My boyfriend recently asked me to move in with him. We’re in a committed relationship, but neither of us are quite ready to get married. My parents don’t approve of this. Should I do it anyway?
— (Almost) Living in Sin
Dear Living in Sin:
I agree with your mother. Maybe because I am a mother, and I have daughters. If you ultimately want to marry this boyfriend, do not move in with him until you have an engagement ring on your finger. Period.
It wasn’t so long ago that I was in your shoes, so I understand your thought process: We’re together all the time anyway, why should I pay rent on a separate place?, we’ll get married pretty soon anyway, or perhaps this will help me figure out if I really want to marry this person? Wrongo, kiddo. My best friend’s father loves to put it this way: If a man can get the milk for free, why would he buy the cow? That’s why your parents don’t like it.
Call me old fashioned (that’s just fine with me), but I say wait until you’re ready to marry. When you’re ready for engagement, you’re ready for domestic bliss. That short time period will be plenty long enough to find out his little peccadillos (e.g. he doesn’t know how to fold laundry, he won’t do dishes unless coerced), and a good way to start your life together. If you don’t think he’s your bashert, however, don’t bother. Just enjoy the dating, then move on.
May I also add that this time of your life (your 20s and 30s) is a great time to learn to live on your own? I think every young woman should enjoy her own apartment at least once, if only to relish the pleasures of playing your music, watching your favorite shows and eating ice cream sandwiches in bed, if you so choose.
So. Tell your boyfriend you’re flattered, but you’re an old-fashioned dame like Shuli, and you’d rather wait for engagement before you shack up.