Most couples live together, to save money and for convenience. Living together offers a real-life compatibility test, to boot! But here’s why you should think twice if you want that ring. From Love Him or Leave Him, But Don’t Get Stuck with the Tab.
My mother says if I move in with my boyfriend, he’ll never marry me. Is she right?
Boxes Are Packed
Your mom doesn’t want you shacking up with someone because you’re her baby and she is trying to protect you. You know the saying “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” Your mother is trying to keep you from being a cow . . . a mad cow, that is.
If marriage is your goal, then your mom is right: you need to be very careful about moving in together, because once a girlfriend moves in, it’s very easy for her to start acting like a wife. And if you play the role without a ring, you’re in big trouble.
My friend Cathy had been dating Jim for two years when Jim suggested they move in together. Cathy thought living together would be a perfect way for her to show him how wonderful his life would be if the two of them got married. As soon as she moved in, Cathy went into “wife mode,” cooking and cleaning and doing Jim’s laundry. She spent all her social time with Jim’s friends and family. She opened a joint bank account and tried sexual positions she had promised herself she would only do when she was married. After two years, it occurred to Cathy that maybe Jim hadn’t proposed because he was getting the milk for free. So Cathy went on strike and started acting like a roommate instead of a spouse.
Cathy would make herself lavish dinners for one and hand Jim the stack of takeout menus. When Jim had a hard day at work, she would pretend to listen to him complain while texting her friends about what to wear to the club. When Jim’s mom came over for a visit, Cathy would leave. After three months of Cathy’s friend-with-no-benefits behavior, Jim had had enough. He wanted his wifey back, but this time he knew he had to do it her way. He proposed, and now the two of them have been happily married for five years. The moral of the story is, if you want to be married, don’t act like a wife until you’ve got that ring on your finger.