My boyfriend and I moved in together recently. We didn’t plan on doing so for at least another year but the opportunity arose so we took it. As happy as I am to be sharing an apartment with him, I kinda wish we’d gotten engaged first.
I lived with a boyfriend before and I promised myself I wouldn’t again unless I was engaged. I moved in with my previous boyfriend and it was pretty much the beginning of the end of our relationship. He wasn’t as serious about me as he led me to believe and I wasted an incredible amount of time and money in that relationship. After that awful experience, I promised myself that before I moved in with a guy again, I would be engaged because engagement signifies a tangible commitment. And yet, here we are…
I know he’s committed, but being engaged would make me feel more secure. My boyfriend ended up moving to the city that I moved to by sheer luck (he found a job sooner than we originally anticipated) but he also spent tens of thousands of dollars in moving costs to be with me. No one spends that much guap to move their life to be with someone if they’re not committed and I know that. I still want to be engaged. Engagement will give me a new level of security that I still don’t have even though he moved mountains to be with me. I know I sound ungrateful but I can’t help it.
Admittedly, I’m influenced by what’s happening in other people’s relationships. Most of my close friends got engaged last year and are in the process of starting the next chapter of their lives. They’re planning weddings, laying foundations for their own families, and building marriages. I’m not a super traditional person and I try to make room in my life for non-traditional ways of living, especially if they’re tied to patriarchal norms. Still, there’s something about marriage that I appreciate and want in my own life. Living with my long-term boyfriend is great and I do think that we can be long-term partners without a marriage contract, but it would make me feel better to have the law behind our relationship and whatever we choose to build together.
Everyone assumes that it’s the next step but I’m unsure. Whenever I talk about it with my friends, they all tell me not to stress. Of course he’s going to ask me to marry him, they tell me, and they’re confident that it will happen soon. I wish I felt as sure as my friends!
We haven’t discussed marriage yet. Some women don’t want to know if they are going to be proposed to. I don’t want to know dates and times of course, but I would like to know that it is on my boyfriend’s mind. We’ve talked super long-term about our tentative future plans but in order to get to those plans, I’d like to be married first. We can’t skip steps! Maybe he thinks that it’s implied in our conversations, I can’t really tell, but if it’s on the horizon, I really have no idea.
I don’t want to give off the vibe that I’m OK with just being his live-in girlfriend. Some guys are totally content with having a live-in girlfriend—so content that they have no sense of urgency to make that girlfriend a fiancee and then a wife. I don’t want to be in that situation. I want him to treat me as a part of his future, not just his present.
I also don’t want to put pressure on him to pop the question before he’s ready. It’s a total delicate balance too. I don’t want to pressure him into doing something he’s not ready to do but I also want to make it clear that I’m not OK just being his girlfriend forever. I’d love to strike a balance between the two but I don’t know how.
I know it could be years and that’s super frustrating. My boyfriend and I took a while to define the relationship even though we were hooking up for months. He’s the type to really take his time with things. One the one hand, I do love that he’s very considered and thoughtful; on the other hand, I wish he would consider and think about putting a ring on my finger sooner rather than later.
I love living with him but I’m ready for that next step. I love our life together now. It’s easy, it feels right, and I’m happy that it all fell into place relatively effortlessly. Maybe that’s a sign that we should just take that next step. I think it is!
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