Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pressure To Move In With New Boyfriend Raises Red Flags

Dear Tazi:

The lease on my economically-priced apartment is expiring this summer, and my boyfriend of six months has asked me to move into his much more expensive one. I have told him that I cannot afford to pay half the rent on his place, which would be $300 more than I am currently paying on my place! "Bradley" has told me that this will not be a problem, that I can continue to pay what I have been and he will pick up the rest of the rent. He says that he does not want finances to come between us.

Tazi, on the surface this sounds like a dream! However, I have only been dating Bradley for six months, and I am not sure that I am ready to move in with him. Plus, I am afraid that if things don't work out I will have to move, and I doubt I will be able to find a place as economical as my current place, especially one in as good an area. On the other hand, if I tell Bradley I would like to wait I will have to re-up my current lease for another year, at which point Bradley and I will have been together for two years. I am much more comfortable with this time-table, but Bradley is hurt that I don't want to move things to the next level with him. He has said that he loves me and wants to live with me; that "this is what grown-ups do".

I am only 21, and have been on my own for two years, so I like to think that I am plenty "grown up", but Bradley is several years older than me and I am afraid my hesitation at moving in with him has him thinking that maybe I am too young for him. My friends are all of mixed opinions on the subject; some say to go for it, others say to wait and if Bradley truly loves me he will be willing to wait, too. What's your take on the subject, Tazi?

Movin' Out?

Dear Movin' Out?:

My take on the subject is that you should not move in with someone until you have been with them for at least one year. This allows you to experience the stress of the holidays together and the temptation to stray with a summer romance, and everything that comes in between all of that. I also believe that you should not move in with someone until you have the financial means to pay the entire rent, in case that is what you end up doing due to unforeseen circumstances, such as prolonged unemployment.

The fact that you have only been with Bradley for six months has me nixing the deal. The fact that he is pressuring you to move in with him rather than wait the additional year has sent up some red flags for me. Why is he in such a rush for you to move in? Can he not afford the rent on his own, and is willing to take less than half in order to gain any kind of subsidy at all? Is he the jealous and/or demanding type who is trying to monitor your every move? While it is possible that he is simply head over heels for you, you should explore all avenues before making this jump.

At 21 years of age, you are no longer a child but (hopefully) adulthood has not slammed you directly in the face just yet. I consider you a younger adult - legally responsible for your actions, but still having a lot to learn about the ups and downs of those responsibilities. Things like loans (student, car, and mortgage), saving for retirement, car repairs, rent increases, emergency expenses, unemployment, and other pressures that suck the fun out of being on your own will come with time; how you handle them will be a test as to how grown-up you actually are, and will actually help you grow up just a little bit more. Standing up to Bradley and not letting him pressure you into doing something you are not ready to do - and accepting the consequences of your decision - is one more example of the responsibilities of adulthood.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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