The Proposal – Waiting to Propose, Living with Parents

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sorryAsk Alea: Finances and The Proposal

Hi Alea, I have been dating my boyfriend for 4 years and still hasn’t asked me to marry him because “he’s not financially ready” and is waiting to propose. He’s also still living at home with his parents. Is it the money or is he just not that into me? – S (28, F, CA)

S- Given that your boyfriend is in his late 20’s and is still living with his parents is a red flag. On one hand, living at home may offer him the freedom to spend time with you as he pleases, exercise, pursue a career that he enjoys, or a host of other opportunities that may be less desirable. Your boyfriend sounds comfortable in his current environment-at his parents home- and seems to be content to let mom and dad take care of him. He may not have the maturity or financial freedom to move out. Questions to consider are: is he making movement to financially free from his parents? Or is this a lack of motivation or desire to be financially free from his parents?  Or is your boyfriend is ready to be a full time adult? To be fair buying home and supporting new family and potential children may scare him.

  1. If there is clear communication to you that he is interested in marriage and will be moving out of his parent’s home in a clear time frame then you may have to compromise your desire for a more immediate proposal.

  2. Your disappointment and confusion suggest that there is not clear communication about either of your needs, goals, and future together as a couple. I would recommend having a conversation with him about your future together, what his and your desires are regarding marriage, shared finances, or other potential relationship stressors (children, parents aging, sickness, religion, etc). If you are unable to communicate with him without defensiveness or anger then it would be important to reevaluate the relationship at this stage, potentially take a step back and work on communication and safety within the relationship.

  3. If he lacks motivation or desire to move out of his parents, then you may need to decide if his inability to “grow up” is right for you. Given you are 28 and sounds like you are in an emotional place where you would like to settle down and start a family of your own, you have a choice if this person is right for you. Although you may love him, it may be time to move on and find someone who shares your same goals and values of family in similar time frame.

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