(Closed) Ye Olde “House before ring debate”……..

posted 10 years ago in Waiting
Post # 17
2300 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - An amazing non-profit retreat

I love our house, but it has been hard (look how many posts I have on WB!) I know it was the practical thing to do to pay for a house rather than a wedding, but now it’s been nearly a year since we moved in, and I am still waiting.

I think you should just tell him how important getting married is to you, and how he could use some of the down payment for a ring so at least you’re engaged when you’re buying. Keep in mind though, a wedding is only one day, a house is a home for you both, you’d own it, get to do what you want with it. It’s so much bigger than an event.

Post # 18
54 posts
Worker bee


Yeah, I’m the same way.  What will probably end up happening is that your emotions will show, he’ll sense that you’re feeling upset, and he’ll ask what’s wrong.  Voila!  Organic discussion.  Just don’t say “I’m fine” when he asks!  haha.  

Post # 19
2402 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

@Bostongrl25: We bought a house first, and then ring came a year later

the same thing happened to my Future Sister-In-Law. they discussed it beforehand and in her case, she chose the house. he bought her a ring one year later.

I’m sorry, but I think houses are way more important than rings. if I insiseted on being engaged first, I’d happily take a “stunt” ring if it meant I could have a house, and then get a “real” ring later.

besides, being engaged does not help you out legally, if that’s what you are worried about.  if you feel super strong about being committed before you buy, you need to be actually married before the papers for the house are signed.

Post # 20
1200 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

@Wonderwoman217: If I were in your shoes I would feel the exact same way! I’d feel the same about not wanting to look for houses without at least being engaged (preferably married), and the same about not wanting to approach the topic for fear that it would ruin the mood.

I would want to bring it up with my bf if we were in your situation, but I would feel like presenting him with my “stance” would be too much like an ultimatum! I would hate for him to feel like I was pressuring him. It’s almost like you put him b/w a rock and a hard place…because it’s like you KNOW he wants the house, but you’re telling him he CAN’T have it until he does what you say. Which brings me to my next point… I would feel like I was being selfish by putting something I wanted before something he wanted. Those two things (a house and a ring/engagement) are equally important for both of you, and technically there’s no right or wrong way to do it. It’s just a matter of preference/compromise.

Despite all of this though….I would still make myself find a way to tell him what I want. I would probably carefully think through how to put it in the most caring, sweet, and judicious way. Insead of…”There will be no house hunting without an engagement”, I would probably say something along the lines of… “I would love to look for a house together. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, and I want for the rest of our lives to start as soon as possible. Since you will be in a better financial position next year, what do you think about getting engaged, then focusing on buying a house as an engaged couple?! Since a ring is a much smaller expense, I figure we can just get that out of the way first. Then once we move into our house we can take our time after that to save and plan a wedding!” I would also add, “The ring, the house, and our wedding will come out of OUR expenses. We are in this together, and I would never ask you to get me something that we could not both handle financially. It is about the commitment, not the ring and how much it costs.”

If he’s considering doing something as serious as buying a house with you then I’m assuming he’s planning to marry you one day too. This frames a house and marriage as a packaged deal…and shows that they go hand in hand.  And it not only puts him at ease about the expense of the ring, but moves the pressure away from the engagement and closer to the marriage….which in his mind is a few years out (assuming you’re OK with a long engagement) and thus no pressure at all! Theoretically 🙂

Good luck!

Post # 23
89 posts
Worker bee

@Reign14: See, I don’t see it as a “rock and a hard place” situation. He doesn’t have to decide between a house and a wedding. He has to decide between the commitment to get married and the house — those two aren’t mutually exclusive. I mean, there’s nothing them from a courthouse wedding and buying a house.

I suspect if he went to her and said, “I want to marry you. And I want to buy a house with you. What do you say to going to the clerk’s office, getting married now, and then doing a vow renewal when we have money? That way we can do both,” that WonderWoman wouldn’t argue. I could be wrong… but I suspect it’s the marriage, not the wedding, that’s the key goal.

Post # 24
2402 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

@Wonderwoman217: yeah, no matter what, the situation is sucky. I know how you feel– my engagement was going to be 2 years long (due to circumstance beyond my control) and we didn’t want to wait that long to get married!  so, we eloped to vegas and got married by elvis. the “public” wedding is nearly 1 year later (in august), LOL!

I know eloping isn’t the best option for everyone. for us, it was what we wanted.

 I hope you get the wedding that you want. good luck!

Post # 25
2689 posts
Sugar bee

@janie-janie: besides, being engaged does not help you out legally, if that’s what you are worried about.

I so agree! That’s why I said something about papers with a lawyer above if they aren’t married.

Post # 28
26 posts
  • Wedding: October 2012

I can’t see it as demanding to desire formal commitment before acquiring large joint assets. I’m sure he’ll understand. I think you really need to tell him before you get any further in the looking process with him assuming you’re totally on board… I mean, you’re not stopping him from buying on his own, right?

No need for a speech – just “Honey, I don’t feel comfortable buying a house together until we’re engaged or married. You/we can totally look though, if you want.”

Post # 29
2402 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

I agree with what  @LadyTegan: said.  I’d also go ahead and add “Plus, it could potentially help our chances of a better loan if we were married.” and be prepared to show him some evidence if he asks why.

if he wants to buy this house together with you, then I think it’s ok to bring this up, it all sounds like you are just being practical.

if he does not feel ready to be engaged right now, then maybe tell him that in order to proceed with house buying, you want some kind of a contract so that you are each protected as single people. it would benefit you both.

Post # 30
567 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

We had the same issue. We had been together almost 5 years, everything was great,  and I don’t know what the hold up was. Granted, we were not living together before we got the house, I still refused to live in the same house with him without being engaged. He didn’t want to live alone. He bought the house and a week before we moved in he put a ring on it.

I think what you have prepared to say to him sounds perfect. It sounds well-thought out and not nagging. I think you have a perfectly reasonable request. Fingers crossed that he listens!!!

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