(Closed) Moving in before marriage? Why buy the cow…?

posted 7 years ago in Relationships
Post # 17
7976 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

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@Bebealways:  “Because the cow is AWESOME and one presumes there’s a lot more to her than milk! ;D” Awesome answer!

OP, you need to have a serious talk about where your relationship with your other half is going. You need to know what he wants from life in general. When I moved in with my Fiance, we had been together for a long time, discussed what we wanted from life, and I had no fears. As we had sat down together and worked out a financial plan for XYZ years in the future before living together, I also took the opportunity to raise a few issues with him.

I told him that, seeing as we were sharing our desires for the future, I would like to be a parent before I was X years old, and that if all things were well, I would like to get married within Y years. I asked him what his vision was, and he replied that he would also like to be a parent within Z years.

I don’t think that this was bunny boiling at all… we had been together for a long time, and it’s not as if I said that I wanted to get married within 6 months, or even 12 months, for example.

The problem here is the lack of communication. Men are not mind readers, so I would let him know what you are thinking honestly, and without any type of judgement, emotional language, or finger pointing. Ultimatums are not necessary… there is a big difference between an ultimatum and making oneself clear.

Post # 18
1180 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I don’t know any body who hasn’t lived together before getting married who is in their 30’s. I think you’ll be okay. Just let him know all of your concerns before moving in. Communication is extremely important!

Post # 19
1430 posts
Bumble bee

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@EffieTrinket:  +1 Totally agree.

Because you have a child and have to uproot both your lives to be with him I would 100% want to be sure we were getting married first. I would think of the children first in this situation and how it could negatively effect them having you all under 1 roof with out knowing for sure that it was a forever kind of situation.

This man has known you for 10-20 years. He should know well enough whether or not he wants to marry you by now. I see him dragging his feet if you move in with him.

Post # 20
4494 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

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@Bebealways:  +1. Completely agree.

I would discuss the marriage topic with him to be sure you’re on the same page, but I certainly don’t think a finger on your finger should be a pre-requisite for moving in together. Personally, I would never marry someone I didn’t live with first.

Post # 21
556 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I think what you are feeling is very normal. And my advice is for you to think and figure out what your “gut” it telling you.

Your situation is completly different then mine, since there are children in the picture, but I moved in with my boyfriend from 7 year, almost 2 years ago, and no ring on my finger. The thing is, most men like to stay confortable and are afraid to move from a place were they feel good, once I moved in I sarted to act like a wife and he started to feel confortable, ence the delay on the proposal, but we are younger then you (both 24) and have no children, so I think you can’t compare; 

If he says he wants you to move in, is a clear indicator that he can see you 2 together, or he wouldn’t let you get attached to his children and vice versa. But in my opinion, and since you have to change your life to comodate his needs, I would speak very cleary with him, something like: “I will move in, but you have to know that I’m expecting a ring on my finger in X amount of time if things went well between us” an let him know what you expect to happen and then hear him out.

I wish I’ve done that… so I wouldn’t have to hear him say : “I didn’t even think of that!” 1 year after I moved in.

Post # 22
11736 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

have an open discussion about him with it. This doesn’t have to include an ultimatum. I didn’t want to live together before my DH and I were engaged and he didn’t want to get engaged until we had lived together.  We compromised that I would move in under the assumption that we had to be engaged within 6 months.  He agreed to this, so it wasn’t an ultimatum, though there was a move out date physically written on the calendar.  It worked for us. 

This type of thing I have noticed really depends on the relationship and the individuals.  Some people I know move in never talking future and thinking they’ll get married and never do and the relationship ends. Others move in without talking marriage first and eventually they are engaged and married.  It just depends on what both of you want from the relationship and when – it’s important to be on the same page about it – and you can only figure out if you are by talking about it!

Post # 23
982 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

If you had only known each other for a year or two I could understand his position better. But really, after two decades knowing you, he still can’t ask you to marry him? I wouldn’t uproot my whole life just to make things easier for him. He needs to give a little and show some level of committment. As it is, you seem to be doing everything. How often do we hear from other bees that they’ve done everything their SO wants and he still won’t marry them?


But then, I am quite risk-averse.

Post # 24
1578 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Country Club

I read the other day that the average time for a couple to live together before a proposal is 22 months. If he is serious about settling down, I can see it coming shortly after moving in together. 


Also, I’m a firm believer that you need to live with your future spouse before deciding to get married. I know some people who’s marriages became strained after moving in together because it’s now “OUR” space and not just “MINE”. It’s hard to adjust and honestly there are some people who I know I wouldn’t be able to live with.

Post # 25
1497 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@weddingwannabee:  We have been very casually dating for over one decade actually closer to two.

You have been dating him for almost 20 years? I know living together helps people know each other better (FI and I lived together for 8 months), but he should know you well enough by now.

You both also have children. This is a big step not just for you, but your children as well. I would definitely want some kind of commitment.

It’s time for a good sit-down and talk. I know it’s not men’s favorite thing in the world to do, but he’s 39, he should be able to think about the future a little bit.




Post # 26
2375 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Why move in first?  Because loving someone doesn’t mean you can live with someone.  I truly believe that most of the problems of not getting married after you move in together are a direct result of not communicating BEFORE you move in together.  I made it very clear to my fiance that moving in was a step, but it was not the end goal for me.  It’s not an ultimatum, it’s a statement of fact.  If he’s not willing to provide a timeline, and you’re solidly attached to the idea of marriage, then you both may have to re-evaluate the relationship and your priorities. 

Post # 27
20 posts


I can understand your concern.  I think you both need to be on the same page before you move in together.  I think this article might be helpful to you.

The first link is an article on Sliding vs Deciding.  The second one is other bees thoughts on the article.

Basically, there are two ways of thinking before cohabitating.  1.) You decide to move in together as a clear step towards marriage and 2) you “slide” into living together. 



Moving in together is a BIG step and should definitely be discussed.

Post # 28
3625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I think every situation is different and cohabitation can be a natural step before marriage or it can be the stalemate. I lived together with DH way early on but both of us knew that we will get married and have children together. It was established early on and both of us are on board. Many of my friends also cohabitated with their SOs and they ended up married some time after.

However, there are some men that you know would use cohabitation as a stalemate. For example, one person we know moved in with her SO “to save money for a ring”. Well, they both made poor financial decisions and didn’t do all the right calculations and I don’t think they’re any closer to a ring than before (if anything, they are probably farther). This man also dated his previous SO without a proposal or anything for 10+ years.

All in all, I would trust your gut and see what that tells you. I recommend cohabitation for most people because I think it works out a lot of kinks prior to marriage (e.g. a lot of newlyweds that didn’t cohabitate fight over chores) but if both people are not on the same timeline and have the same sense of urgency about marriage, then it may not be a good idea.

Post # 30
1768 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 1997

@weddingwannabee: I  wouldn’t move in without a ring and a set wedding date especially as you have a child to consider and he has 2. A 39 y/o man never married and didn’t marry the mother (s) of his 2 children either. Doesn’t bode well for you. Plus you’ve been dating on and off for a decade you said. …

You said he talks about having children with you but not marriage. That’s his expectation, exactly like he had with prior women.

I am sorry hon, know this isn’t what you want to hear. Follow your gut, he won’t marry you, wouldn’t subject my child to another temporary relationship.

Post # 31
1722 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

You would know your boyfriend best, but the others are pointing out some disconcerting trends – we have a 39-year-old, never married man who has two children. Maybe this was intentional for whatever reason – maybe the kids were surprises. In the end, these could be possible indicators of his stance on marriage as a whole. He’s now sharing the same discussions with you, and it’s disconcerting to me that he’s never brought up marriage of his own accord – simply tells you, with a carrot dangling in your face, that he could see it at some point if living together goes well…

Don’t agree to that sort of situation. That’s not him making a commitment, that’s him giving you enough to sate you for now. Before I moved in with my husband 2 years ago, I was firm: I wanted it to lead to marriage. He reassured me that he felt the same and he wanted it to be a stepping stone toward marriage. We then both shared concrete timelines on when an engagement could or should happen if living together was going well. We both agreed that it was a year. And that was what happened.

Periodically after we moved in together, we would talk about whether or not we were still OK with that timeline.

Sit and talk with him. Does he have fears or reservations about marriage? Does he see any perks to getting married? If you can find that out, you have something to work on. But if he’s just going to do the flippant “If you want to get married…sure, maybe…” I think you have your answer, and you’re never going to be happy living in that kind of arrangement.


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