‘He’s in no hurry to make me his wife’

My boyfriend and I have been together for three years and have been living together for eight months now. Lots of big things have happened over the course of our relationship. My concern is that I'll continue to be his girlfriend and that he's in no hurry to make me his wife.

I wasn't as concerned at first because I figured that it would happen when the time was right, but I'm starting to question that. Since we've been living together, we've started to pay off his debt, which is great, but it makes me a little uncomfortable because we aren't married. Most recently, we've started to look at houses to purchase. Which, again, is great, but what about marriage? I have a son and so does he, and his son will be moving with us full-time in June. Everything seems so out of order and it isn't because I haven't expressed my interest in marriage. We've had several conversations about marriage and children, and I thought we were on the same page. I recently found out that his mom didn't even know that I had moved in – and he's very close with her.

Should I just be more patient?

– Share a bank account

If you share a bank account, a home, and are paying off his debt together, you need to have an honest conversation about the plan. He might not be ready to get married, but combining money can be just as serious. I suggest meeting with a financial planner or third party of some kind to talk about your system together, and how you're combining your lives. You should also find out what would happen if the relationship ended. Who's entitled to what? How can you protect the investments you've made during the relationship?

You didn't tell us what he's said about marriage – whether he's been clear about what's holding him back (assuming he's interested at all). I have to wonder whether he's waiting to see how it goes with his son. Or maybe he just wants a full year or two of cohabitation before he makes the commitment. Those reasons would be understandable. The mom thing is confusing, though. If he's close with her, why wouldn't he want her to know?

It sounds like you've had some conversations about these issues, but that you've walked away without real answers. It's time to let him know that without a real plan, you can't feel good about contributing to a shared home – and paying his debt. He doesn't have to make promises before he's ready, but he should be able to tell you what kind of life he thinks you're building together.

– Meredith

Readers? If they're sharing a bank account, should there be a better plan?