Marriage before moving in?

by singlemomseeking on February 20, 2010

My own mom and dad split up when I was three, so I know firsthand what it’s like to be raised by divorced parents. So, I always vowed that before I ever exchanged vows with anyone, I would live with him first. That way, we’d really know if our relationship was for real — before getting married.

So, I did the living-together “experiment.” More than once. That’s kind of a crazy way of thinking, isn’t it?


But I’m not alone: About 70 percent of couples are cohabiting before marriage these days, according to research from the University of Denver. Granted, the study doesn’t say how many of these singles were single parents. Because when you add a kid to the mix, the stakes are much higher.

Although I don’t regret living with boyfriends before-marriage… I’m VERY skeptical about doing it again. When I last wrote about moving in together, you chimed in honestly and thoughtfully. Thank you. Many of you made me realize that marriage is very important to me. It’s a realization that has made me very emotional.

Why? Because looking back, I think I lived with “the guy” for other reasons that were not about lifetime partnership: such as cheaper rent and fewer bills, or to test out the waters.

As you can see, this is still on my mind. Big time.

I’d LOVE to hear from both men and women you on this one:

As a single parent, would you consider moving in together without getting married?

Or, is living together a “package” deal with marriage?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy June 18, 2012 at 10:29 am

I understand what you are going through. But how is not being honest to your 14 year old daughter teaching her correct value??? I believe you should have a real talk with her and help her understanding that its not the right thing to do but due to the circumstancesand and your previous experience this is what will work best for you right now. The truth always comes to light, your trying to protect her now might cause her to do something even more drastic in the future when she finds out you lied to her. That’s Justin opinion….


tintin June 6, 2011 at 10:26 am

I dated my boyfriend for 2 years. I have a 14 year old daughter. My boyfriends wants to buy an apartment and wanted us to move in with him. But he is not ready to get married. Reason being: his mother married 4 times and thus he feels that to move in first is a better idea then to marry, just to stay together. Being a divorcee, I also feel that remarry is not a priority on my list. I am 42 years old and he is 43 years old. We are both seeking a long term loving relationship. However, I cannot move in with him without engagement because of my teenage daughter. I want to teach her the right value. But I also don;t want to force him to an engagement which will then put pressure in our relationship. Hence, I am thinking of faking an engagement, just among me, him and my daughter. I will tell my daughter he propose and I accepted. Then I will wear an engagement ring. Like that, I will be able to move in and at the same time teach my daughter correct value. I can always wait till he is ready to do a real proposal, which I can wait.


Becca August 5, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Ok, sorry I know this was posted about a year ago, but I had to respond to this comment! I understand you wanting to set a good example for your daughter, but how does lying to her teacher the right thing to do? It is just a way for you to get what you want without actually doing the right thing. She is probably smarter than you think and will know the truth. So not only are you doing something that your values teach is wrong, you are willing to lie to your daughter which is also wrong to bypass your values! It just doesn’t make sense. I am in a similar situation, I’m divorced, I have 4 young children and am seriously dating a very wonderful man who respects me and my values and my children. We want to buy a house together and got very excited planing it,but I had to tell him that my values and example to my kids was important enough for me to hold off on moving in until we are ready for the first step of commitment being marriage. I was nervous he might be upset thinking that I changed my mind and I didn’t want him to ask me to marry him just because we wanted to move in together. He totally respected me for telling him and he told me that he had also considered that as well and he doesn’t tell me everything he thinks because he likes to surprise me sometimes. 🙂 I hope that everything did go well for you and you made the best decision for you and your daughter. It is not easy to have kids and try to have a relationship and hold to your values, but I know it is worth it!


Single Gamer Mom May 11, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Hmm it’s different for everyone but personally, as a single mom with a young son, I’d want to be engaged before moving in with anyone purely for the stability and commitment to my kid. Having a child changes the game. They aren’t just moving in with you or marrying you, their also moving in with/marrying your children. Simply put- What message are we sending if we move in with a boyfriend/girlfriend ? And this comes from someone who is questioning the whole point of marriage … It still seems to give people a greater sense of commitment to one another ..


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