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You Asked: Is He Actually Committed?

Dear Sugar,

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

To see DearSugar's answer,


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.


Join The Conversation
pumpkin81 pumpkin81 8 years
I agree with DearSugar, talk to him about what his/your expectations are before you consider moving in with him. Have a "where do you see this going?" conversation. I'm surprised it hasn't come up already. Then I would ask yourself if you want to live with him or not. I wouldn't rush into it because you are worried you will miss him/break up if he moves. One hour is not so far away. Also, you want to move in because you *want* to and you are both ready, not out of fear or insecurity. If you do decide to move in and he decides to buy a house, I would NOT buy half the house or half the furniture if you are just living together. What will do you do if you split up? It sounds like he wants to buy a house anyway so let him take care of it - pay him rent and split utilities/groceries or however you want to work it out, but don't just give him a pile of cash you may never see again. I would also have a clear discussion about what both your expectations are for cleaning and cooking and stuff - remember, he's not just your boyfriend, he'd also be your roommate so you want to know how that stuff is going to work in advance. But if you don't want to live with him before being more serious, definitely don't do it just to hold onto him. There's nothing wrong with living with someone before marriage but there's also nothing wrong with not wanting to do that. There are advantages to having the dating phase be more about dates and romance then splitting costs and laundry. If you would feel he was using you for money and housekeeping (whether or not that is his intention), then definitely DON'T do it. You don't want to resent each other. Good luck!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i have to agree that 30 minutes is really nothing when you think about it. my fiance and i were at least that far and when you look at how much time you waste doing other things, it's nothing. i think that you should voice your concern with moving in and let him know that you were raised to believe a certain thing. given that you've been dating for so long, chances are he'll understand and you'll get that committment that you're looking for. just have faith that things will work out. you're both at an age where you're ready to settle down if that's what you want and sometimes having a little distance isn't a bad thing to put things into perspective.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
I would NEVER marry a man before living with him. It's just asking for disaster. You need to learn the quirks of his day to day life before you get married or you'll be in for a rude awakening. That being said, I don't think you should buy a house with him either because one of you gets the house if you break up and there really is no way to divide the assets unless you're married. I would say it's fine if you move in but not before having a talk with him about the future and marriage. I also suggest that he buys the house and you rent from him or vice versa. That way it's clear that one person owns the house in the event of a breakup. Or if you put it in both of your names you need to have some kind of agreement. I think your best bet would be to rent a place together for a while and then decide later what your next step is whether it be marriage or buying a house together.
bransugar79 bransugar79 8 years
I lived with my husband befoer we got married, but only because I had to move from the other side of the country and couldn't afford my own place at the time. I was never the kind of person who imagined ending up in that situation as I was brought up to believe that you shouldn't live with anyone until you are married. I think that we did work out a lot of the bugs of living together but the truth is that if we had waited until we got married we still would have worked them out. I think that the idea that living with someone helps you decide is a little off. if you love someone and are committed to them your marriage works. If you are still in the mind set that if he leaves the toilet seat up or leaves wet towels on the floor you will be out the door then you shouldn't be getting married anyway. I don't think the high divorce rate has anything to do with not knowing what you're getting when you live together. If people really took marriage as seriously as they do some other things then more marriages would survive. That said if you don't want to move in with him don't. But you really need to have a talk about what your relationship is and where it's going if you have been together for 2 years and you are afraid to even bring the subject up. Don't do anythign you aren't comfortable with but take a step back and be realistic about your relationship.
The-Drunk-Lady The-Drunk-Lady 8 years
I have a guy friend who has/still moves a gf in, with no talk of marriage. He's done this many, many times. There have been times he lives with them for only a month. One day I asked him why he moves all these women in. He says he does this to see if they are really compatible. If they are, he might marry them. I laughed, then asked when will he be installing the revolving front door. My friend is a serial monogamist with obvious commitment issues. He usually finds some reason to get rid of them. You've been together two years, that's long enough for you to bring up marriage. If he's not ready, explain your view and ask him to respect it. I'd also respect how he feels. I wouldn't get into a fight over it. Then add, that a half hour is not a big deal. Stick to your beliefs though. Depending on how the talk goes, you can then decide if you want to be his gf or breakup. Remember you get to choose what's best for you.
bluestar bluestar 8 years
You should talk to him about it. If you are not going into it with the same end result in mind (marriage) then you are going to be disappointed. Lots of women make the mistake of moving in with someone thinking that marriage is just around the corner, when the man is not thinking in that direction at all and end up breaking up. You just need to be clear with him about what both of your intentions are and where you see the relationship heading.
bchicgrl bchicgrl 8 years
I think every couple should live together before they get married or even engaged for that matter, definitely get to know his living habits so you can determine whether you both can go the distance. There's nothing like moving into a new house just married and after a few months realize your having issues sharing space.
lily3484 lily3484 8 years
My boyfriend and I moved in together over the summer. I had my hesitations at first but after much discussion about how we were going to go about it, it seemed like the best decision for us. This is a serious step in a relationship and to me, is almost more important than a marriage certificate. As some others have mentioned, moving in together/marriage is not all loves and doves. The begining can be tough. My bf are still adjusting to one another. Its understandable that your values are coming into play. I would evaluate how important it is to you to be married first. From a first hand experience, I am glad that we took this step first. When marriage comes, we will be in a place to enjoy that time rather than adjusting to the whole living together thing too. Good luck to you. Oh and if you have to drive a half hour to one another...not so bad!
MissJules5x MissJules5x 8 years
I think you just need to talk to him. the fact that he asked you to go with him even though the distance isn't that great is a sign that he's ready for more. just to make sure you are both on the same page just tell him how you feel.
Sugasuga29 Sugasuga29 8 years
Statistics also show that you are 26% more likely to wind up getting a divorce if you life with your spouse before you were married...left that out before!
Sugasuga29 Sugasuga29 8 years
I have to disagree with Berlin. You cannot put a time limit on how long a couple should date before they discuss marriage. I know a couple that knew each other for 4 weeks before they were married, and they were married for 47 years-till he passed away. I also know a couple that dated for 9 years, got married, and were divorced in 4 years. Each couple is unique, and often marriages end in divorce because people expect it to be "fun" every second and they aren't truly committed. Marriage is for life.
carak carak 8 years
after i broke up with my ex (we had been together 5 years and lived together for 1 year) i vowed that i would never move in with a boy unless i had a ring on my finger. here i am a few years later & i'm living with a boy again. i was never hesitant to move in with him because our relationship is completely different. i think living with someone before marriage is a great idea because it's a big pain to get divorced, all i'd have to do is move out & find my own place. if your boyfriend buys the house and wants you to move in, i don't see a problem with that since you wouldn't be on the mortgage so if you discover that you two do not work well living together, then it would be easier for you to leave. if he wants you to buy a house together, i would definitely want a ring and a commitment, as long as it wasn't a 'forced' proposal.
Berlin Berlin 8 years
Sounds foolish to be thinking marriage after only 2 years, unless you're planning an early divorce:) You both are young and in this era it is very common to live with each other beforehand. Many couples live together first and then find out (before taking the step to marriage!!) that it just won't work and then they can freely break up, instead of going through a divorce over something that was inevitable. I have lived with several boyfriends and am SO happy that I did b/c i know that it wasn't right. I know am living with my current boyfriend of almost 4 years and we are seldom speaking marriage b/c both of us want to put it off until we are in our 30s. Why the rush to get married? Why does moving in together have to have anything to do with a permanent commitment? Enjoy the different stages to learn about each other or just get a grip and deal with him moving a mere hour away. You suggested that you move with him and he agrees and you're disappointed that he isn't proposing marriage? Seriously?
northofhere northofhere 8 years
Why have you been with someone this long if you can't even talk to him about these things?
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
Can I just add- it's absolutely NUTS to enter into the financial arrangement of buying a house together without being engaged or married!! I'm out thousands of dollars just from my breakup - please talk to people before you do this.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
No - absolutely don't move in if you have ANY doubts. I did, and I regretted it after 2 years. We shouldn't have done it. I'm the same - I needed a stronger commitment than that before moving in, and I ignored my feelings. To each their own, but I just got out of a long live-in relationship where I waited for a ring for years. It was the wrong choice and I'll never live with *anyone* again until there's a ring on my finger. There's just something different about a marital commitment. Take it from someone who's been there. 30 mins. away is nothing - preserve your independence while you can. If anything, it'll give your relationship a good test.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
I think you're exaggerating. 30 to an hour away is not on the opposite coast, hell, it's the same state.
Vsugar Vsugar 8 years
I have to tell you, I think that learning to live with someone before you have the commitment of marriage is a good idea. GOOD IDEA. I have lived with someone who I then broke up with, and, admittedly, it was not fun when we broke up. But then it was over, and despite the complications involved, we both moved on, and it was for the best. I also lived with my new husband (for less than 2 weeks!!) for 2 years before we were married, and it was GREAT. I'm so glad we did that. Just sharing a home, learning to negotiate with each other, getting used to the daily stuff that goes along with living together, really let us know if we COULD be happy being married. I'm still new at this, but I think that marriage is about a lot of things, and I think that happy marriages are really about mutual respect in the home, and about a lot more than just *twinkle* LOVE *twinkle*. Its about getting along, its about quelling arguments without creating new ones, and its about holding and building the respect of your partner so that they continue to admire you, respect you, and (come on) WANT you. One good piece of advice if you decide to move in together before getting The Ring: I had this talk with my husband when he asked me to move in with him. I said, "I don't want to live with you like a roommate who sleeps in the same bed and has sex with you." I told him that if I was going to live with him before being married that I wanted to have a joint checking account, that I wanted to have an agreement before we moved in together what percentage of each person's income would go into that checking account, and what our budget was. We set a clear budget that included rent, utilities, groceries, and some incidentals that were also clearly shared expenses. Then we sat down with a calculator, and we determined (because he made more money than me) what percentage of each person's income was needed to cover those costs. We talked about what debt each of us had, how much money each of us needed to cover our individual expenses (student loans, etc). Basically, we made an agreement that we were both on board with before we ever signed a lease, and then we stuck to it - so money was never an issue. The other details of living together (putting the toilet seat down - him, putting wet towels on the bed - me), kind of worked themselves out, and we realized that we were able to be patient with each other, kind to each other, have FUN with each other, and really LOVED having a home together. And eventually, we realized that we really wanted to have a family together in a home that we built together. Learning all that without the pressure of planning a wedding and being married was incredibly fun and wonderful. Now we are married and we are easy together, we've got each other figured out, we know each other's foibles, and we really FEEL like family. It's wonderful.
higgydt4 higgydt4 8 years
It's only 30 minutes away! Consider yourself lucky. My boyfriend and I once had to live a few states apart for a few months for my job. Other people have loved ones in Iraq.... 30 minutes is not a big deal.
K-is-For-Kait K-is-For-Kait 8 years
You definitely seem to be assuming that if a man suggests a woman lives with him, it's only for the benefits-- sex, splitting costs, etc. False! My bf and I have lived together for years and I assure you that it teaches you a lot about your relationship and can be a great step toward a long-term relationship. Your boyfriend is not the one questioning the basis or evolution of your relationship, you are. So you really have to think about want you want in the relationship and talk to him.
CoMMember13630786602261 CoMMember13630786602261 8 years
I agree with Dearsugar. And would just like to add that living with someone before marriage can be a wonderful thing. I have lived with 2 boyfriends in the past and I am soooo glad I lived with them before marrying them! It gave me the opportunity to realize how wrong they were for me. It is very important to make sure you can live with someonebefore making the lifelong commitment....IMHO. My current BF and I live about 30 minutes away from eachother. Its really not as bad as it may seem!
CYL CYL 8 years
I agree you with need to talk to him. You are making too many assumptions....tons of people live together before getting married. The question is whether are you comfortable with it..and if you are not you need to tell him why and have a discussion with him...not just assume he won't marry you and isn;t going to make a commitment.. And I live 40 mins drive from my bf...its no big deal.
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