Author Topic: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!  (Read 13301 times)

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blarg314

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #60 on: August 09, 2011, 11:11:53 PM »

I would say not to buy a house with someone when you haven't decided whether or not to get married yet. I would go further, and say not to do any sort of financial merging.  Multiply this by a factor of ten if the other person is bad with finances.

As others have said, moving in together can cause huge problems if you don't share exactly the same views about what it means and how it will be done.  What can happen is you end up with marriage-lite. You've got the trappings of domesticity, but you aren't actually married, and your partner hasn't actually made a commitment to anything more formal than cheaper rent.  If you're happy with that, and don't need anything different, that's fine. But if what you really want is marriage, and you're settling for living together hoping that he'll change his mind, you can easily end up worse off. You can end up with all the hassle and legal troubles and heart-ache of a divorce, but without ever getting married, or having the protections of divorce law for things like division of property. (And to ward off comments - common-law marriages are not recognized everywhere, and even when they are, there are rules for what it means and how it applies. Simply living together, or even living together in a house you bought together, is not necessarily sufficient.)

It's also much harder to break up if you're living together.  So it's easier to stay one more year, or two more years, or ten more years, hoping he'll propose, because it would be so hard to find a new place, or you can't afford a place on your own.  So you end up in a relationship that is being decided by someone else, with no choice for you.

And it is really, really difficult to take a hard look at a relationship and say "This isn't what I thought it was or hoped for.  I need to move on."  Romantic relationships in particular have very strong emotional components, and it's incredibly easy to lie to yourself, telling yourself what you want to believe, rather than what is true.

I think most people with any romantic experience at all have done this, or have had to help friends who are doing this.   It can be the hopeless crush on someone who isn't interested in you, where you interpret anything they do as a sign that they are falling for you. It can be telling yourself that really, he'll leave his wife for you. It can be staying in a relationship for way too long, telling yourself that he's going to propose soon because he's grinning funny, or he's hiding his credit card receipts (must be a ring!), or is taking you to an especially nice restaurant for dinner next week. Or telling yourself that he's really not a nasty person and doesn't mean to scream at you, he's just really stressed at work and you shouldn't have provoked him.  Or that he gets along with his nieces and nephews really well, so he's obviously going to change his mind about having kids after you get married and he gets used to the idea.

But generally, if you're conducting a relationship based on the fantasies you tell yourself rather than the reality that's there, at some point reality catches up with you, and it hurts way more and is much more messy than dealing with the truth of the relationship head on in the first place.

Lisbeth

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #61 on: August 09, 2011, 11:17:20 PM »
To be honest, I don't think this relationship has any potential of going anywhere.

I would be very, very skeptical of a BF who wants to buy a house with someone who isn't you, as well as someone who keeps being evasive and giving you cutesy smiles when you try to discuss serious issues, like your finances.

If you are looking for a serious relationship that has marriage potential, I truly believe that this one is not it.
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DavidH

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #62 on: August 23, 2011, 12:38:52 PM »
I'm going to add my perspective.

Unwilling to discuss the future would be deal breaker for me.  If you are thinking marriage, a frank discussion is in order to see if he is thinking the same thing.  A timeframe is helpful too.  You may not want to put out an ultimatum, but if he is thinking 10 years and you are thinking 1, you need to come to a middle ground.  If you are afraid to press him on his coy smile response, ask yourself why.  If the answer is you are afraid that if you do he'll break up, then that is a major issue.

It is nearly impossible to compromise on having children, either you do or you don't.  Without talking about a timeframe, it is key to agree on whether or not you want them if you are thinking of the future.  One woman I dated asked about this early on, 2nd or 3rd date.  It wasn't off putting because she wasn't saying when should we have children, rather do you ever envision having children.  For me, the answer was no, she very much wanted children.  That told both of us that if the relationship progressed we would have to solve that issue.  We decided we were better off as friends since we both didn't see a middle ground there.

Finances are easier to compromise on, but basic habits are not.  If one of you is a spender and one a saver, it is either a great balance, or a disaster in the making.  It needs to be thought out.  I know couples who share all finances and ones who always keep money separate and split the bills.  Either one is fine, but you need to agree on it.

If neither one of you have lived on your own, consider doing so before you move in together.  It is a major change in responsibility and independence. 

Decide what you want and how long you are willing to wait, but consider how you would view the time invested if after whatever time you wait you end up breaking up.



sarahj21

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #63 on: August 24, 2011, 10:51:04 AM »
I should have updated this! Since I last posted, I had a nice long talk with BF. He was feeling a ton of anxiety about his new job because he really loves it and he's working long hours. I asked him again about our possible future marriage/house and he sees both happening next year! I posted in the work forum about potentially moving overseas - we might have a LDR for a while. Even if we put things off for a year, it seems like we're on the same page now. :)

Petticoats

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #64 on: August 24, 2011, 04:39:41 PM »
So glad to see such a great update, Sarahj21!

Larrabee

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #65 on: August 24, 2011, 04:44:06 PM »
Just remember that you can decide things too, you don't have to wait for him to make all the major life decisions for both of you. 

For example, if both of you want to buy a house at some point next year, now is the time to start preparing, getting your finances ready, keeping an eye on the local market and so on. 


Danika

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #66 on: August 24, 2011, 04:54:15 PM »
Good news on the update.

Back when I was in your shoes, I was just afraid that my BF would keep dangling the carrot "next year" and then one more year "just next year" and one more year, etc. I'd seen a lot of my friends get strung along that way until 7 or 8 years had passed. So I told my BF that I was going to agree to his "next year" and after a little over a year had passed I would not stick around any longer than that because I wasn't going to keep following a dangling carrot. Luckily, he did propose when we had hoped to get engaged (and we did get married). But I was fully prepared to move on with my life and start dating other men again if that year had passed because I didn't want a relationship with a man who would lie to me or lead me on.

wyozozo

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #67 on: August 24, 2011, 06:19:05 PM »
I should have updated this! Since I last posted, I had a nice long talk with BF. He was feeling a ton of anxiety about his new job because he really loves it and he's working long hours. I asked him again about our possible future marriage/house and he sees both happening next year! I posted in the work forum about potentially moving overseas - we might have a LDR for a while. Even if we put things off for a year, it seems like we're on the same page now. :)
How neatly he tied all that up for you. Sorry if that sounds cynical, but he seems to say all the things you want to hear. Or you are hearing only what you want to hear. I think a LDR is perfect for the two of you. It might give you both the perspective you need.



bopper

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #68 on: September 02, 2011, 04:24:27 PM »

I met my DH during freshman year of college/university.  We dated all throughout.  However, as we started our senior year I flat out asked him:
"Do you see us getting married in the future?  I do, but if you don't I would like to know now so I  have senior year to meet new people."
He did in fact see us getting married and we did right after I finished my Master's degree and we have been married 24 years.


 An article about one view about living together before marriage:
http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5025_qa.html


cbcb

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #69 on: September 02, 2011, 05:29:38 PM »
An article about one view about living together before marriage:
http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5025_qa.html

Respectfully, any examinations of a correlation betwen living together and marriage longevity should be taken with a grain of salt. Lack of divorce does not mean a marriage is a happy one, and cultures that dissuade living together also frown upon divorce - that fact alone leads to a correlation between living together and divorce, but has little to do with the relationship in question. Not to mention that living together is also associated with a longer pre-marriage relationship - do if couples, married or not, break up on average most commonly at 7 years, the couple that married earlier without living together (say, at year one) will have a "longer lasting marriage" than the couple who moved in together at year one but didn't marry until year four.

hobish

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #70 on: September 02, 2011, 05:35:41 PM »

I met my DH during freshman year of college/university.  We dated all throughout.  However, as we started our senior year I flat out asked him:
"Do you see us getting married in the future?  I do, but if you don't I would like to know now so I  have senior year to meet new people."
He did in fact see us getting married and we did right after I finished my Master's degree and we have been married 24 years.


 An article about one view about living together before marriage:
http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5025_qa.html

Isn't Marriage Builders a super Christian organization that is likely to have a stance against premarital cohabitating from the get-go? From what i know of them i would hardly call them an unbiased resource (not that i can suggest one off the top of my head, either).
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bopper

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #71 on: September 03, 2011, 09:29:57 PM »

I met my DH during freshman year of college/university.  We dated all throughout.  However, as we started our senior year I flat out asked him:
"Do you see us getting married in the future?  I do, but if you don't I would like to know now so I  have senior year to meet new people."
He did in fact see us getting married and we did right after I finished my Master's degree and we have been married 24 years.


 An article about one view about living together before marriage:
http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5025_qa.html

Isn't Marriage Builders a super Christian organization that is likely to have a stance against premarital cohabitating from the get-go? From what i know of them i would hardly call them an unbiased resource (not that i can suggest one off the top of my head, either).

I guess it depends on your perspective...to me Marriage Builders makes common sense even if it perhaps has a Christian basis, but if you read the information it does not mention the bible or say that wives should be submissive or anything like that.

For example it says that everyone has Emotional Needs and you fall in love when those needs are met.   Or if you do things that are "love busters" it takes away from that Love bank and you fall out of love.
Or only make decisions that you both agree with so no one ends up resenting the other.

EduardosGirl

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #72 on: September 03, 2011, 10:26:53 PM »

I met my DH during freshman year of college/university.  We dated all throughout.  However, as we started our senior year I flat out asked him:
"Do you see us getting married in the future?  I do, but if you don't I would like to know now so I  have senior year to meet new people."
He did in fact see us getting married and we did right after I finished my Master's degree and we have been married 24 years.


 An article about one view about living together before marriage:
http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5025_qa.html

Isn't Marriage Builders a super Christian organization that is likely to have a stance against premarital cohabitating from the get-go? From what i know of them i would hardly call them an unbiased resource (not that i can suggest one off the top of my head, either).

I guess it depends on your perspective...to me Marriage Builders makes common sense even if it perhaps has a Christian basis, but if you read the information it does not mention the bible or say that wives should be submissive or anything like that.

For example it says that everyone has Emotional Needs and you fall in love when those needs are met.   Or if you do things that are "love busters" it takes away from that Love bank and you fall out of love.
Or only make decisions that you both agree with so no one ends up resenting the other.

It doesn't mention that wives should be submissive, no. It does make a number of somewhat offensive assertions about the nature of pre-marital commitment, specifically being a 'month-to-month rental agreement' that rends one likely to walk out the door as soon as a disagreement occurs.

In a study from 2002, researchers found that intent plays a far greater role in these statistics. Half-hearted, poorly thought out decisions to marry will far outweigh a considered, well thought and agreed upon decision to cohabit without marriage.

This is an excerpt from the report on the NY times website:

Quote
Differences between pre-marital cohabitors and only-after-marriage couples "are there, but they are not huge," statistician Bill Mosher, the report's co-author, told USA Today.

It's couples who give into the urge to merge households without a defining vision of their future who are more likely to divorce, the results suggest.

"The nature of commitment at the time of cohabitation is what's important," Scott Stanley, co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, told USA Today.

From http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-03-03/entertainment/27057883_1_cohabiting-couples-marriage

In the interest of full disclosure, I live with my partner and we're getting married in 18 months. We have thought this out, discussed our future life plans, including children and international relocation plans, and I am the sponsor on his permanent residency visa, which has cost us several thousands of dollars and an entire circus of hoops to jump through. I am unlikely to 'just walk out' if we have a rough patch, simply because we're not married yet.

The Opinionator

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #73 on: September 03, 2011, 10:33:06 PM »
I'm just going to park a very firm POD behind everything that HatStrap has said.

Living together can be as much of a commitment as marriage. I refuse to find my relationship less valid than Britney Spears's 55 hour marriage because she had a paper and I don't. I share a bed, a dog and a set of really ugly glasses with BF. Neither one of us is going to leave because of a "down" time. 
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

SisJackson

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Re: Is it not okay to talk about our possible future together? Long post!
« Reply #74 on: September 04, 2011, 12:07:32 AM »
In a study from 2002, researchers found that intent plays a far greater role in these statistics. Half-hearted, poorly thought out decisions to marry will far outweigh a considered, well thought and agreed upon decision to cohabit without marriage.
Quote
Differences between pre-marital cohabitors and only-after-marriage couples "are there, but they are not huge," statistician Bill Mosher, the report's co-author, told USA Today.

It's couples who give into the urge to merge households without a defining vision of their future who are more likely to divorce, the results suggest.

"The nature of commitment at the time of cohabitation is what's important," Scott Stanley, co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, told USA Today.

This.

While I personally dislike schools of thought that apply cutesy labels to serious concepts (a la "love busters" - *bleah*] I realize that there are people out there who find such doctrines useful, and I don't think less of them for it.  I am just not one of those people.

I am also not one of those people who believe that living together before marriage (or without benefit of marriage, ever) means that you are essentially committing to splitting up before you even get together.  I have known many couples who have divorced - some of them lived together before marriage; some of them didn't.  Some of them I knew wouldn't work out long before they divorced, and it had nothing to do with whether or not they cohabited prior to taking their wedding vows.

I lived with my husband before we got married.  For a while, it was only sort-of.  I maintained my own apartment and stayed in it two days per week, because we weren't fully committed to each other.  Later on, we got to talking about buying a home together.  We determined that it wasn't a good idea to do so unless we had committed to marriage, since buying a home is a huge financial and legal step.  At that point we'd already had the discussion about whether or not we could see ourselves marrying each other, but we hadn't actually made the commitment.  DH proposed that December, we bought the house (and I finally gave up my apartment) in June, and we were married in March of the next year.  Going into the cohabitation situation with a clear picture of what our future held set us up for success, as far as I am concerned.