What is the effect of a single and dating relationship on a marriage-like relationship?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Coombes Estate (Re), 2015 BCSC 2050 (CanLII):

They referred to Ring v. Bourgeois, [1998] B.C.J. No. 2576 where Bauman J. (as he then was) stated that his decision in that case at para. 8: … reflects an application of the law. At law, human relationships sometimes must be placed on a continuum which ranges from “single and dating” to “meaningfully involved” to “marriage-like”. The placement, in any given case, by definition, is arbitrary even if it is principled.

In that case, the parties were clearly in a meaningful relationship and had presented themselves as a couple to their family and to friends. They had discussed marriage, but had not progressed beyond that. There were factors suggesting the commitment of the deceased had waned somewhat after they had moved in together for a time. She had decided to move to Calgary to pursue a medical degree and there was no firm commitment by either party to reunite. See also Janus v. Lachocki, 2001 BCSC 1702.

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