Ask Abbie: Boyfriend wants to move in, girlfriend hesitant

Published 11:39 am Saturday, June 22, 2013

Question: My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost two years. He really wants me to move in with him but I’ve made it clear that I want to get married first. He says he is not ready to get married. He wants to see how we get along living together first. Up to this point I have stood my ground but I am feeling tempted to move in. I do like his thoughts about combining expenses to save money. Do you think it is a bad idea for me to give it a shot?

Hesitant girlfriend

Answer: The U.S. Census bureau reports that living together prior to getting married can increase the chance of getting divorced by as much as 40%. It also reveals there is one divorce every 13 seconds, 6,646 divorces per day, which translates to 46,523 divorces per week. This evidence alone gives merit for further consideration. Will you be adding fuel to the already smoldering hot embers that are surrounding your future joint residence and waiting to burst into flame and engulf it by attempting to move in before they have been extinguished?

First, evaluate the motivation behind each of your positions on the matter by asking yourself the following questions. Is the reason you want to get married before moving in together a result of your belief system or is it a manipulative tactic to get a ring on your finger? Do you rely on him for emotional security and stability? Is the reason he wants to live together before getting married a result of his inability to be apart from you for a single waking moment or is it a matter of convenience? Does he fear commitment? If any of the answers to these questions point to manipulation, convenience, dependency, or fear you should not move in together prior to marriage because none of them can provide your relationship’s foundation with the strength and stability it needs to keep it standing through any natural or human-made disaster.

Next, try to think of any instance where your belief system is diametrically opposed to his. Generally if the two of you have difficulty finding resolution on one major issue, you will also have difficulty finding resolution on many more as well. Take in to consideration how your difference in beliefs, if there is any, may apply in the future when you have to address major relationship topics such as family planning, money matters, and child rearing. Use the past as the best predictor of the future.

Now consider his view on long-term commitment. If you sense any fear on his part, it is likely due to either a discrepancy in how interested you are in each other or to a deep down unresolved personal issue. In either case, it will be very important for you to take note of any unsettling nudges you receive about how he treats your family and friends or how your family and friends feel about him. In addition, look for any warning signs that the overall progress your relationship may be slowing or sitting still. Each of these warning signs are trying to let you know he is not ready to give all of himself to you until he addresses and resolves his own issues. Never pressure him to take action on this matter or any other. You will only receive negative long-term results.

A marriage must be 100% of each partner giving 100% of himself to the other. Any partner who asks the other to compromise his beliefs, unless those beliefs are causing direct harm to him or to someone else, is not only giving a compromised percent of himself but also directly attacking his partner’s spirit through an unwillingness to accept him for who he is. A person’s spirit is the innermost well of life and should never be asked by another person to change.

If you and your boyfriend are meant to be together forever, you will be regardless of whether you move in together now or after you are married. Any burning embers, weaknesses, you identify within your relationship and then work together through open communication and joint commitment to extinguish are opportunities to strengthen your relationship. Your current time of questioning and decision-making is a large pile of embers for the two of you to extinguish in order to beat the gloomy divorce statistics. There are already too many burn victims. Don’t become another.

 Abbie Long is a Franklin native and advice columnist for The Tidewater News. Submit your questions to