I've been with my boyfriend for two years and we live right next to each other — we've actually been neighbors for years. I am 24 and he is 29. The timing isn't certain, but he's been planning to move a half an hour to an hour away where it will be more convenient for work. Also, the areas he's looking at are much cheaper for buying a house. I really don't want to be away from him, so he suggested that I move with him, and we can get a house together. I really like the idea of living together, but the only problem is I believe that moving in together without the serious commitment of marriage has a lot of consequences.
We've never talked about marriage, but he does say that moving in together is the start of our life together. But why would he be willing to make a permanent commitment if all the privileges of marriage are there without any of the responsibilities? It makes me think he's not ready for the actual commitment of marriage, and I don't want to enter into some kind of pseudo-marriage situation. If I tell him this, I don't want it to sound like I’m suggesting or forcing marriage, but I also don't want him to think that I just don't want to live with him. Am I just being too paranoid and thinking too much into this? Should I go with the flow?
— Marriage and Moving Malia
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Dear Marriage and Moving Malia,
It sounds to me like you're making a lot of assumptions about your boyfriend's thoughts on marriage and commitment a tad prematurely. Your boyfriend is planning on buying a new home; it's natural that he would suggest you guys take this next step. Though he may have different views on living together before marriage, I wouldn't say he's looking to skip out of that commitment. At the same time, it's completely reasonable for you to feel that you need to be engaged before you move in together. But since this is something you both obviously have different viewpoints on, I'd say a conversation is necessary.
Tell him that you can't wait to live with him one day, but for you, a more long-term commitment has to be in place before taking that step. By simply opening up that subject, I think you'll learn much more about his true intentions than you will by guessing. With that said, seeing as how you've never discussed marriage before, and you still feel wary about bringing up the topic, it doesn't sound like you guys are there yet.
Thirty minutes away is nothing and honestly, an hour drive isn't that terrible either, especially if it means that your relationship can progress naturally, so how about just staying put at your own house for now? Once he's settled there, you guys can decide as a couple what your next step will be. Perhaps, you'll do the distance for a year, or maybe you'll decide to take the plunge and make the move, but give yourselves time no matter what.