(Closed) Moving in before getting engaged…. is that all right?

posted 12 years ago in Waiting
Post # 32
749 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

And just to put everything out there – people break up even when they’re engaged. It can happen. And people divorce and it’s messy and painful to move out. The question is: is it right for you at this time? We all have to make a bet on somebody at some point. Is he worth it? It sounds like you want to live with him, you just feel bad about what you said previously to your family. Maybe we should talk about how you’re going to break the news to them :-).

Post # 33
6610 posts
Bee Keeper

Totally personal preference. I personally don’t believe in living together before I’m married, but that belief is just as valid as those who do think it’s okay.

My only caution would be to make sure you’re headed toward engagement and that moving in together doesn’t stall that. You sound really happy, and I want you to stay that way!

Post # 34
415 posts
Helper bee

I say, try it before you buy it. Both of my sister did and they’re happily married. Also, I think it’s rough when you first move in with each other so I’d rather get the “why won’t you just throw the laundry in the hamper!” fights out of the way.

However, both my SO and I have had move-ins and it didn’t work out. We discussed a moving in “prenup” who would get what, etc, (we bought all new furniture since he moved in from out of state…)  I think it’s a worthwhile discussion and it shows respect for each other. I wouldn’t want a move out to get ugly…

Also, before I moved in, I got a timeline on the ring.

Post # 35
191 posts
Blushing bee

I agree with the Bees that say, “do what’s best for you”. Case-in-point, we moved in after my current roomate moved to Chicago for a job promotion. I was worried what my parents would say, so I made it like, “Well, she moved and I needed someone to move in, and this made sense” – and we lived in apartments for a while. I told him how strongly I felt about being in a house and being engaged – low and behold, he proposed right before we moved into a house last December. I think you need to look at what’s the best option for you and feel it out!! And re: your family – they will support you if it makes you really, truely happy. Just be honest and if you think he’s “the one” – let them know. 🙂 That usually helps soften the blow.

Post # 36
90 posts
Worker bee

I lived with 2 BF’s before I met my BF now.  I think it’s a good experience and tells you alot about yourself.  I knew it wouldn’t work when I saw things going on in the house.  My BF and I met in January and I was moved in by March.  It just so happened that my roommate was selling the condo and I was getting the boot.  Instead of moving in with a total stranger or going back to my parents I moved in with the BF.  It has been just about 2 years so far and we are so glad we did it.  I say GO FOR IT!

Post # 37
3952 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Ok.  Here’s my take.

I would not move in with him.  Keep your promise to grandma.

I will however be moving in 2 mos before T and I get married (but will be very much engaged) and it’s due to the merging of our two households and houses..very tedious.

Why am I not a fan of it?  I have 3 friends who have moved in with bf’s and two of them broke up.  The other is still living with her bf (they’ve been together five years now) and she’s one of my two bff’s.  He loves her, treats her fabulously, gives here everything she could possible want except two things.  Marriage and a child and it’s silently killing her inside. He’s happy just as he is now.  And my heart breaks for her.  She’s too comfortable to break up with him, but still cannot say she is 100 percent at all happy and is wondering now (since she’s in her late 30s) if she made the right choice.  She knows my thoughts as I’ve urged her to end it with him for some time now.


Post # 38
509 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Of course, this is a personal decision. While I can see it making sense moving in with your boyfriend since you already are there all the time, I can also see the logical sense in having your own place “just in case.” Since you have lived with boyfriends before you know that living together doesn’t always lead to marriage, and you probably know how difficult it can be to start over again.

In my case, I DO believe in living together before marriage, however I am now leaning towards being engaged before moving in. I waited until marriage to move in with my XH and realized that was a HUGE mistake. You don’t truly know someone until you’ve lived with them.

But now, living with the Boy, with no proposal, at times I kind of wonder if it was the right decision. Sure, it’s easier for us because we can see each other all the time, and we’re saving money living together, but at the same time I wonder if that will delay taking the next step because there is no reason to push it since we already live together, KWIM?

I really don’t think moving in together because it’s “more convenient” or “saves money,” or even being together all the time is the right reason. I think people should move into together with the intention that this is a step towards a life time commitment. Of course that doesn’t mean that moving in will make a guy propose any sooner/later, but I can just see the logic in waiting until one has a proposal.

Ultimately, you have to do what is best for you. I think sometimes taking a step back from the romantic “but I’m so in love and we’re going to live happily ever after” feelings is the best way to make a decision.

Post # 39
20 posts
  • Wedding: August 2010

Maybe this is just because I live in New York (the land of crazy high rents), but ALL of my friends moved in with their boyfriends within a few months of dating, and all of them are now married or engaged (two have kids together). 

As for my boyfriend and I, we bought an apartment together two years ago and got engaged this June. 

I really think that the idea that guys won’t want to get married if you already live with them is both outdated and kind of insulting.  I think that the idea that men think “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” is basically fictional. I don’t know anyone who feels this way (and seriously- would you want to marry or date anyone who did?) and I think it reduces complicated human relationship into the plot of a bad sitcom. Marriage, family, and commitment is just as important to my male friends as it is to my female friends.

So basically what I’m saying is: move in with him if you want to.  It seems like you two care about each other.  You basically live there anyway. It makes sense.  I doubt it would have any negative impact on whether or not you get married.

Post # 40
5280 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2010

Hmmm I have lived with guys and it just depends on what day you ask me lol!! M and I live together but it wasn’t a conscious oh we should move in right now, it was more like I slept at his place almost EVERY DAY! So my place became infested with rodents when it got colder and we basically said hey let’s see if we can find a house.. and within a few weeks we moved in together.  before when i moved in with someone it felt forced almost as if i was trying to salvage a relationship.  with M it felt perfectly normal as in why AREN’T we moving in together.  i have nothing else to say about it except it felt normal… the first few months with the kids was hard.  lol I am glad we did it then because i would have been contemplating divorce if we were married lol!! both sets of kids were very accustomed to us being single parents and wowza’s is all i have to say!! oddly for us it was like okay we need to work through this so we can get on with our future.  now his kids are mine and my son is his so the only thing left is for us to get married and i think that will be happening within the next year (FAINT!!) OMG DID I JUST SAY THAT?!

Post # 41
1751 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

Girrrl, you don’t have to worry about it – you made the chicken! 🙂 I swear that works.

But really, it’s a crapshoot.  I’ve only ever lived with my fiance, and he proposed about 3 years into it.  Fine by me, that timeline was good for me too.  But it’s definitely a risk if you are ready now, b/c they will get comfortable, no doubt!  Though i am a fan of saving money, i would have to say that i’d stick with grandma.  And tell him honestly that is your reason. “I would love to move in with you – it does make a lot of sense!  But I made a promise to my grandmother that I would wait to move in with someone until after we got engaged or married.  I don’t want to rush you, though, so I will renew my lease.  ”  Then you can be cute and say “I’d rather find a subletter next year than make my grandma sad!”  If it’s on his mind, maybe he’ll consider asking, but either way I think he’d respect your decision and be thankful that you didn’t move in and then feel like you are demanding a proposal. 

Post # 42
946 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I will echo the other bees in saying that only you can truly judge whether or not this is the best thing for you to be doing. 

Case in point:  I moved in with my boyfriend in May; we got engaged in July after one year of dating.  However, when we moved in together, marriage was a regular topic of conversation with us.  We talked regularly about getting engaged, and we both were on the same page with regards to our committment to one another and to our relationship.

My friend, however, moved in with her boyfriend of two years around the same time.  She had given him the “I won’t move in with you without us being engaged” speech, but was in a very similar situation as yourself- she was pretty much living with her bf anyway, staying there every night, had promised her mom that she wouldn’t move in without getting engaged…. well, she obviously caved and moved in with him.  Her mom was disappointed at first but she got over it.  However… they are still not engaged, and there is definitely no ring on the horizon.  Long story short, they fight all the time and he does such sketchy stuff (like hitting on other girls) that most of us are pretty sure they are NEVER getting married. 

As long as you and your boyfriend are solid, things should be fine.  If this guy is truly the one for you, your family will be able to see that and understand as well hopefully. 

Post # 43
509 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

@Sirouhi: I don’t really think across the board it’s as cut and dry as “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.” When you’re 25, sure you can wait 5 years for a proposal, but if you’re 35 and want to have kids, maybe it’s more reasonable to want a proposal before moving in together.

From my perspective, it’s not about forcing someone in to marriage — it’s more about what a person can emotionally/mentally handle. If someone KNOWS they want to be married and engaged by “x” amount of time, moving in when they KNOW their partner is not ready for marriage may not be the best decision unless they are 100% okay with living together knowing it may NEVER lead to marriage.

In general, it seems like women are told to just sit back and wait to be proposed to. If you take control and say “no, I want to be engaged/married before I do x, y, or z” then it’s made to seem like you’re forcing a guy into something or somehow implying a guys don’t just want to marry women. For me, I just think of it as being realistic and knowing that someone can and cannot live with. However, I agree, moving in doesn’t mean that a proposal is less likely, but I still think that it has the potential to change the timeline of a proposal.

Funny story, I was listening to the radio this a.m. and a woman called in who had been with her boyfriend for 12 years. She called to ask the psychic on air whether her boyfriend was every going to marry her. They have two children together. The psychic told her that her boyfriend already feels like they’re married and wasn’t going to propse to him unless she basically left him. While this may not happen all the time, it does seem like it’s not uncommon either.

My two cents for what they’re worth. 🙂

Post # 44
288 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

i moved in with my boyfriend 4 years ago after dating for a year and a half. i always thought i’d be engaged by our 3rd year dating. i think that living together before marriage had a lot to do with not getting engaged quickly. that being said, i would never give up the experience of living with my boyfriend before marriage. he and i know each other so well now it’s crazy. we have learned each other’s little quirks and we’re ok with them. i have friends who weren’t living together before marriage and they fight all the time over petty little things. things that if they had lived together before they were married, they would have found out about each other. i feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to live with my boyfriend before we’re married. i know that when we do get married, i’m doing the right thing and the little things he does aren’t going to bother me.

Post # 45
147 posts
Blushing bee

I think the decision to move in together is a very personal one.  Relationships can end whether or not you are living together if that is your primary concern.  If you have underlying doubts about your relationship it would be better to find out now before you have to go through the added time and trouble of divorce and possibly children before finding out things about each other’s personalities that you may not like.

However, it seems like your primary concern is breaking your vow to your grandmother.  By keeping a separate apartment you are obeying the letter of your promise but not the spirit of it since you’re at your BFs place every night anyway.  Perhaps you should sit down with your BF and reemphasize your desire for marriage.  The two of you should have an honest discussion about both of your expectations for the relationship and discuss each other’s timelines for moving forward with your relationship (which might not be all that soon if you will be starting school soon).  At that point you can have a conversation with your parents/grandma and discuss your goals for the future.  Unless your family is super conservative/has religions reasons, they should be relieved that you have practical expectations about your future with your BF.

Personally, I was doing the same thing you are, spending nearly every night with my BF but “technically” keeping my room at my mom’s house.  However, we were sort of purposefully delaying the relationship because we both wanted to be finished with school before we committed to anything further.  At our 1 year anniversary, we bought a timeshare together.  Just after the two year anniversary, we were both finished with school and decided to start saving for a house which we finally bought just after our three year anniversary.  And this year he proposed on our four year anniversary.

So even though I was practically living with him since our 1 year anniversary, we didn’t make it official until we bought our house.  But for us owning property and establishing ourselves was more important than marriage since neither of us is particularly conservative or religious.  In the end that was what worked best for us, primarily because we are both brutally honest in discussing what we expect from each other and from our future.  You need to follow what works best for you.

Good luck!

Post # 46
5113 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2009 - Barr Mansion

Honestly, I really don’t see what the difference is between living togther after and before getting engaged, especially if you are planning on getting married.  It sounds like your rented room is only a formality and you’re wasting money.  I’d say move in with him if you feel ready to take the next step in your relationship.  If you have doubts about where the relationship is going, then don’t do it.

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