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I Was in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship, and I Didn't Even Realize It

You Asked: Why Won't He Move in With Me?

You Asked: Why Won't He Move in With Me?

Dear Sugar,

I have been dating my boyfriend for just over two years now and we live just a few blocks away from each other. I live with my 5-year-old daughter, and he lives with his younger brother. My daughter adores him, and he just loves her. Last year I asked him to move in with us but he said he wasn't ready. This year I have asked him three times, and he still says that he's still not ready. I have to move out of my apartment due to financial issues — I can only stay if I get a co-signer. I've explained the situation to him, and that I need him to move in with me, but he still won't budge.

I told him that I need him to show me that we are moving forward in our relationship, but still nothing has changed. In fact, I do everything for him. He's at my house five days a week, which is why I don't understand why he won't take this next step. Part of me thinks that he's just not willing to commit to me and that I should move on, but my other half just loves him so much and knows what a good person he is. What should I do?

— Move in Confusion Cara

To see DearSugar's answer


Dear Move in Confusion Cara,

Moving in with your boyfriend due to financial necessity verses moving in with him as a step forward in your relationship are two very different things. In fact, while I understand the stress that money can have, in my opinion, economic stress is not always the greatest reason to take a step forward in a relationship — especially when your boyfriend is telling you directly that he's just not ready.

Furthermore, you don't want to have to depend on your boyfriend for financial security. Downgrade your apartment and see if he can watch your daughter a few hours during the week while you pick up some extra work hours. It can also be very helpful to sit down and plan a formal budget and see where you can cut expenditures.

As to why he's not ready, I can't say. I do know that many men take moving in together as an extremely serious step in a relationship, and don't want to do it lightheartedly or without a lot of thought. The good news is that your boyfriend is being honest with you, and I don't think his attitude is necessarily an indicator of not being committed. Obviously, however, this is something that's really bothering you. Ask him what he sees as the future of your relationship. Does he picture himself moving in with you eventually? When does he see that happening? Sometimes just a simple talk can do wonders.


Join The Conversation
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
Honestly I think he's not ready to commit to you because of your daughter. He may love you and her but he's probably not ready to be a father. I think that you've got to realize he doesn't want to be with you when he won't move in when you need him to. That is just inconsiderate beyond belief.
yadiet yadiet 9 years
hello red flag!! He is practically letting you know that he is not ready for such a HUGE commitment. And when I say commitment, I do not mean relationship wise. Your practically asking him to co-sign for you. What if the relationship doens't work out/ then what. Does he stay with half of your apartment? I don't believe you should take that plunge. You should move out to somewhere else. honestly. good luck.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
ditto on what everyone once else says, focus on yourself and your child and getting financially stable...not on this guy.....and use protection
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I have to agree with the posts I have read nobody wants to move in with someone because they need help financially you need to stop asking him. This has nothing to do with moving forward in your relationship you are clearly stressed over your finances and as other's have stated you need to fix it not your boyfriend.
crystahl crystahl 9 years
i'm in agreement with everyone else!!
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 9 years
Dear is right: Do not ever move in with a boyfriend out of convenience. TRUST ME. I have done it three times. You should only move in with someone if you are both ready and wan tot take that next step in your relationship. Pushing him to do it is only going to make him start to resent you. Do your own thing. He will respect you for that.
lightheaded lightheaded 9 years
I agree, It really shouldnt be about finances at all. I would be more concerned that hes not ready to commit yet, perhaps you should talk to him about that more than the move-in stuff?
melizzle melizzle 9 years
Ditto everyone. I don't understand the idea of moving a man in when you have a child. It's a poor example, particularly if things don't work out between you and him. She'll never learn the value of commitment.
7kimba7 7kimba7 9 years
I agree with everyone else here... just because he may love you and your daughter doesn't mean he's ready for an insta-family. and I believe that if he were to move in, that's what he would get. I admire him for telling you that he isn't ready instead of coming up with a million bulls-- excuses. You should let this go and downgrade your apartment.
wiciltd wiciltd 9 years
I agree with what everyone said I can tell you from personal experience with a mother who moved guys in and out of my life very often when I was little that it's a bit of a mindfuck to the kid.. Especially if she's used to having him there and then you break up.. The child suffers too..Especially since they are generally too little to understand why that person left.. So you cannot just think of yourself - you have to think of your child too.. So make a budget, find somewhere more affordable to live.. and deal... Because if you push this guy into doing something that he is not ready for... he is just going to resent you plain and simple
ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 9 years
What puzzles/concerns me is that it doesn't sound like he ever told you his reasons for not feeling ready to move in together. So far, the respondents to the post have left some viable reasons but we don't know for sure. The problem that you two have really sound like they are mostly communication problems. It doesn't seem like you are giving him a lot of room to talk openly about moving in together or where he thinks this is going, you're sort of just pushing really hard for "the next step". And the girls are right, in this situation "the next step" really jumps a couple of steps due to the kids involved. TALK TO HIM. Don't make it about the living situation.
sunshowers83 sunshowers83 9 years
Totally agree with everyone else. You can't simplify the issue and make it all about practicality (finances) or make it just about moving in together like any regular couple. If he moves in, he's going to become an instant daddy. No matter if you promise that you won't expect him to take on the responsibility, he's going to feel like an asshole if he ignores your daughter when begging him to play with her or if he snoozes peacefully while you're up all night when your daughter has the flu. It's a lot to ask.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
the truth is, you got a kid. i'm sure she's precious (i'm more partial to girls) BUT he don't want to be a makeshift daddy. moving in with you is like getting married . . .an instant family. it's like skipping a few steps. the point is, he says he's NOT ready. so get over it. aside from that; you need to gain some independence. some womanhood. you got responsibilities, and you need to handle them. don't start looking for a man to help you out. . .especially when it comes to helping you with YOUR daughter. you need to show her that when things get rough, you can handle life and persevere. teach her how to be a woman when she grows up. downgrade in your living situation or find a roommate. understand that if you find a roommate, it's probably best to find another single mom, preferably a close friend or relative. because not everyone is gonna be cool with your 5 year old having fits, or sneaking the roommie's cookies. what happens when your daughter does something bad? are they allowed to discipline her??? there is a lot of rules and baggage when it comes to children - even the good ones. so stop pressuring your man, and get your money right.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
the part that says I "love him so much and know what a good person he is" is forgetting that that has nothing to do with him not giving you what you want. the part that says "he's just not willing to commit to me and that I should move on", that's the part you should listen to for the future you want.
maybeimnot maybeimnot 9 years
Take my advise!!! DO NOT MOVE IN FOR FINANCIAL REASONS. I am going through a very messy move out that is only because we moved in too early to save us money. It is not pretty. We were great at first, but do not force it. it is the worst thing you can do. And, what sucks more is when you want to break up with someone, it means leaving them homeless. You are opening yourself and your daughter to have major major issues (potentially). It is a decision that needs to be made jointly, and I hope you can respect him, and respect the potentially negative future enough to let it make sense.
jedimasterarmi jedimasterarmi 9 years
jedimasterarmi jedimasterarmi 9 years
i agree with everyone and don't think what's been repeated needs to be repeated. goodluck, though. :)
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
I agree with everybody else above. Either get a roommate, downgrade, or find a family member who is willing to co-sign. I was going to say your boyfriend can co-sign as well but still live in his own place, but I have a feeling you'll pressure him once his name is on the lease to move in. You shouldn't have to financially depend on a guy. I know with the current economy and rising prices in gas and food and just about everything else, things can get expensive. How about moving in with your parents (is that even an option?). Worry more about your financial situation and your daughter than the situation with your guy. Don't get him involved in your financial mess just so that you can keep him close!
sarah_bellum sarah_bellum 9 years
I have to say, I admire your boyfriend for sticking to his guns even with all the pressure you've put on him. He's right to be cautious of moving in with a ready-made family. Also, moving in together isn't really that great an indication of commitment anyways, especially if you haven't talked about what happens when the lease expires. Have you talked about marriage? I think moving a man into your daughter's home who won't be there permanently is incredibly selfish and will damage her in the long run. Your first priority needs to be her for the next 13 years, not your relationship.
shernic82 shernic82 9 years
Maybe he's nervous about taking on such a large role in your daughter's life. Maybe he is unsure if your relationship will last, and he doesn't want to pull himself out of your daughter's life and make things hard on all of you if that were to happen. By having his own place, he doesn't have to deal with these issues. I can understand how he feels, it is a huge step to become basically a "parent" in the house with the child. As long as he's not living there, he doesn't have that responsibility. Basically, I agree with the others.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
I think it's wrong to try and force him to move in with you. You have a kid to think about, worry about that. Financial issues or not, he has no responsibilities towards you, so stop trying to use that as a way to make him move in with you. Have you even talked on a more serious level? Seems like you haven't if you're desperately trying to force this man to move in with you.
TheMissus TheMissus 9 years
Seroiusly... Listen to DearSugar... You need to be able to support yourself financially without the help of your boyfriend. And if that means down-grading apartments, then that is what you have to do. Wouldn't you rather your boyfriend move in with you when he's ready, and not because you need him to financially? And if you keep nagging him (3 times this year so far? Sheesh!), he's never gonna want to. Plus, don't you want to set a good example for your daughter and show her that women don't NEED men... That they can provode for themselves?
petite42 petite42 9 years
He's not just committing to you, he's committing to your 5-year-old. He's not ready. For your child's sake, don't force him. That child needs him to be committed far more than you do. Start looking for a roommate, or another apartment. Think about your child FIRST, your relationship second. The relationship will take care of itself in the proper manner (whether it lasts or not) - provided you put your child first.
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