(Closed) Live together before engagement

posted 6 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
4929 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Can you move in with him without selling your house? And then sell when you’re engaged?

Can you get engaged without a ring? (Or maybe a cheap stand-in? Something from Kohls or JcPenney or Macys or something?)

Post # 4
4352 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I would tell him that he is welcome to move in with you, and that he should sell his house when he is ready to propose. If you two decide during the engagement that your house doesn’t work for the two of you, then you can plan on selling your house as well and buying a  different house together right after you get married.

That way you don’t lose your house before getting a ring, and he doesn’t lose his until he is ready to buy a ring. And he could use some of the money earned from selling his house to buy the ring.

Post # 5
8041 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@Kacie209:  I would stick to your guns.

I live with my SO and we are not engaged yet, but we know that we want to be. I don’t own my own home yet, but if I did, I am pretty sure I would feel as you do.

I think that after 2 years he should know if he wants to marry you. He’s not 23 anymore!

Could you do a sort of mock living together thing, like ‘move in’ for a week or two? I know it’s not the same, but I think that even without living together, you can get a sense of what they’re really like. This might help ease his mind a little.

I can sort of see his PoV, but there is a lot at stake here and he needs to know that you’re not willing to sell until you know you’ll be together. Ask him if he’ll sell his place and move in with you if he’s hell bent on living together before engagement. See if he likes it when the tables are turned.

Post # 6
6221 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

I agree with the PP that my first thought was that you should move in with him before you sell the house, and then if it doesn’t work out, you can just move back into your house

Post # 7
1992 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Perhaps you can move in with him, and just rent your house out.  Definitely don’t sell it without a ring.

Post # 8
9181 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

If you’re in your 30s and have never lived with a guy, I think it’s a good idea to try before getting engaged.  Sometimes people just really aren’t compatible for melding home lives, especially if one or both of you are very set in your ways at home.  It will probably be awesome and fun, but it’s worth testing it out.

I agree with PP, can one of you try to rent your house and move in with the other?  I know that’s kind of a pain, but so is trying to convince your SO of something he/she doesn’t want to do… this seems like the best compromise.

Post # 9
4035 posts
Honey bee

@Kacie209:  Hmm, this a tough situation. I understand the apprehension about both owning homes, but at some point one person will have to sell if you do get married. I am a little confused though, if you are thinking it might not “work out” after six months of living together, would it matter whether or not you two are not-engaged/engaged/married? Are you uncertain about the relationship?

I only ask because I would not move in with someone until I was ready to be serious and was certain about my relationship. That may or may not mean marriage in the immediate future, but it is having a level of certainty that you are compatible and are willing to work on things if they come up.

I have lived with my Fiance for 4 years, we have been together for 9 years, but we didn’t get engaged until last August. Why did I move in with him before engagement? Because we had been together for 5 years and our relationship had a level of stability, committment and I was comfortable making the change.

Ultimately, if you are not comfortable with it and want to be engaged before you move in/sell your home, then I would stick with that. If he is unwilling to propose before you move in, then you two will have to talk and compromise. Clearly, if it is going to work out, a compromise will have to happen. That’s what a relatoinship is all about.

Post # 10
822 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

This is my personal opinion, and I’m a very independent self-supporting kind of gal.  If you first get engaged or married and then find out 6 months down the road that you guys don’t match for whatever reason you’ll still end up potentially being divorced but it might be longer down the road, maybe with children which will be even messier, and definately more costly.  If however you strongly believe in not living together before being married then this is your belief and you should not compromise on it.  

I also do feel that if you do move in you shouldn’t have to sell your house, rent it out or you can ask him to move in with you, who knows he might just agree.  Finally, even if you guys do decide to move in together you are not playing house, both of you have conciously decided on this and are working together as a unit, that is not playing house.  Playing house is when 2 people get togeather but don’t want to act as a unit.  After dating close to 2 years, in my opinion, moving in will not all of a sudden make things less special or make you/him more prone to breaking up, unless you guys discover something in the relationship which is a no-dealer type of situation (cheating, racist, porn use depending on your opinion of it).  

My experience: I’ve lived with my fiance (prior to being engaged) for about 4 years and moving in has done nothing other than strenghten our relationship.  In fact, the reason why I decided this was because I saw how some people act when you actually aren’t living with them, all sweet and wonderful when you see them but once you live with them all the skeletons come out of the closet.  I didn’t want to be a divorce statistic and I thought this was the best way for me to ensure I would be with the right person.  I won’t like, I told him I would not accept an engagement in less than 3-4 years for precisely that reason.  We both entered that agreement with the understanding that both of us were looking for a real long-term relationship which would lead to marriage and kids.  Even at that stage we made a firm comitment that if we encountered things which made us concerned/doubt the relationship, as long as it was not a deal-breaker, we would work things out and get a councelor involved before calling it quits.  If you even consider moving in, I would make those terms as well and see if he is willing to work with them as well.

Post # 11
153 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2016 - Mexico

Why are you in a rush to sell your place when you move in with him? Renting out your place sounds like a better option in case things don’t work out. Or if renting isn’t an option, you could tell him that after you move in together you’re more comfortable keeping finances the same as before (you paying your mortgage, him paying his), but after an engagement you’d be comfortable selling your place and sharing expenses with him on his place. Then you’d know he wants you to move in because he really does want to take the next step in your relationship and not just for convenience and to save money.

Living together before the engagement is probably a smart idea to determine true compatibility. I always had a more traditional stance and wanted to wait until engagement before living with someone I’m dating (which I’ve never done either), but I’ve kind of evolved on that and think it is smart. My boyfriend of a year and I aren’t at a point where either of us want to take that step yet, but we’ve talked about how it’ll work in the future and he knows I wouldn’t need a ring/engagement right away, but I would need a verbal commitment that I’m “the one” before I’d move into his place. We both own our places too and no way would I be selling mine before an actual engagement.

Post # 12
5177 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2010

@bmo88:  +1

@Ettalie:  +1

I lived with my husband before engagement, but I was very comfortable with it (indeed, it was a bit of a must for me!) and I was/we were already committed to each other. We did not anticipate we would have issues living together, and we didn’t, but having both lived with previous partners we also knew that it was an important step for us both before engagement as love is not enough to guarantee you should be together!

 would not have married him without this step, period. 

It was never playing house. We were partners, who made a choice to live together. Our living together was not “less serious” than being married is, as we were committed. 

You need to decide what feels right for you, but he is not wrong for feeling differently. It just may mean you are at a stalemate if you can’t compromise on something together that satisfies both of you. Whatever you choose, he is not MAKING you do anything by the way.

Post # 13
322 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I think you should ask him why moving in together first is so I port ant. I am like you, and felt the same way. However when my Fiance described the terrible ‘father’ he had growing up, I can understand. His whole reasoning was to get to know me as fully as possible, so that he could be sure of who I was. His drive for this, to be sure that I would be a good mother, swayed me. We have been living together for just about a year, and I am so glad. My Fiance proposed about 7 months after we moved in together. 

Also, I told him that I would not move in with someone I was 100% about. From the day we moved in together, I was ready to say ‘I do’

Post # 14
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

An engagement ring doesn’t magically make you compatible when living together. You either are or you aren’t! I would try doing a short term lease on your place – maybe 6 months or something – instead of selling it, move in with him (or vice versa) and take the leap.

Post # 15
77 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I would suggest something that would help give you both an even more solid financial foundation for your relationship. (If you’re already both homeowners, you already have a pretty good financial situation, obviously, but why not become actually wealthy over time? Money’s only “not a concern” when you have a lot of it; if you don’t, it certainly IS a concern.)

Move in, and rent the other house out.

Don’t sell it, even after you get married.

Keep it; rent it out.

Bank the money from the rent into two accounts; one for buying more rental property, and one for upkeep on said properties; I’d say 50/30/20. (The 20 being your profits. Have fun!)

When you have neough money to buy another house in that account – and only that account, not taking any of your own finances as assets in the matter – buy one, flat out, pay cash, no loan. 

Use some of the “upkeep” money to fix it up, then rent that one out too, under the same 50/30/20 structure.

Repeat until you own enough rental properties / have enough rental income that you need to hire a property manager to keep track of it so it doesn’t consume your life.

Then your actual personal involvement is reduced to spot checks to make sure your property manager isn’t screwing things up. You can change the account structure at that point to something like 35/30/20/15, and pay the property manager out of the 20%.

You never want to bring the upkeep funds below 30%, though; you never know when someone will need a refrigerator, for example.

With a properly structured rental agreement, and some sane limitations – like, for example, hiring a property manager once you get about 20 properties – you can have a residual, and gradually increasing, income stream from rentals for the rest of your life, and actual property and businesses, with associated revenue, to leave to your kids.

And all because you DIDN’T sell off your house.


I realize this only addresses part of OP’s question, and that only tangentially, but @Kacie209:  your situation is one in which you might be able to play this “problem” into a huge financial benefit to you, your Fiance, and your family. Don’t pass it up, lol! There are quite a few of us who wish we had similar circumstances.

Post # 16
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Prior to marriage my Darling Husband and I had our own homes.  We lived in the same county but about 20 minutes apart.  Neither of us had been married before and I had never lived with any one…he had.  I was adamant that I wouldn’t live with him until I knew we were to be married. 

I would never give up my home or expect him to give up his home.  He spent every weekend at my home so that gave us a chance to really get to know one another.  As it turned out we really never got the chance to live together fulltime before we got married because we were only engaged for 3 months.

That’s what worked for us.  I would always give the advice to not move in together until you have that commitment or you’re both well aware that marriage is the ultimate outcome if that’s what you want.

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