Post # 1
I’ve been lurking/reading for a while, but haven’t posted yet. Mr. Raven and I have been together “officially” for almost 1.5 yrs but dated for about a year on/off before that (he wanted to be committed; I needed “me” time after several back-to-back relationships). We’re both in our early 30s with decent professional jobs. I promised myself, after one failed attempt several years ago where I walked away from an almost-engagement with a live-in boyfriend, that I’d never live with a man again unless I had “a ring and a date.” Yet, today we are going to sign a lease on an apartment together…without a ring. I am very excited and hopeful but also nervous. He knows this. We communicate really well and openly and we’ve talked very honestly about our desires for marriage (to each other, soon) and are both there. We talk about the logistics of what kind of marriage we want and have started nailing down how we’re going to combine finances, deal with debt (we both have a small amount) etc. We’re on the same page about kids (when/how many/etc), have similiar views on spirituality, ideals, morals, priorities, etc, and he asked my dad’s permission for my hand over Christmas break. Dad said yes.
I’ve had a few breakdowns because of my perceived breaking of this promise I made to myself that Mr. Raven has handled very well, and when I asked him recently when this was going to *really* happen and offered a few potential dates, he said “definitely by July 1.” He has been upfront with me about not yet having enough money saved to get me the ring I’d like (custom setting and a ~1ct diamond), but said that engagement is “just a formality at this point” and that he’s “totally there” in his heart…just needs a little more time to save. He even jokingly asked me to marry him and told me to switch my everyday right-handed ring to my left ring finger when we were looking for apartments, to make us more appealing to potential landlords. 🙂 I trust him fully, but am nervous because he also said, last December, that he’d like to get married in 2011, which clearly is not happening. I’ve brought this up, and it seems like he would have liked that but just didn’t realize how much time you really need to plan a wedding.
I guess I’m just looking for a little support from any gals who have moved in with their men with the expectation that an engagement is to follow very shortly afterward. Did it work out for you? I think I am OK with making this decision because, like I said above, I trust him fully and know he wants to marry me. But I’m having a hard time not getting down on myself for not being “strong” enough to not move in before we’re engaged (I’ve suggested him doing it with a cigar band or something like that, but he’s very traditional and said he really wants to have the actual ring). But I know marriage is all about compromises and maybe this is just the first of many….hmmm…
Sorry this is so long and thanks for reading. It’s really wonderful to “meet” you all–you’re such strong and intelligent women and I am very hopeful about joining your community. 🙂
Post # 3
I suspect that you’ll find a lot of differing experiences, making it hard to sort through. I can tell you tales of friends from both sides of the fence. My best suggestions are:
1. Make sure you really are ok living together before engagement. Think back to why you made the promise to yourself. Are all of those reasons still valid? If so, is there any new reason to not wait that you didn’t think of back then? Is it significant enough to outweigh the other factors?
2. Have a clear timeline set out and plans for what you do if it doesn’t happen. You don’t need to tell him the latter, but be clear regarding timing and make sure he truly agrees with you.
3. Relax, don’t focus so much on timing that you can’t enjoy yourself and your relationship! (aka don’t tank it by being a b!tch while waiting because you are impatient)
Post # 4
If you are clear that he will be able to save up enough money for the ring and purchase it by July 1, I don’t see the problem. But if I were you, considering the promises you made to yourself, I would not sign a lease until I was engaged. Where are you living now? July 1 is less than three months away… why not just stay where you are until then? If your leases are up, most places with let you do a month to month for a few months.
Post # 5
i have been living with my BOYFRIEND for well over a year and i had assumed that i would be engaged very shortly after but that’s not the case (even though i know its coming) and it has been very frustrating and when we did our first leasing agreement i did not put my name on the lease i just put myself as a resident. we did a new leasing agreement after 13 months and i still didn’t have a ring and i re signed my name as a resident because i didnt want to get myself into that situation if anything ever happened. but my advice is to not sign the lease and let him do it alone 🙂
Post # 6
can you not sign the lease but live with him? have the lease in his name until you get a ring on your finger?
Post # 7
You got to try to remain patient even though it’s tough. It will happen if he’s already made all those hints and everything is falling into place. I can totally understand that he just wants to buy you the kind of ring that you want and trust me, a good ring that you’re going to love is worth waiting for just like the perfect match is worth waiting for.
My Fiance and I moved in together before we got engaged so we could spend more time together. He was always over my place anyway so he was wasting money on his apartment.
I think you guys are making the right decision in moving in together so it’s a step in the right direction. You truly get to know a person much better after you’ve lived with them so I think it’s an important step when considering marriage.
My Fiance moved in with me last year in October and ended up proposing to me on Valentine’s Day this year so it actually happened much sooner than I thought it would. I think it certainly helped that we communicated pretty often about marriage and our future so he knew how important marriage was to me. I wish you lots of luck!
Post # 8
A lot of Bees have already posted great advice on how to handle this situation personally. I have a professional background in property management and wanted to want to add my two cents.
I strongly recommend that you review your lease for stipulations in case one of you needs to leave the apartment (just in case). I manage several apartment buildings in DC, and have had a few instances where a couple had to live together after a break up, because they could not get out of the lease.
I don’t mean to be a “Debbie Downer”, I just want you to make sure you can get out with little or no penalty, if necessary.
Post # 9
I have a different perspective… we decided to buy a house before getting engaged because it was more important for us to set ourselves up financially. We have been living together for over 2 years now without a ring but it doesn’t bother me that much because up until about 3 months ago it was a financial reason that we weren’t engaged. Now we are just saving up for the engagement / wedding.
It comes down to trust and if you believe that this will happen. Everything you have posted is very positive so I would just go with your instincts.
Post # 10
Thank you so much for your feedback, everyone. We’re going to see the new place again tonight, and I’m going to go with my heart on this one. I especially appreciate all of the advice, and have considered asking just him to be on the lease, but don’t feel like that’s a very good demonstration of trust. Almost feels like a pre-nup to the apartment lease signing or something like that. All I feel like I can do at this point is take him at his word, especially because the reality is that I want to be with this man as my partner in life, even if we’re not engaged EXACTLY when I want to be.
Thanks again ladies!
Post # 11
I was in a similar pickle last december. I had told myself that I was done with the cohabitation thing until there was a ring on my finger.
I’ll spare you the long story of how we actucally managed to move in together and just say that we dated for almost two years and then had to carry on long-distance for about another year. I needed to move from the place I was living in at the time and we were both ready to move forward with our relationship. I found a great little apartment and signed the lease since he wasn’t going to move in for another 6 months or so. Prior to moving in I made it very clear to him that I needed a commitment and I wasn’t going to deal with another roommate. He told me not to worry and that he had something very special planned in a few months. Sure enough, he proposed about 2 months later.
I remember ( and being very nervous about it) asking my mom what she thought about moving in together before we were engaged and her exact words were “would you ever purchase a car without test driving it first?”. Logically, I knew she was right. I needed to know what I was getting myself into first. I was sort of angry with myself because I had promised myself that I wouldn’t move in with anybody until I had a ring but I think it was a very very good decision because it only made me more certain.
Post # 12
I would also say that if you are moving in together, then you definitely want to be on the lease with him. If worst came to pass, you don’t want to have to be looking immediately for a new place because only he has the right to be there! It may be awkward to be there together, but at least you have time. I was not on the lease at one place with an ex-bf and it always bothered me – when we moved, I made to get on the lease at the new place and felt more comfortable about it.
Post # 13
Welcome- since you believe it is coming go on with your plans (you already signed the lease) and if a ring isn’t present by lease end- move out and think about your next step. Good luck- I hope it happens soon.
Post # 14
We signed the lease! Afterwards, when we went out to dinner to celebrate, he told me very sincerely that he really appreciated my trusting him and that he knew what a big deal it was for me to sign without being engaged. I was grateful for his acknowledgment.
So now the goal is to keep my mouth shut until July 1. I’ll let ya know how that goes! 😉
Post # 15
I think the big difference between you and some of the others who commented here are that they “assumed” they would be getting engaged soon, and you have certifiably discussed and fully communicated on timelines, wishes, intents, and have a plan moving forward. There’s a big difference between poor communication based on assumptions, and what you guys have been smart enough to lay out for the future. I think you’ll be fine!! Congrats on the lease signing!
Post # 16
Being in my 30s myself, and in a relatively new relationship (just over 2 years), I went through similar thoughts last year when SO and I moved in together. And (to spare you the whole story) we are getting engaged very soon (the ring has been ordered)!
I read your story and it seems to me that you guys will be fine! It’s obvious that you guys are open with each other, and you’re making the commitment to live together, etc.
Congrats on the lease and moving in!! 🙂