(Closed) Playing the role of housewife without the ring…..

posted 7 years ago in Waiting
Post # 17
9948 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Great topic, and you of course aren’t the first modern woman to have to face this dilemma.

My BEST ADVICE as an old-timer… is to keep your wits about you, and ONLY do / give in this realationship as much as you are prepared to lose

Because ultimately living together has no guarantees that an Engagement or Wedding will happen

(Sad but true.. and far too many posts here on WBee and the WAITING BOARD that reflect that)

However, at the same time, I am certainly one who believes that couples should live together before they are married… a healthy relationship will make it thru any bumps along the way… and an unhealthy one will just get sicker over time… until someone pulls the plug.

Breaking up after living together is hard… but not nearly as bad as getting a Divorce.  (This said by someone who’s trotted down that unfortunate road)

This is also why you have to keep your wits about you… go in with your eyes open.  By asking this Question it does look like you are using your head to think, and not just leaning hard on your heart only

I am a big believer that you should be real about living with someone… but at the same time, you shouldn’t take on the role of Wife… cause you aren’t the wife… you are the Girlfriend.

There should be a distinct difference between Wife and Girlfriend, IMO

You might want to read a my reply (# 113) in a previous topic that goes into detail on that issue = http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/so-acting-like-a-wife-without-being-a-wife/page/3#axzz2dS4W49e1

And if you have any Questions you can ask here, or drop me a PM


Post # 18
7365 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Make your expectations clear, if you see moving in as a precursor to getting engaged speak up now. Also, make sure you have sufficent savings to be able to move out ASAP if need be.

Post # 19
8434 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

View original reply
@Stranger516:  Why don’t you guys have a conversation about it?  If you’re planning on being married, you should be able to discuss everything.

Post # 20
3716 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

@Stranger516:  You could be my best friend writing this. At 23 she moved in with her boyfriend of 6 years and was eagerly waiting a ring while playing the role of wife and awesome girlfriend. She never pressured him, but was sick of waiting. Eventually she started bringing it up more and more (they were at 8 years at this point) and then they broke up because he wasn’t ready to marry her.


That’s not to say it won’t happen to you, but I am very skeptical of a guy who will not make firm plans with his girlfriend. Every couple I know heading to the alter (or already there) has/had a timeline in place and mutually agreed upon. Engagements never came as a surprise. Every relationship where the guy who didn’t want to discuss it because it would ruin the surprise has ended up with no ring and lots of bitter live in girlfriends. You don’t want to become ‘that girl’ (the bitter one everytime someone gets a ring).


Please talk about this before you move in. I am not saying you have to get a ring before moving in, but you do need to be clear on where you stand– is he thinking 1 year, 5 years, or more? Is his timeline okay with yours? 

ETA: Please read TTR’s post. It is great advice on the difference between being a great live in girlfriend and a great wife. I know when we moved in (we were engaged and had been for 6 months), I did not play wife. We did not combine assets and make sure we had clear financial boundries and chores. We weren’t roommates with benefits, but I wasn’t his wife and wasn’t going to play that role yet. After marriage, I took on more of that role, but I think it is vital to live and love the stage you are in, not constantly be auditioning for a new role.

Post # 21
9948 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

View original reply
@Pollywog: —> 100% this

Every girl wanting to be married, should have a LIFE PLAN talk with her guy… she needs to lay her cards on the table on what she sees happening WHEN her life…

Example… I plan to finish school next year, get a good job, work for awhile, save up, would like to be married by the time I’m x years old, and start having a family by x.

This is NOT AN ULTIMATUM… this is sharing one’s goals and dreams and plans about life.

A guy should be able to do the same thing.  If he isn’t willing to share, then he isn’t on the same page.

And if he isn’t on the same page, then you know…

No pressure, no tantrums, no ultimatums, no disappointment… two people going in the same direction will be on the same wave length…

You cannot change somene’s mind, you can cannot convince, beg, or trick someone into marrying you… that never works.  That isn’t genuine, and comes out in the wash eventually (usually with a very bad ending / awful divorce… be it a year later or 10 with kids etc)

A man has to make up his own mind about when he falls in love, and is ready to marry.  As a woman you have to decide if the timeline is right for you (and the man).

Too many gals think that there is only one man in the world for them… BUT if you aren’t on the same wave length in life, then perhaps he isn’t the right man.  And the time you waste on the wrong man, means the right man cannot find you.

Don’t be one of those girls (wake up at 25, 30, or 35, and still not on the road to where you want your life plan to go)

You can find past posts here on Life Plans, there are plenty of them, just use the WeddingBee Search Box.

Hope this helps,


Post # 22
708 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I moved in with my SO after 3 years of dating and it has been wonderful. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We’re not engaged yet, either, but I know it’s coming in the next couple of months. Sometimes I do feel like we’re “playing house” and that he’s getting all of the benefits of being married without actually “putting a ring on it,” but I really don’t think I would want to marry someone without living with them first. Or even get engaged. You learn a lot about the other person, yourself and your relationship when you live together – we didn’t have any problems transitioning from living with roommates to living together, but a lot of couples do.

Before you move in, let him know that you’re doing this (moving in) as a first step towards your future. If he can’t reciprocate those feelings and articulate that engagement and marriage is in your near future, then maybe this isn’t the right relationship for you. You’re still young, (I’m 24 and have been dating my SO for almost the same amount of time) so there’s no rush! Enjoy living together – it’s a lot of fun. In the meantime, don’t drive yourself crazy and remember to keep your own life: hang out with friends, keep up any hobbies, etc. 

I bet the ring will come quicker than you think!

Post # 23
7547 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

I think it’s great to live together before marriage but it doesn’t sound like that’s what you want. Why are you guys moving in if you don’t feel comfortable? Just because you’ve been together for a long time isn’t a reason…you should want to move in.

Also “we’ll get married some day” would not be an acceptable answer for me. This is your future you’re talking about. Are you just supposed to wait around until he feels like asking you to marry him? To me that says he isn’t thinking seriously about marriage and/or doesn’t respect your feelings. If you two don’t feel comfortable talking about it, how are you going to deal with problems in the future? 


Post # 24
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

i would be happy to live together before marriage but personally would not do it without engagement first. My view is that if a man cant be committed enough to be engaged then how is he committed enough to join finances,chores and all the other pressures (and joys) of sharing one anothers lives on a daily basis

i lived with my former SO for a couple months without engagement (which wasnt really what i wanted) and ended up feeling resentful. That wasnt the reason for the break up but it was something i vowed i would not do again

only you and your SO know your relationship,i think at the very least you deserve to know after 6 years where you two are heading

good luck


Post # 25
1040 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@Stranger516:  My fella and I lived together for almost 2 years before we got engaged 🙂

think of it as a test drive 😉

Post # 26
2624 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

If he’s not willing to discuss a timeline of when you two will be engaged and married, I WOULD NOT MOVE IN WITH HIM. Sounds like a trick to me. He wants to live together but won’t give you any insight on what he plans to do or what will happen after you play “house”.

Post # 27
452 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

View original reply
@Pollywog:  That’s not to say it won’t happen to you, but I am very skeptical of a guy who will not make firm plans with his girlfriend. Every couple I know heading to the alter (or already there) has/had a timeline in place and mutually agreed upon. Engagements never came as a surprise. Every relationship where the guy who didn’t want to discuss it because it would ruin the surprise has ended up with no ring and lots of bitter live in girlfriends. You don’t want to become ‘that girl’ (the bitter one everytime someone gets a ring)

Couldnt have said it better myself!!! Especially the bolded!  Make your intentions and expectations clear OP!

Post # 28
2529 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

You sound like you’re resigning yourself to a place (being a “housewife”) where you don’t want to be… for a guy you’re not even excited about anymore. :/

I know it’s been 6 years, but maybe it’s time to do some soul-searching for yourself, by yourself and find out what you really want in your life. :/

Post # 29
1516 posts
Bumble bee

Given everything you wrote and how you feel, do not move in with him.  I know it feels exciting and great thinking about living with your SO, and “playing house” is definitely a lot of fun in the beginning.  But if you want the ring and marriage sooner rather than who knows when in the future, stand by your dreams and do not move in with him yet.

Trust your intuition.  If you feel he will drag his feet about getting engaged, then moving in with him will definitely make him comfortable & lazy and when men feel this way, they won’t feel the urgency to propose when he already has everything he wants.  There are so many women who are so miserable because their men won’t propose to them, and yet they’re living together and she’s stuck playing “wife” and feel resentful.  If you don’t want this in your life, then stand by what you truly desire – a ring & marriage and don’t compromise yourself in a way that will only hurt you in the end.

Post # 30
1926 posts
Buzzing bee

I’m in the same exact situation. I’ve brought up the phrase “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” and he thinks I’m being ridiculous. I did his laundry even before we lived together and I feel like once I’m officially moved in (tomorrow!) he’s gotten what he wanted and now I have no more leverage as to a proposal. 

Post # 31
1667 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Just have a frank talk about it. Say that you realize he wants to keep any looming engagement a surprise, but that you don’t want to move in without the understanding that it is a step towards engagement. You could even discuss together as a couple a timeline that is comfortable for both of you. For example, engaged within 6 months, or a year, or even two years of moving in. I don’t get couples who don’t discuss it before merging their lives. 

I have a friend who is leaving her boyfriend of 5 years right now. They have been living together for 3. She assumed when he asked her to move in it was “the next step”, she discovered this year that he is unsure if he ever wants marriage, and he was surprised she thought he did. 

Don’t assume, just discuss!

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