I have been with my boyfriend for two and a half years. We were in the service together and when I got out of the army, I half expected him to propose, but he didn't so I went back to my hometown and he is still in Korea. We stay in touch and he tells me things like he wants to spend his life with me, grow old together, etc.
When he gets out of the army in November he plans to come to my hometown and live with me. The problem is I don't know if I want us to live together without being married first. I appreciate that he is taking a step towards committing to me, but if we move in now, why would he ask me to get married later? We have talked about marriage but he says we aren't ready. I don't know what to do or how to approach the situation without hurting his feelings or pushing him away. Help! — Going by the Book Beatrix
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Dear Going by the Book Beatrix —
I think a lot of women ask the same question you're posing — why buy the milk if you can have the cow for free — but that isn't to say that your boyfriend necessarily sees things that way. Some people feel that living together is like a trial run before marriage, to see if they are compatible with their partner before saying I do, and I happen to agree in most cases.
It's clear that you need to have a talk with your boyfriend about your future together, your concerns, and your living situation, but since he is still overseas, I would wait to have such a serious talk until he gets home. Since you have such different perspectives, take some time to really think about your options. In the meantime, rest assured that your boyfriend loves you and that he wants to spend his life with you, and who knows, your feelings might change about living together before marriage. Good luck!