Do you know anyone dating over 15 years but not married?

posted 3 weeks ago in Waiting
Post # 2
156 posts
Blushing bee

I do know extremely happy couples who have been together this long and aren’t married. BUT I really don’t like the sound of what you’re describing. I don’t think you were too harsh or anything. There are ways to help someone you care about without moving them in to your house. I fully understand that this is your partner of many years but it sounds like he only wants to do this because he’s in a sticky situation. I would proced with extreme caution and not allow yourself to be used as a free ride. 


ETA: Sorry, also, the people I know that have been together that long have LIVED TOGETHER. Now, I’m not saying every couple needs to live together, I know different things work for different people. HOWEVER, it clearly meant something to you and you wanted to do it. I think that is an unreasonably long time to want something and not have it and now that it’s landed on your lap it has presented itself in the least appetising way possible. How deep did your conversations on the future go when you brought this up? Or did they all end at “I’m not ready”? 


Not even sure age is relevant here because it’s been such a long relationship so even if you met in your mid teens and are 30 now, I would say that he’s had plenty of time to ‘be ready’ and if that kind of relationship wasn’t what he wanted he had ampke opportunity to tell you.


Sorry if I come across as cold, I don’t mean to. Just for me, personally, this set off my alarm bells

Post # 4
156 posts
Blushing bee

View original reply
@unlucky:  ah, I understand a bit better now. So have you gone towards prefering to live apart too then?  I think it’s really hard when you both love each other but that fact makes it even more heartbreaking down the line if you’re not on the same page, do you see what I mean? I think for it to work there needs to be some basic things in common and one of them is your ideas on living arrangements.

I would talk to him, somewhere neutral like out for a walk, and tell him you’re concerned and hurt because it feels like he only wants to live with you because he has nowhere else to live now. Ask him to think about that subjectively and not feel personally attacked. But to think about how it would feel if your places were switched. He might get very defensive and you will have to try your best to stay very calm and neutral. Whatever you do, I would say try really hard not to get too emotional and if he acts hurt/ cries etc, stay calm and firm and don’t bend and say you can’t help that it doesn’t sit well with you. 


If you really want to help him, offer to go view some affordable apartments with him. He’s lost his house, right? But not his income? He can rent somewhere and if, let’s say, in a few months he has the urge to move in you can discuss it again.

Post # 5
10526 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

View original reply

l was most struck in your first post by your saying you ” felt  so guilty”. This, after saying how he repeatedly rejected you and wanted freedom and clearly only wants to now live with you because it’s convenient. Sometimes l think women’s very genes are contaminated by guilt, such is our propensity to take it on ..

If he really is ‘devastated’ ( your description): this is unfortunate  – but not your fault, nor your responsibility to cure. Most of us have had heavy blows in life at some point and not expected long-suffering other people to fix us. I think it’s reasonable for you to feel sad, even anxious about him, but NOT to feel responsible, guilty , obligated or duty bound. Be as sympathetic and loving as you like, but do not subjugate your peace of mind, comfort and very life to him. He never did so for you. 

Post # 6
1581 posts
Bumble bee

I know people who have been dating over 15 years and not got married, but this is because it was a mutual choice – they both wanted it that way.

It sounds as if this is not the case with you.  You wanted marriage/living together in the past, but your partner did not.

It’s hard to believe that he is suddenly wanting to move in with you independent of his financial circumstances – it’s a lot more likely that he is just seeing living together as convenient for him financially right now.  In your place, I would be unhappy with that.

You don’t need to feel guilty at all.  You can help him find a new place to live that he can afford, but you don’t have to agree to his suggestion that he moves in if you don’t want that.

But I would encourage you to think seriously about this relationship and if it is truly what you want.  None of us can know what your relationship is really like, but you’ve told us that out of a 15 year relationship, you spent 10 years crying because he wouldn’t marry you, that you ‘feel so guilty’, that he’s never done anything ‘romantic’ for you, that you feel ‘sad and worried’ and that you don’t want hi to ‘resent you’ if you don’t agree to his requests.

Maybe it is just how you’ve written things, but this isn’t coming across to me as a very happy relationship.  Are you in this relationship because you truly love your partner – or because you’ve been with him for so long that you can’t imagine having to start over.  Only you know the answer.  But please don’t settle for a half life.

Post # 7
1327 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I’m sorry bee, but from what you’ve shared this doesn’t sound like a good man.  You KNOW what’s going on here, and so does he, but he doesn’t have the moral fortitude to be honest about it. 

He was perfectly fine with living his independent life and keeping you around because it was convenient, but now that he got himself in “trouble” and lost his home he thinks he should “finally take steps forward” in your relationship. Bullshit.  What he thinks is that your convenience is going to extend to providing him a place to live. 

I can almost guarantee that if you let him move in with you he will stick around 2 months, 6 months, maybe a year, just long enough to get his shit together when he will suddenly realize that living together isn’t working for him and he needs to get his own place.  

Tell him no, bee.  Not for revenge but for your own self respect. 

Post # 8
4455 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Why are you in this relationship? Assuming marriage was obviously something you wanted at some point, it’s now in a place where you’ll never have that with him. Because even if he proposes next month or next year, you feel like it’s too late now. So what is there to stay for? You’re never going to get what you want out of this relationship. Are you really ok to just live apart and be a couple for the rest of your life?

Look, there is a lot of crap we HAVE to do in our lives, like pay taxes and go to the DMV. A relationship isn’t something you have to do. It’s supposed to be something that enhances your life, and makes you happy. Not something that causes this much grief and stress. You’re not happy, and haven’t been for some time. You don’t even live together, so there’s literally no need to stay for any reason.

Don’t move in with him. Don’t stay with him.

Post # 9
770 posts
Busy bee

It sounds like your instincts are correct – this would be for his convenience only.  I would be willing to bet that your relationship will not improve after he moves in because he’s still going to want (and will take) his freedom, you’re still going to feel lonely, and now it will be even harder to end things because he lives there.  

No, I would take this as a God given (or universe-driven, depending on your beliefs) opportunity to extract yourself from this guy once and for all, and go meet someone who will return your love.  Good luck to you. 

Post # 10
692 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 1996

“This is all so wrong deep inside”.  When you said that, that really jumped out at me.  And I agree with you.  It IS all so wrong.  Please think hard about what other bees have said.  They have given you a lot of good advice.  Hugs, dear bee, and good luck.

Post # 11
33 posts

This man has been using you for 15 years and now can’t afford to take care of himself so wants you to financially support him too? Say no. Mean it. Break up properly. Block him, change your number, delete your social media, invest in your own self!

Post # 12
1504 posts
Bumble bee

I know a lot of people who have been together 10+years but not married. Also with married couples almost everyone were together 10-15 years  before marriage. This only works if it’s what both want. That’s not the case with you, it sounds like. His timing does sound a bit too convenient. If he is serious about living together and you want that too then he should want it in 6-12 months and get his own place in the meantime.

Post # 13
1771 posts
Buzzing bee

I do know people who have been together for many years and didn’t get married.  Some are happy with their arrangement and say they don’t need to get married to be together. I also know some that really want to get married (the girl) and are just waiting for the other to propose in the hopes that if they stay together long enough, it will happen…

I agree with you that your boyfriend is asking to live together now out of convenience because he lost his house. He had many opportunities to make a commitment to you before this and he didn’t.  That should tell you something.  He was never ready to move in with you or get engaged to you, but now he wants to “move forward.”  You are not his fiancee or wife and you have no obligation to help him. Yes, you care about him, I can understand that, but he is a grown man who is used to living his own life the way he wants and making his own decisions, so let him take care of his own troubles and trust your gut.  If he truly wanted to be with you and move forward, he would do so without guilting you into taking him in when he’s in trouble now. I don’t even know if I could stay with a guy for this long knowing he might never truly commit to me…there are still plenty of fish in the sea!

Post # 14
14017 posts
Honey Beekeeper

If having someone to support him through better or worse was what he wanted then maybe he should have thought about that years ago. This isn’t a move of convenience as some have called it or out of a newfound desire to finally make a commitment, rather it’s an act of desperation. 

It’s clear to me that while you may have come to accept the status quo and even to appreciate some aspects of your arrangement, there is also plenty of resentment and regret. Make the next part of your life be on your own terms. You owe him nothing. 

Post # 15
1478 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: USA

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@unlucky:  Yeah, I think you’re being too nice here. The living together ship has sailed long ago, and only now that he’s in a bad situation he is willing to move in? He wants to move in because he needs to- not because he wants to. The fact that you’ve been together for so long, is a convenient card to pull. That would piss me off. He had a chance to merge lives with you- and he said he didn’t want that. He is on his own with this one as far as I am concerned.

Bee, this is not a healthy dynamic. You said you cried and cried when he didn’t want to take your relationship to the next level… I think says a lot. This guy has been making you unhappy for YEARS. This situation is a great opportunity to dig deep and ask yourself why you are in this relationship. If it’s based in fear (losing him, being alone) then that is not a valid reason to stay.

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