My Boyfriend of 7 Years Doesn’t Want to Move In or Get Married. What Should I Do?

My Boyfriend of 7 Years Doesn’t Want to Move In or Get Married. What Should I Do?

I am 40 and my boyfriend is 36. I have been previously married and have three kids 17, 15, and 10. He has none. We have been together for 7 years now. I have wanted to move in and get married since year two. He always says he “isn’t ready.”  

A year ago he started living with me, kind of. He keeps all of his clothes at my house sleeps there every night and spends his down time there even when I am not home. I recently said I want him to fully move in because I think it would be financially better. He still keeps his apartment with his things in it. He calls it his “studio” (he is an artist) and he, after a huge disagreement, finally agreed it was the right thing to do.  

Well, the day before the big move he backed out. He said he wasn’t ready and that he didn’t want to promise me anything in the future for fear of hurting me. He wants to keep it the way it is. I am so confused. We are really happy as long as we don’t talk about this kind of commitment. I believe he is in love with me but what do I do? Wait? I am confused what is going to change in his mind. He keeps saying he will lose himself and everything he loves to do if he moves in and gets married. He just sounds like a child to me. I appreciate your advice. Thank you. 



This is going to be really hard for you to accept, Cahnie, but there’s no other way to say it:

Your boyfriend doesn’t want to marry you.

He’s never going to want to marry you.

If he actually DID marry you, it would be largely against his will and he’d end up resenting you for it.

And if you twisted his arm to get married and he resented you for it, it would probably not be a very happy marriage.

If he actually DID marry you, it would be largely against his will and he’d end up resenting you for it.

I know you just wrote me a three-paragraph email and I’m telling you to completely erase the past seven years, but, well, what were you expecting?

In fact, I’m going to guess that what I’ve just written only goes to confirm what you already know deep in your heart.

“I have wanted to move in and get married since year two.” 

“He always says he isn’t ready.”

“The day before the big move, he backed out.” 

“He didn’t want to promise me anything in the future for fear of hurting me.” 

“He keeps saying he will lose himself and everything he loves to do if he moves in and gets married.”

Honestly, sweetheart, the writing is on the wall in ten-foot fluorescent orange letters. GET OUT!

The fact is that he doesn’t want to move in with you or marry you – if he did, he’d have done it years ago. He has a relationship completely on his terms, and you didn’t have the guts to walk away in Year 3.

Now’s your chance.

Honestly, sweetheart, the writing is on the wall in ten-foot fluorescent orange letters. GET OUT!

Unless you want to write me this same exact email in one year, which is exactly what I predict if you don’t break up with him NOW.

P.S. If you NEVER want to get married and are content with this arrangement, you can keep seeing him, but you know what? He’s STILL going to break up with you eventually, so you might as well begin the healing process now.

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  1. 271

    Most divorced women who are now single parents have chosen to stop being victims of abuse and start to become survivors. They are amazing women.

    1. 271.1

      Most divorced women with kids were victims of abuse?  That’s bullshit.  Most are spoiled entitled brats that took their husbands for granted and thought they could do better.  Many are lying about being abused so they can gain favor with the family courts, that will always believe them.

  2. 272

    @ Joe 269
    I always wonder about that statistic of women initiating divorce more often . . .
    My wasband started a relationship with another women (some people – me included – call this cheating), moved out of the house (in this order), didn’t want to go to counseling, wasn’t being honest, or in any way giving any indication of working things out. I filed for divorce.  Statistically – I initiated the divorce.  But he was long gone from the marriage.   BTW – this is also what he told the kids, I am the  one who divorced him.   
    Which is why I wonder.

    1. 272.1

      @Kristyn @ 272
         Thanks for bringing this up.  I hate the way this stat is trotted out as if it proves anything meaningful.  The person who LEGALLY initiates the divorce is not particularly the person who initiated the breakdown of the marriage.  As far as I’m concerned someone who cheats is the one initiating a divorce, but the cheated upon person just might beat them to a lawyers office and start the legal proceedings.
      Without knowing the history of the marital breakdown,  statistics about who initiates the legal proceedings of a divorce are meaningless.

  3. 273

    I’m almost on the same situation as you are..except his never moved in with me or even mentioned it. I’m the one that does an eventually it never ends well. But I’ve stocked around for 7 years..I’m 30 with no kids. reading this is exactly what I needed to know….I’ve got to start the healing process now….

    1. 273.1

      I am glad it helped. I am curious to know if you left? Where you are now?

  4. 274

    To play Devils advocate I am the one in this mans position. There can be a lot of info left out here so before one assumes he just plain is selfish what are the facts? Why does he have reservations? In my case I have been in a relationship for 4 years with a man who just got custody of his young kids and the ex is nasty to deal with. On top of that he has his family using him financially and staying at his home constantly. The drama and stress levels are very high. He is miserable and wants me to take on the burden but I dont want to be responsible for grown adults who make bad choices. I want to deal with our family and have a sane household not a halfway house. Perhaps there are things in the relationship that make him feel he will lose his sense of self. If those can be corrected perhaps then he would be willing to move in.

  5. 275

    “Your boyfriend doesn’t want to marry you.” True.Right now, anyway while he is trying to successfully work as an “artist” and you have 3 teenagers living in the house. Trust me, he NEEDS his “studio space”. 
    “He’s never going to want to marry you.”  This is not true. Don’t let someone who doesn’t know you know or your boyfriend predict YOUR future.
    “If he actually DID marry you, it would be largely against his will and he’d end up resenting you for it. ” Yes and no. Right now, Yes. Perhaps, when he feels more secure about HIMSELF and his work he will decide to spend the rest of his life with the one person who stuck by him.
    “And if you twisted his arm to get married and he resented you for it, it would probably not be a very happy marriage.” Absolutely
    He most likely needs to feel more secure about wheres he headed career-wise before committing to you AND your kids for the rest of his life.

  6. 276

    Brutal, straight for the jugular vein but necessary to wake someone out of a 7 year coma. Wow now that’s what you call tough love but definitely be very grateful for Evan’s advice as it will save you a much more brutal pain than his advice years down the future! 

  7. 277

    Well I’m thinking he must love her at some level to stick around so long. I knew a guy that was in his forties and going with a woman Same age for about 5 or more years. They were together every night and cooked their meals together. She was allways cleaning and doing stuff for him but she said she wouldn’t live with him unless married. I realized one day that she was allready giving all the perks of cohabitation and was deluded that she was not. One night when he was drinking he told me with a stricken face that he was afraid to marry. Hed allways acted like he couldnt stand kids but now he said his girlfriend couldnt have any as hadnt had a period for two years and he wanted a child. Then he mentioned that and shes has cancer in the pasr which i knew allready but hes throwing that out there. Anyway bottom line is the situation is the same at present and its been 7 years and nothings changed. There are reasons why men drag their feet and it isn’t pretty sometimes. Basically it sounded lije the guy im talking about didnt like some things about his girlfriend and so wouldnt go the extra step of marrying his girlfriend and i felt rreal sorry for her as shes waiting and waiting and doesnt know why its not happening. He doesn’t want to let her go because it suits him on some level. In my mind shes so good to him and after all these years i feel he owes it to her. Its hard to say what each situation consists of but it was the only time i as a woman was privy to a mans reasoning of not marrying someone he had been with a long time. I sat there kind of speechless as it had poured out of him in a drunken state but was probably honest. You know he wouldnt be telling her any of that. Now looking back i wish id have lectured him on doing right by her. I was too caught up in my own dramas at the time. I now think that men have reasons for not takint the plunge with a long time partner. Theres something on the list of desirables thats lacking or insufficient. 

  8. 278

    I think if the guy doesn’t discuss future plans he’s probably not going to marry her. 7 years is a very long time. Some men I think feel they have si much tine on their side they can be selfish about the time they’re wasting for the woman. Anyway from that discussion I had with the guy who hadn’t married his long time girlfriend I wondered if even though he’s staying there must be a part of his brain that’s holding out for a better deal or fantasy of a partner that will give ‘ve them everything they want. But as the years pile on it a less plausible as looks and sexual stamina fades and health erodes. Im thinking that both sides of the equation get stuck in limbo. Its very hard to find a decent boyfriend these days who will stay around so I totally understand the woman staying in it. In the situation I was talking about I think that woman had more power than she realized and should have closed the deal years ago by holding back and discussing a plan for the future by stating emphatically want she wanted. Instead she played the good sport and let it drift too long. The younger the woman is the better position to bargain and trust me men know this. Totally sucks but its the way it is.

  9. 279

    Just wow….wow. This thread has blown me away as I am living almost the exact same thing…only difference was- my 7 yr. relationship was long-distance! What blew the whole thing up were the issues of  lack of communication and intimacy in very important matters. When it hit the fan, and I asked him to finally be able to address these issues with me together so that they could be resolved (especially in our situation of an LDR), he bowed out and sent me all my stuff back like four days later. Haven’t talked to him in a month, but what I do know is, Evan is right. After year one, I should’ve walked and took it for what it was, but I was newly divorced, hurting and a bit tired, having three children in an every-other-week custody situation. His charm and laughter, attractiveness brought me back to life, so to speak. But it should’ve ended there. I just didn’t have the courage. Seven (!! Yes, seven!!) years later, with much commitment on both ends, we are done as a couple. But, I can see now, as one always does, the ‘red flags’ which were lined all along the way. I wish him well, in any case.

  10. 280

    Commitment has a different definition to everyone and I think labelling this guy as not being committed just because he chooses not to get married or keep his flat is not fair. Having an agenda is the best way to never find true love, to never be satisfied and to never grow up. Agenda based relationships are relationships filled with issues that will never be overcome. If you go into a relationship with an agenda, you’re likely to miss the true person you’re with, you’re likely to miss the warning signs, you’re likely to be miserable because you’re not seeing the truth, you’re not enjoying the journey,  you’re simply waiting for the outcome. Having an agenda turns every date into an interview and every relationship into a project. In most cases some people think that what they view as a catastrophe in their own world and lives should be the same in another person’s. We all have different values and interests and if marriage is not this guy’s cup of tea, it doesn’t mean he is not committed to being with his girlfriend. I was raised to be self sufficient,  I have my own place and yes I have a girlfriend who has her own place, but that don’t mean I’m any less committed to her. We don’t intend to marry and we function well like that. Sometimes it’s all about having your own space and being independent. Having my own place and not wanting marriage is a choice and whoever I decide to date has to know this from the get go. Maybe marriage is an unnecessary validation to this boyfriend and that don’t mean he doesn’t love the OP. My advice to the OP is to learn to let go if she realises that she wants something different. It’s always best to show your cards when you start to get to know someone,  those who like what you like will stick around too. 7 years is just a time stamp on this relationship, unless if you view it as a time frame for a long awaited agenda. The last time i checked the definition of commitment I swear i didn’t have marriage,  cohabitation or giving up your own place under it.

  11. 281

    why cant 2 people just be in a relationship together? it would be great if they were both in the same boat but marriage isn’t really beneficial for men these days, it gets you nothing but a nasty binding agreement that will end up costing you alimony and loss of assets. People do change and if in 10 years you’re no longer happy then divorce, it ends up being messy as hell. Honestly this guy is in the best situation because he owes her nothing after 7 years, if being with him isn’t enough then she should move on. Its not just her time thats being wasted but his as well which many of you are glossing over in favor of the woman’s point of view.

  12. 282

    Every man on the planet weather he admits it or nor knows that until he offers a woman life long commitment then he can’t have her all to himself.
    They just try it on ano herself d want a woman all to themselves without making that commitment.
    So any woman who gives him that is a fool.
    Of course he won’t commit if he already has you without having to.

  13. 283

    Just wondering if she has ever asked the boyfriend if he would like to lose his fears and speak to someone( maybe a pastor)?  I know of a few men who said NEVER but are now married because they changed their feelings and lost their fears.  Love is a choice and being exposed to a different view can definilty change someone.  With having 7 years invested and it is a healthy relationship based on love, I think it’s worth the extra time to invest in some Christian counseling.

  14. 284
    Cahnstance Galletta

    I am the Cahnie in this blog. My bf and I actual stumbled on this . I had forgotten I wrote this and honestly I never thought he would write back since this sounds so typical and I did kind of know what he would say. I am thankful in a way I never saw it until now.. I continued on with our relationship and this past February he moved in. Without ultimatums even!! There’s so many things to say back to all of you all. First, I realize it’s still not marriage. He has said he’s ready but I still don’t have a ring. Second, thank you for all of your feedback and to Evan for the advice. We are happy at the moment. The one girl was dead on when she said he wasn’t ready because he wasn’t ready to be a step dad. I don’t think he’s changed that idea but the kids are older.. I still sometimes think we should’ve cut ties at year three as well but year 9 we are probably better than ever. I hope it lasts. I do love him very much. ~cahnie

    1. 284.1
      Karmic Equation

      Hi Cahnie,
      Love is not enough if you truly want marriage.
      You’re settling for a relationship on HIS terms. And that’s ok, as long as you’re ok to NOT be married any time soon or at all.
      Because that IS the message you are sending him. You want him more than marriage. That’s not a bad tradeoff, really, because I don’t believe marriage is a necessity for folks who’ve already been married and already has had kids.
      As long as he doesn’t want kids of his own in the future, you guys should be fine.
      But if he changes HIS mind, you’ll have wasted the last eligible years of your life on him, because he’ll dump you for a woman who CAN give him biological children.
      I hope for your sake, he has more integrity than that.

      1. 284.1.1

        Spot on K E
        What is concerning is that its all on his terms and Cahnie is spending years, including her best years now,  with a guy who doesn’t want to marry her. If he wanted to get her a ring he would have found a way by now.

      2. 284.1.2

        Hello, thank you for your response. I agree with all. He has expressed during our whole relationship that he doesn’t want children of his own. I do get concerned he will change his mind later. We have discussed adoption if needed. He does say we will get married but I have set an agreement with myself to see how I feel it’s progressing in the next year or so. Thank you again for your response

        1. Karmic Equation

          You’ve already waited 9 years.

          Him marrying you now will be a pyrrhic victory for you cahnie.

          You waited him out to prove that you could. To prove to yourself that you could wait and that you didn’t make a mistake thinking he was “the one”.

          But I’m going to predict thatonce married, you’ll want a divorce faster than you ever imagined.

          At this point, cahnie, just stay in the LTR if you “love” him that much. You’ll most like stay together LONGER UN-married than married, because the challenge of getting him to the altar will keep you in the relationship. Once you “win” that situation, you won’t want him as much anymore.

          Women try to win commitment the way men try to win sex.

          Don’t kid yourself on why you’re willing to wait some more. You want to win and prove to yourself you didn’t waste all these years with him.

      3. 284.1.3

        If a person needs a piece of paper to prove commit well they aren’t that bright considering about half the marriage from ages 35 to 55 ends up in divorce.

        Actions speak louder than words and actions speaks louder than some stupid license.

  15. 285

    That’s a pretty harsh blanket statement. I am sorry to say this but it sounds a bit jaded. I waited because he is worth it. Statistically you are correct our chances of staying together are probabaly better unmarried but as of today, right now, where we are, I feel that isn’t so. I can’t speak for the future. Time will tell.

    1. 285.1
      Karmic Equation

      Cahnie, I’m FAR from jaded. I’m a realist and I tell it like it is, without the self-denial or sugar-coating most women do for other women.

      Your head is in the clouds and you’re lying to yourself.

      How many other contracts have you made with yourself with regard to waiting for him that you’ve let lapse?

  16. 286

    Well, I guess I like living in the clouds. I would prefer it to living “realist”. I have, like most, made many contracts with myself. I fulfill some and not others. Just the way life is.
    ~Take care, Cahnie

    1. 286.1
      Karmic Equation

      You didn’t answer my question, which was very specific.

      I suspect that is because every year, you’ve given him another year to come up to snuff and that’s why you’re at year 9.

      There’s nothing wrong with your accepting the relationship on his terms, it’s the self-denial and lying to oneself that I believe is harmful to women who like to have their heads in the clouds. They’re the ones that end up heartbroken and devastated because they were unprepared as they refused to read the writing on the wall.

      There’s nothing wrong with hoping for the best (that’s what I do) — however, I “prepare for the worst” meaning I look at the situation and think what would be the worst case scenario, ask myself if I could live with that, and then make plans accordingly.

      Best of luck to you, cahnie. I hope I’m wrong 🙂

      1. 286.1.1

        KE unfortunately your wasting your time with Cahnie as she stated she choose to ‘live in the clouds’ and she knows this…just hope she can handle and cope with the reality when it finally smacks her in the face.

        Sorry Cahnie don’t mean to be rude but you wrote this letter when you were with that guy for already 7years and who knows how long it has been now. Anyway for your sake hope he does stay with you but you’ll always be walking on tight rope hoping he won’t leave you…its not fair and that’s not a great place to be in when someone can’t fully commit to you freely without having to be pushed.

        I do hope the best for you and for your sake that EMK wasn’t completely right with his advice, but he usually is.

    2. 286.2

      Canine, I sympathize with you. I really do. There aren’t many things more difficult than leaving the man you love. But there’s so much strength to gain from being true to yourself. How will you feel 10 years from now if he still doesn’t propose? Won’t the possibility of receiving the promise of a lifelong commitment from a man make it worth leaving the one who can’t give you that?

      1. 286.2.1

        Cahnie– darn auto correct!

  17. 287

    This is a great situation for a non committal guy .Every year this situation is accepted reinforces that it can continue as is and that Cahnie has relinquished her power. He’s very lucky to have this because I can’t imagine many women feeling adored in this situation or staying this long despite “sunk costs”
    Clearly Cahnie wants to stay so I don’t think any amount of advice will change that.
    Maybe this topic helps others who may need it

  18. 288

    I’m in a similar situation but I’m a guy.  I tell my gf that “I’m not ready” too.  Here’s what he means when he says he’s not ready.  Why would I want to get married?  Marriage is the worst legal contract that a man can sign.  Why would I want to agree to take care of you and possibly your kids to get nothing extra in return.  i would be putting everything I have worked for at risk if we got divorced.  I can see why marriage would be good for you.  you would legally tap into my resources and have me in a noose, for whenever you wanted to kick the stool from under me.  Society can shame me all they want and put pressure on me to marry all they want but, it’s my choice and I’m not doing it.  I’m not a fool.

    I hope you at least try to understand why marriage is a terrible idea from his perspective instead of continually trying to manipulate him into doing what is best for you.  Now you are seeking advice on how to manipulate him into marriage.  You obviously have no regard for what’s best for him.  If a loving relationship is what you want, it sounds like you have that already.  But really what you want is the control and power over him that marriage and threat of divorce provides.  You want somebody to help pay for your kids and improve your financial well being and lifestyle.  More and more men are not getting married, ladies.  This is why.  Accept it because it will only get worse (better for us).  They’re getting wise to the inequality in the system and just walking away.  they’re good men, just not stupid.

    1. 288.1

      Wow.  So basically, you’re a liar and a coward.  You’re telling your woman that you’re “not ready” when you really have no intention of ever marrying her.   You are stringing her along with the prospect of someday being ready, if she sticks it out with you.  I hope you realize that you are every bit as bad as the monolith of womankind that you condemn for “manipulating” men into marriage.  Do you see the hypocrisy?  You are being every bit as manipulative and self serving as the women you are condemning.

      That is, if you actually have a woman in your life.  Your concept of relationships, marriage, and women is so skewed and toxic, that I can’t imagine any woman actually wanting to be with you.  Here’s a tip, if you ever have a woman trying to “manipulate” you into marriage (which I doubt is a problem), just show her your post above.  I guarantee she will run for the hills and you can continue your life without fearing the “noose” of marriage or companionship.

    2. 288.2

      John – IF you actually loved her you would leave her so she could find someone who isn’t lying and stringing her along.  Grow a pair and tell her it is NEVER.  There are men out there willing to marry.  You’re not one of them. Even if you are right in wanting to protect your assets or finances, you have no right to lie to someone you claim to love.  So it seems to be “good enough” for you and you’re so selfish that you don’t care that it’s not enough for you.  You’re NOT one of those “Good guys” because you are lying.

      “Why would I want to agree to take care of you and possibly your kids to get nothing extra in return.”

      You get LOVE in return.

  19. 289

    It’s really quite simple if a man can have you all to himself without getting married he will. So don’t let any man have you all to himself giving him everything he wants by getting into the girlfriend trap. Don’t be an exclusive girlfriend to any man until one steps  up offering you everything you want.  That weeds out the ones who just want to use you until a woman comes along who they do want to offer them everything they want.  You’ll have several offering what you want if you do it that way around, then you will get to do the choosing. At the moment he has all the power and you have none, you need to reverse it. Grown up adult healthy males want to commit to one woman, raise a family and love and provide for them, so choose one of those.


  20. 290

    Same situation – except we are both 33. i have one child. 6 years together and he is not ready. We were back and forth but solid last two years however never lived together. I hate myself bc i still hope….. Its unfortunately that many people have to ho thru it.

  21. 291

    Marriage is not for everyone. Some people don’t like the terms and conditions that come with it so they’re ok with just loving someone vice versa. Some of the comments here are suggesting the boyfriend is not “committed”, commitment means marriage to some and it means something totally different to others. If you want an agenda based relationship, it’s better to date someone who has that same agenda as you. At least you would have gone for what you really wanted and you won’t resort to using blame and pressure. Some people have never been fans of marriage because they have no use for it, that don’t mean they are not committed or they don’t love their partners. Commitment is not marriage and marriage is not commitment, everyone is free to give their own definition of what commitment is according to their own perception and level of understanding. Marriage is a very nice institution for some, but not many love to live in an institution. Its a free world out there so this lady is free to find someone who has the same agenda that matches hers. There’s absolutely no need to try to shame and ridicule the boyfriend. We are all self-made but only the successful ones admit it and remember nothing in life is certain, except death and taxes.

  22. 292

    Wow, did this string get off topic!

    I was researching on EMK’s blog for the 1st time as I have a good friend in a 7 year relationship with a man who won’t marry her. His stated reasons differ somewhat from Cahnie’s BF & yet the outcome will likely be the same.

    First, I believe EMK  told it like it is. As he admitted, it’s not the advice that one wants to hear, and yet as we know, it’s spot on.

    And what’s the worst that can happen, if you follow his advice? Your  relationship,  which would have ended anyway, will end sooner, sparing you anymore wasted time and emotional energy, while making you available for someone who deserves you and has the same relationship goals and desires. And there’s always the optimistic, potential upside/best case- your BF will come running back to you on bended knee :-).

    One of my favorite motivational speakers, Les Brown, has a quote that has stayed with me for decades.

    ” Known Hells are preferable to strange Heavens.” Meaning here-  we often stay in unfulfilling, toxic, sometimes even dangerous relationships, because they are what we know and are used to – due to the fear (sometimes subconscious) of the unknown. We seek (or continue) what we know whether it is good for us or not. But being aware of this can break that cycle.

    Also, I think we often try to read more into what a man tells us- what we want to hear- rather than what he is saying.  I’ve talked to my male friends about this on a number of occasions, as well as my female friends, and there’s a consensus on this one. If he’s telling you he doesn’t want to get married, has all those reasons why, after so many years, then you should believe him. Period. Waiting for him to substantially change who he is and all those things he said are important to him (won’t happen), suddenly mature to the extent that he has different relationship goals with you (also not going to happen) or wake up  one morning and decide to propose, is just setting yourself up for disappointment.

    On another note- it’s a little disheartening to see how much of this string has turned into a negative commentary about single mothers,  our poor dating prospects, and slim chances for future happiness or marriage. It’s that kind of low self-esteem, negative social stereotypes, etc., that have women settling for  less than they want and/or deserve, ie uncommitted or unfulfilling relationships, settling for the wrong man, etc.  I am a divorced, single  mother of a teenage boy (allegedly a detractor to perspective men) and have had no problems with dating prospects, even at 50 y.o.  I am single right now, and casually dating, because I do take EMKs advice  and am taking my time. The man knows what he’s talking about!

    Cahnie,  we all know of at least one or more women (or men) who dated someone for many years, and – despite being clear about their strong desire for marriage – were unable to get their partner to commit to it….Only later, after a break up, to learn that he/she was getting married to someone they had dated for a short time.

    Marriage isn’t for everyone, but if you know that is absolutely what you want (and you need to be sure about that) , and he knows it is not what he wants, you should both move on. Life  is too short for wishful thinking.

    I wish you all the best in this.

  23. 293

    Would it be rude or insensitive to send this article to my clueless boyfriend that I just broke up with a week ago?

  24. 294
    clara Gutierrez

    Sorry to said it but he looks like a user also he has the relation on his terms  I understand how hard can be for her. But I will never let any man iny hour or close to my children if he is not in a serius commitment. Also financially. It sound like to me. I hate to said that she is responsible in a way for it.  This man is a user get out.  And don’t give any to him . In a way his keeping his options open thinking that he deserve better than her.  Pls I will finished in 123 good bye to him.

  25. 295

    She should dump his non-committal ass already.  She probably cooks for him and does his laundry too.  Sounds like he has a pretty good deal, so why should he break up if she allows it to continue the way it is?

  26. 296

    Why does it have to lead to marriage? The OP should realise that asking a man to move in and become a step-father is a massive commitment, especially if he requires his space. I know, as I’ve been there. I had my own house, space, independence, money – and gave it all up because I could see how attached my girlfriend’s kids were to me. They desperately wanted me to be their stepdad and their mother wanted me to be her husband. I didn’t really want to get married to her and give up the life I had worked so hard to build, but I did as it was something that would benefit the kids who needed a father-figure. My girlfriend was acting like the OP: “when are you going to move in? We’ve been dating 4 years, when are you going to ask me to marry you? If you don’t ask me soon, then there’s no point in carrying on this relationship. etc”


    There are days when I miss my past life like crazy and sometimes wonder if I did the right thing. My wife is very happy and the kids adore me, but I can’t help but wonder if I should have waited for someone to come along to whom getting married would have been a no brainer. When I got married it was my head ruling my heart. Although it was the right thing for the children and my wife, for me I’m still not convinced. I can completely understand this guy’s hesitance to move in, but I see no reason why the relationship should not work if they live separately. Maybe once the kids are a lot older, he may decide to move in then. That’s what I may have done if I hadn’t had the pressure from my then girlfriend and her kids! Do I resent them for doing that? Sometimes, but I can see why they did it.

  27. 297

    So nice to finally see an advice column that tells it like it is.   For whatever reason, this man is NOT fully into you. My first suspicion would be that he knows by keeping his own place he doesn’t officially have to act like or be a dad.  If he did not have kids with you ever or after being with you for 7 years then he does not want to be a dad to your kids or a husband to you.

    The advice that really nailed it is that he WILL eventually leave you.  It may be lack of interest over time or cheating but a man who REFUSES to take the final step of marriage does not see you as “The One.”  The fact that he won’t move in either is a 2nd red flag.  Evan is right – this is over.

    I wish more women would not waste 7 years on men like this.


  28. 298

    Hello! It’s Cahnie. Wedding date is November this year 2017. Both him and I have been through some extreme changes in our lives. I started having a more relaxed view and when I ended up with breast cancer it completely changed our whole family. He was there every step and has taken on the role of step dad in the perfect way. Years later the marriage part doesn’t really mean the most to me it’s the commitment he has shown through the years. We are both happy to be committing legally later this year and I guess we both have changed for the better in many ways and though it took years it feels right. I believe we needed these years to grow. I am two months out of treatment and feeling good about my relationship and life. Thanks for all the feedback.

    1. 298.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Mazel Tov, Cahnie. I’ve never been happier to be wrong. Congratulations on being a survivor and kudos to your fiance for staying by your side. Enjoy marriage. Done right, it’s the most beautiful thing in the world.

  29. 299

    Totally agree. I just broke up with my boyfriend of 8 months because he didn’t see a future with me. If I man says he doesn’t know what he wants/visualize a future with you…believe him.

    Get up and walk away!



  30. 300

    I am in the same situation right now.  Every time I asked my boyfriend of 7 years if we could get engaged he would say no he’s not ready.  The thing is we are in our 60’s, I am four years older.

    I did not want to go into another year without being married, because I believe in married, but because I let this go on for so long and now I am tired of being in a relationship where I am not married.  I was married for 29 years when my husband passed away and I have four adult children and they love my boyfriend.  The only man they approved of since their father passed.

    Well Christmas day I asked him the question again, if we could get engaged and he said you keep asking me that question and I keep telling you no, and I ask him when and he said I don’t know.  Well I packed all my things that I had at his home and left and have no plans to return.  I am too old to wait for him any longer.  I should have left long ago.


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