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[QUOTE] After years of living with my ex, acting like his wife, taking care of the apartment, doing laundry, etc., I was left literally with NOTHING. Nothing at all. NADA. He didn't even want to give me one bookcase when I was moving out. I had to start literally from scratch and am still in debt as a result. [/QUOTE]

Sophia, knowing how smart you are, I must say I am a little suprised. Why would you (or any woman, for that matter) move into their boyfriend's apartment and start cleaning it, doing laundry, etc, as well as letting yourself be in any way dependent on them? I mean, you do your part of course, but each person should do their equal share. You make a mess, you take care of it. It will be a cold day in hell before I clean up my boyfriend's mess, do his laundry, or cook for him (unless we traded off cooking duties, but I don't cook anyway). I don't even like cleaning up after [I]myself.[/I] Why would I do it for someone else?

My take on this whole thing is that if you move in with somebody, whether you are married or not, you should never develop ANY kind of dependence on them. And especially not financial. Because as most of us are aware, people can betray us at any time. You should never depend entirely on a partner. I personally don't really want to get married, but since my boyfriend's family has got some serious $$$ I just may want to get my foot in the door. I do want to be engaged however, only because I want a ring. (I like jewlery, sue me). But I'll always have my own job, my own bank account, my own ducks in a row. In this day and age, when it comes to looking out for yourself you cannot afford to pass the buck to anyone else.

To the OP - you said that your boyfriend said he is [I]almost [/I] certain he wants to marry you. That should be a clue right there. I would think that since you lived together for two years, and he aint' gettin' any younger, that he should have some kind of idea by now if he wants to spend the rest of his life with you. Hell, I wasn't with my boyfriend even a year when he started spoutin' off about getting married. If your boyfriend is serious about you, I would think that he would WANT to make some kind of committment. But hey, engagement rings are expensive, maybe your boyfriend does not have the money for one just yet. I know that I was expecting a ring for my birthday, if only because my boyfriend talks about marriage so darn much. So I got all huffy when I didn't receive one. Then I discovered why - here I am thinking engagement rings are like $500 dollars, and my boyfriend informs me they are more like $5,000! So I'm like it. But what he did do was buy me a pre-engagement ring on my previous birthday.

It could be true that you are making it way too easy...already acting like husband and wife. If your boyfriend feels secure that you ain't going anywhere, then he won't be propelled to nail the thing down. I have a propensity for wandering off, which has always provoked my boyfriends to try and nail me down early. Try and let the BF know that if he doesn't want to make a comittment to you, then you can easily go elsewhere. Then see how he reacts. If he doesn't put much effort into getting you to might have your answer, even if it isn't the one you want. Time to sh** or get off the pot.

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