Post # 1
SO and I have been together for 4 years. We are both 20. For the last year, I’ve been living with him and his parents since it is a closer commute for school and work. Lately, we’ve been talking more of the future, and last night we had a heated discussion.
SO wants to get a place together before getting engaged, because he wants to see how it would be to live together. That is a very fair request. But, I have always wanted to be engaged prior to getting a place with someone, since I don’t want to just be playing house. I want the commitment. He says he couldn’t commit until he knows the ins and the outs of how we live together. I mentioned how we have been living together for a year, and he said it isn’t the same (which I can see being true.)
I don’t see any wrong in his way in thinking, but I still have my feelings regarding getting a place together while you’re only dating. I strongly believe in compromise though, so I’m curious to hear the experiences of fellow Bees with this issue.
Can anyone offer personal experiences or stories? Any advice? What would you do in my situation?
Post # 3
I’m biased because I’ve lived with my partner for the past 4 years (dated 2 years prior) and we aren’t engaged yet. It was a logical next step for us, and had a lot to do with outside factors (like college) as well. I was also 19 at the time, and did not want to be engaged for many, many years.
Personally, I don’t think it matters whether or not you are engaged first- if you’re both ready to take the step of getting a place together, then take that step. Life isn’t linear where one thing has to happen before another- take the steps that you are ready to take together. If you are both ready to move together, move.
It will be very different living with him on your own, and I think it is very responsible to give it a trial run. It’s much easier to break up with a bf/gf than it is to break an engagement.
Post # 4
I lived with my Fiance before we were engaged. I think living together really opened our eyes and it showed that we were (thankfully!) able to get along. I’m in the same boat as @VivienMarcheline, it really was the next logical step, and after that we now have a townhouse together.
Being engaged or not shouldn’t matter, but you will really want to test the waters of living together as I think it can make or break some couples.
Post # 5
I lived with my fiancee for 3 years before we got engaged. We are still together 2 yrs. later and madly in live. It has been great living with him, even though we are not married. We share the responsibility of having our pets and we share the bill payments. He is also very good at helping me with chores and I am very good at making meals. This has worked out really great for both of us. My insurance is the only reason we are not married – it will go up $300 a month minimum if we get married, really is not fair.
Post # 6
@Meglin: You’re very young so it is kinda hard to tell how serious he is. It’s natural he wouldn’t want to commit at age 20, though. I sure wasn’t ready.
I would go and get a place of your own first, or with roommates. I know you probably hate when people mention your age, but 20 is seriously VERY young. I lived at home til I was 23 and finished my degree. I then moved out and lived on my own for a while.
He isn’t ready to commit, which again is normal.. but you also have a right not to “play house”. I moved in with an ex when I was 23 or 24 and it was a disaster. I thought he moved in because we were going to marry. He just moved in because it was convenient. We broke up soon after. You have to be on the same page. I vowed to never move in with a guy until i got engaged (after that experience), but I am now living with my SO. The difference is that I’m older now (27) and before we moved in, we said that this would lead to marriage. We’ve had many talks about it. It’s just a more mature relationship in general than my last one was.
If you ask your guy for a timeline like “ok, I will move in with you if we’re engaged in two years” then I think that still may not work. At 22, he still may not be ready, and you’ll be resentful and frustrated. That’s why I would suggest getting a place on your own for a while, and just have fun being young.
Post # 7
@Meglin: I told FH I wouldn’t live with him before we were engaged, and I stuck to that. However, I think if you two both want to live together, then there’s nothing wrong with moving in to your own place before he proposes. If you’re worried that he’ll get too comfortable, you can say something to the effect of, “I do want to live together, but since we’ve already been together for a long time, I’d like for us to at least be engaged within the next (year, year and a half, whatever you’re comfortable with).” I think that’s a fair compromise.
Post # 8
It’s a good experience to live with your SO without engagement. You get to work on issues without the pressure.
My friend recently got married before having lived with her husband, and she made me a list of things to do before marriage – getting him to do the dishes regularly, etc. According to her, men won’t change once they have the security of marriage. While I don’t think this is always true, I have heard that from a number of people…
You’re still young, enjoy simply living together for a while! Unless he’s a total jerk, your SO is not going to simply disappear and leave you with a lease.
Post # 9
For us, living together was a committment (we moved in together VERY early at around 6 months of dating!) and we got engaged after 7 years. Looking back on those years, I think we’ve demonstrated our strength as a couple because. while we never came close to it, either of us could have walked out at any time! We CHOSE to be together every single day and I think that’s special. When we moved in together we discussed a lot of “what ifs” and came to agree on many important issues (money, household stuff, dealing with our families, a plan for the future). Our wedding is going to be a celebration of the choice we made.
Post # 10
FH and I didn’t move in together until after we were engaged. We had planned on moving in before that because we knew we were serious, but we just never could make it work logically up until last year. I don’t see anything wrong with moving in without being engaged. Someone else says there’s a lot less pressure that way, and I agree. I also agree with s2bmrscook. If you are ok moving in with him, you should tell him that you’re willing to compromise as long as an engagement is coming within x amount of time.
Post # 11
I moved in with my Darling Husband before we were married. As someone who was raised to NOT do this, I highly advocate it XD
Post # 12
If I were in your situation, I would not get a place together before getting engaged. That’s your position and I think it’s an excellent one.
If you two weren’t already living together, he would have a good point about wanting to make sure you’re compatible before getting engaged. But you live together already! How could you possibly be less compatible without his parents hanging around than you are already? That makes no sense to me.
I got a place with my boyfriend and we are not engaged, so I have no reason to tell you not to. Difference is, I wanted to do that and you don’t, so don’t do it, simple as that!
Compromise is important but I really don’t understand his side of this issue, and that’s coming from someone who is happily living with an SO with no immediate engagement prospects.
Stick to your principles. In my experience doing that makes me happier in the long run.
Post # 13
I lived with my Fiance for over a year before we got engaged, and couldn’t be happier about it. We moved to a new city together, rented for 6 months, and then bought a home together, all before getting engaged. We have been together for 7 years (since we were 17), and honestly, marriage won’t really change anything for us at this point. I wanted to know that we could live together harmoniously before we made the commitment to get married, and we actually get along so much better when we are living under the same roof. I’m with your SO on this one.
Post # 14
I lived with my fiance before we were engaged, but I knew we were headed towards marriage. Also, we were much older than you. I probably wouldn’t have lived with someone if I was in my early 20s, but that’s just me.
You’ve been living together for a year, even if not totally alone. Your fiance should basically know by now how you are together. It’s fair that you want more commitment before getting your own place together – not necessarily an engagement, but that you see and feel that you are heading in the right direction.
Post # 15
@Meglin: I have been with my Fiance for over a decade. We started dating just before I turned 18. We moved in together after college, around 23. We didn’t get engaged until a year ago. Also keep in mind:
1. We were not “playing house,” we were building our lives together. We had a real place, real furniture (not necessarily nice stuff), we paid our own bills, cooked our own food and were growing with each other.
2. I knew our relationship was serious and the committment was there, so I didn’t need to be engaged before living with him.
So I guess if I were you I would consider a few things. If you already live together for convenience (i.e., shorter communte) without a ring, then why do you have to have the ring to get your own place?
You two are young, plain and simple. He is probably not ready for engagement/marriage, which is fine. Honestly, until you two are supporting yourselves on your own (i.e., not living with parents) then holding off engagement is probably a good idea.
The decision is clearly yours. If you are not comfortable moving somewhere with him without engagement, then you may need to live on your own for a while, but I would not suggest pressuring him to propose.
Post # 16
I think living together before marriage is often a good idea. I’ve been living with SO for about 2 years, and it was a big adjustment! I’m glad we have this period to work on things before we take the next big step.