COLUMBIA, SC - Following a romantic three-day getaway to South Carolina's Hilton Head Island, 32-year-old Matthew Sullivan said he is now "more ready than ever" to take his 10-month relationship with girlfriend Carol Moag to the previous level.
"After spending every waking moment with Carol for 72 hours, I know in my heart that I'm prepared to see her face twice, maybe even once a week," said Sullivan, who met Moag, 34, at a friend's New Year's party in January.
Sullivan claimed he has been considering "taking the big leap backward" since Moag suggested last month that the two get a cat. The weekend of uninterrupted intimacy served to erase whatever reservations Sullivan may still have held about the move.
"I know this is a big decision, but I'm ready for it," said Sullivan as he picked up a few DVDs and books he had left at Moag's apartment before she returned home from work. "I've given this a lot of thought, and whenever I imagine giving Carol the keys to her place back, it just feels right."
"I'm so excited about this," he added.
Though Sullivan admitted being initially nervous about Moag's reaction to the sudden announcement, he said he was confident that she will, if not right away, eventually see that his instincts are correct.
"I'm not sure she'll be ready to take the plunge like this," Sullivan said. "But if I give her plenty of space and lots and lots of time by herself to think it through, she'll realize that we're meant to be together a lot less."
Sullivan said he hoped the couple's new lowered level of commitment will provide them an opportunity to grow as individuals and really make the relationship work for Sullivan.
"It isn't going to be easy, but no one wants this more than I do," said Sullivan, who believes that his clarity at this important juncture is a direct sign of his advanced maturity.
"As you get older, you recognize what's really important to you," Sullivan said. "When I made the decision to get a lot less serious with Carol, I just felt this sense of peace. I can tell by the look in her eyes—that loving, longing gaze—that I must act now before I miss my chance."
Sullivan said that he is continually surprised by how "time just flies by" in his relationship with Moag. The 32-year-old said he has a gut sense that if he does not make her aware of his feelings soon, it will be too late.
"What happens now will determine the rest of our future together," said Sullivan, who claimed that he did not want to repeat the mistakes he made in previous long-term relationships. "The last woman I was with [ex-wife Maria Heller], I let this moment pass me by, and I'll always regret it."
"I ended up living with her for two and half years," Sullivan added.