Romance

I Will Not Live With Another Guy Unless We Are Engaged

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I used to live with a boyfriend, which was a brief but important period in my life. Despite the relationship not working out, it taught me a lot about my own identity and what I can bring to a long-term partnership. I don't have any regrets about the experience. However, I have been living independently for many years since then and if I were to live with a partner again, it would only be after getting engaged. The reason for this is:

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1. I need that level of commitment from my guy

Maybe it's just me being traditional, but I find it really endearing when a man proposes to his partner. Even though an engagement won't magically solve all the problems in a relationship, it demonstrates that both individuals value each other and are willing to commit seriously. For me, that level of commitment is necessary before I consider sharing my life with another man again.

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2. Just because it's convenient to live together doesn't always make it the right move

Although my ex and I had feelings for each other, our decision to move in together was mostly driven by financial considerations. In hindsight, I would have preferred to find a way to afford to live alone for longer, or to find a roommate. Towards the end of our cohabitation, our relationship had basically devolved into a roommate situation rather than a romantic one, and if given the chance, I would choose differently.

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3. I want to be ready to be comfortable

Moving in with someone accelerates the comfort level of the relationship at an alarming rate. You're exposed to your partner's most unflattering habits, and it's easy to get irritated by their presence. I didn't fully appreciate how significant this dynamic is until I experienced it myself. In the future, I want to take my time and fully enjoy the dating phase with a partner before committing to living together. I want to cherish the excitement and anticipation of keeping the spark alive before moving to the next phase.

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4. I refuse to give out wifey privileges as a girlfriend ever again

If you're similar to me, you tend to be overly giving in a relationship. While this is a positive trait, it's easy to be taken for granted. In my previous relationship, I fell into a pattern of doing traditional domestic tasks like washing my ex's laundry and cooking for us both. Unfortunately, this caused him to take me for granted and start expecting these actions from me. In the future, I refuse to repeat this pattern unless we are engaged. While I'm happy to cook dinner for date nights, I prefer to do it together with my current boyfriend rather than taking on all the responsibility myself.

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5. If we move in when we're engaged, I know his finances are in order

You can label me as traditional or old-fashioned, but this is an essential point for me. I understand the history behind the engagement ring, and its original purpose was to solidify the agreement between the groom and the bride's family. Not exactly the most romantic sentiment. However, if a man can afford to spend a significant amount of money on a ring for me, it indicates that he is in a stable financial position. I don't care about the ring's value because I expect him to support me financially. Instead, it's a sign that he is committed to being financially responsible and contributing equally to our shared life together.

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6. I want to share a life with someone, not just an apartment

I'm not looking for another roommate. If that was the case, I'd find one. I desire to build a life with a man I live with and want it to feel like we're creating something genuine. If we're engaged when we decide to move in together, I envision that we'll be planning a wedding and gearing up for other significant milestones. The building phase is vital for me when I move in with my partner.

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7. I want to make sure we're truly compatible first

Research indicates that couples who move in together before getting engaged or married have a higher likelihood of getting divorced compared to couples who move in together after making a more serious commitment. Moving in together too soon might lead to irreconcilable differences or reveal incompatibilities. This is precisely what happened in my case. Living with my ex exposed certain traits that made me uncomfortable. If I had slowed down and not moved in together, I would have discovered these issues earlier and realized that he wasn't the person I wanted to spend my life with.

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8. I value my family's opinion

My family was taken aback when I chose to move in with my ex, mostly because we moved too quickly. While I don't regret my decision because it was what I wanted at the time, I do wish I had taken into account the concerns my family raised before taking the plunge. Perhaps with their perspective, I would have still made the same decision, but with more awareness.

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9. My home is my sanctuary and I want to be taken seriously

Sharing your living space with someone in an intimate relationship is a big step that allows them access to a part of your life that few people get to see. For me, my home is a sacred haven that I retreat to when the rest of the world is too much to handle. When that shared space transitions from temporary to permanent, it's crucial that the person I'm letting into my world takes me seriously. In my opinion, engagement is a clear indication of that.

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