Question: I have zero debt. I make reasonable money and live within my means.
My boyfriend moved here six months ago to stop being a ski bum, and to be with me.
When he moved here, he was working food service. I paid more than my share of our expenses, but grew resentful when it seemed like he was always tightfisted.
About three months in, he said he wanted to live together. The main motivation seemed to be financial. However, I have come to realize that in addition to student loans, he has almost $8,000 in medical and credit card debt (from a skiing accident and from moving here, respectively).
I revisited living together. We spend every night together. He has also managed to get a full-time, salaried position with benefits.
Still, I feel torn. I love him but the idea of building a future with someone with such financial liabilities is daunting.
Answer: Moving in as a sensible money decision is a terrible emotional decision.
There is inertia in sharing an address; as I've said before, moving in is fun and exciting, but moving out is hard. So people stay together who would otherwise break up. When people stay together for reasons other than being happy together, regrets ensue. It'll never be easier to say "no" than it is now, while "yes," if it's the right answer, will stay on the table.
Chat with Carolyn Hax online at noon Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.