I have been dating my boyfriend for just over two years now and we live just a few blocks away from each other. I live with my 5-year-old daughter, and he lives with his younger brother. My daughter adores him, and he just loves her. Last year I asked him to move in with us but he said he wasn't ready. This year I have asked him three times, and he still says that he's still not ready. I have to move out of my apartment due to financial issues — I can only stay if I get a co-signer. I've explained the situation to him, and that I need him to move in with me, but he still won't budge.
I told him that I need him to show me that we are moving forward in our relationship, but still nothing has changed. In fact, I do everything for him. He's at my house five days a week, which is why I don't understand why he won't take this next step. Part of me thinks that he's just not willing to commit to me and that I should move on, but my other half just loves him so much and knows what a good person he is. What should I do?
— Move in Confusion Cara
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Dear Move in Confusion Cara,
Moving in with your boyfriend due to financial necessity verses moving in with him as a step forward in your relationship are two very different things. In fact, while I understand the stress that money can have, in my opinion, economic stress is not always the greatest reason to take a step forward in a relationship — especially when your boyfriend is telling you directly that he's just not ready.
Furthermore, you don't want to have to depend on your boyfriend for financial security. Downgrade your apartment and see if he can watch your daughter a few hours during the week while you pick up some extra work hours. It can also be very helpful to sit down and plan a formal budget and see where you can cut expenditures.
As to why he's not ready, I can't say. I do know that many men take moving in together as an extremely serious step in a relationship, and don't want to do it lightheartedly or without a lot of thought. The good news is that your boyfriend is being honest with you, and I don't think his attitude is necessarily an indicator of not being committed. Obviously, however, this is something that's really bothering you. Ask him what he sees as the future of your relationship. Does he picture himself moving in with you eventually? When does he see that happening? Sometimes just a simple talk can do wonders.