bought all through our date. The next morning when I got a text at work asking when I wanted to try out the new lingerie, I gave a vague uninterested response, as pornhub had already taken care of whatever needs were left unsatisfied.
Basically I'm trying to cool off since V-day and she's coming over after work tonight and I want to have a serious talk. Normally I think the relationship questions on AskMe are ironically just asking for permission to break up with somebody, but I'm actually looking for advice on how to keep this relationship happy for the both of us. I just dont know if theres anywhere to go once those seeds get planted and she starts getting these dream husband dream house in the burbs white picket fence fantasies.
So long story short... can I slow down my girlfriend's expedited pacing of our relationship? Or, because my last 2 relationships ended for the same reasons, are we crucially mismatched? I'm not even past age 25 and am not going to entertain any notion that its time to slow and settle down... but I respect that thats just some people's lot in life. I also notice that my girlfriends always paint me as their dream husband, because I treat women right and respectfully, which is apparently not the norm, and as soon as we hit the 1 year mark they think they've found the one.... and subsequently change into a person who I dont want to date anymore. Meanwhile, dudes who treat their girls like trash pretty much get free reign to do what they want, cheat on their girlfriends, coerse them into stuff they arent comfortable with, and the girls cant get enough.