I’ve been in a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend for two years. (We were friends in high school ten years ago). Well, he’s finally finished his schooling and is moving in with me in May. We talk about getting married and have even looked at rings.
However, he doesn’t want to get married or engaged before we move in together. He says he wants to move here first and then start on the fun stuff. I feel like he’s “test-driving” me to see if I’m a good fit for him. I have a nine-year-old from a previous relationship and think it would be best to at least be engaged while living together.
What do you think? And thanks for your help.—Cautious Caroline
Dear Cautious Caroline,
I think it’s wonderful and exciting that your fella is moving to town; I know long-distance relationships can be very challenging. It will be good to have him near. As for your question, there’s no way to be certain whether or not your boyfriend is test-driving the situation, unless you ask him, he knows the answer, and can tell you.
While I don’t know if we can always trust our interpretation of someone else’s behavior, we can almost always trust our instincts. If I’m understanding your note properly, you’re concerned your boyfriend may not be fully committed to marriage just yet, and might consider living together more practice and deliberation about the relationship?
If you’re certain you want to marry him and to be engaged, Cautious Caroline, and if those are your priorities for yourself in this relationship, then living together before those things occur is not a good idea. I get many emails from women who are in living arrangements they chose as a kind of compromise, and the marriage horizon line is no closer. Is there a reason your boyfriend can’t find his own place when he moves to town, someplace near your home?
It could be a transition stage, making the small steps from long-distance relationship to a future together, in every sense of that word. And when he’s really ready to share everything with you and your daughter, he can buy that ring, make his proposal and make a home with you for good. How does that feel?
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