Before couples move in together or get married, they’re often warned that there are two things, in particular, that will get in the way of their relationship: communication and money.
Sometimes even having the money can get in the way of the relationship, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Various-Salary-7290 learned this the hard way when she tried to agree with her boyfriend on moving into an apartment that they could both afford.
After seeing how much he resisted, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they could find a suitable place at all.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to move to a cheaper apartment that my boyfriend could afford?”
The OP and her boyfriend had very different incomes.
“I (27 [female]) have been dating my boyfriend (30 [male]) for a little less than a year.”
“I make almost 3 times what he makes (his $45k vs my $130k), which is a little awkward for us but not horrible.”
“My industry is more lucrative, but he also is underpaid for the industry he’s in.”
“I once offered to help him out with his resume or negotiating or job-searching, but he got annoyed with me, and I never brought it up again.”
The OP wanted to move in with her boyfriend.
“The current issue is that we’re looking to move in together.”
“He currently only pays $500 per month because his landlord is an old friend that gives him a huge discount.”
“Meanwhile, I pay $2500 per month, but I live in the best part of our city, and my apartment has a ton of amenities that I enjoy.”
“It’s bougie, but I can afford it and have grown accustomed to being comfortable at this point. Plus, the location is very convenient.”
The OP didn’t like the options her boyfriend presented.
“He wants me to move into a cheaper apartment that he can afford half of, but I don’t want to.”
“He can afford $1k a month max (and even that is a stretch for him because he has a ton of student loan debt he’s trying to pay off), and I just don’t want to downgrade.”
“All the apartments he’s shown me are a lot less nice than mine, and lots of them don’t even have AC (air conditioning).”
“They’re in worse parts of town and a lot smaller.”
“Plus I don’t want to spend a bunch of extra money moving when this apartment is perfectly good and suits both of our needs.”
The OP tried to compromise financially.
“I told him that I’m honestly fine with him just paying $1000 per month toward this apartment (I’m also fine with him paying $500 per month, but he won’t even entertain paying that little).”
“He said it’s humiliating to not be able to pay half the expenses.”
“I told him that no one would know, but he said he would know.”
“I can’t help but think this is a very gendered issue, and it irritates me. But I also don’t want to force him into a living situation that makes him uncomfortable.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said that neither person in the situation was wrong for how they felt.
“NAH – I wouldn’t be comfortable with taking a huge handout from someone I’d just started dating nine months ago.”
‘I also wouldn’t be comfortable living in a s**tty apartment for basically no reason.”
“You guys aren’t ready to live together yet, which is totally cool.” – iwanttoquitposting
“It’s really weird that so many people are acting like it’s totally normal to make such a huge change in lifestyle after nine months of dating.”
“Why is everyone here so willing to accept a handout and make huge life changes after a 9-month relationship?”
‘There’s nothing a**holeish about being uncomfortable moving into an apartment that costs as much as you make in a paycheck. There’s also nothing wrong with living in an expensive apartment when you’re in the top 20% of income earners.”
“Hard NAH territory.” – TheBabyEatingDingo
Others disagreed and said the boyfriend seemed overly insecure.
“It’s also kids of an a**hole move to insist that you live somewhere s**tty just because you are insecure that your girlfriend makes more than you.” – inigos_left_hand
“I don’t think it’s an outright red flag, but I can easily see this becoming a bigger issue quickly.”
“I can see why he’s uneasy, but he needs to get over the insecurity.” – merlinshairyballs
“It’s not a handout. If they want to live together as a couple, it’s not reasonable to expect your partner to live someplace worse than they do now just so you can cover half.”
“OP would save money on rent if he moved in, just not as much as if he covered half. And presumably, she would like having him around, given she wants to move in.”
“Some couples do move in together after 9 months. I feel like that’s the point of debate, if people feel that’s too fast.”
“But whenever they move in together, if one person makes way more money and already has a higher standard of living, then paying proportional to what they make/can afford is the only fair way to do it.” – TheHatOnTheCat
“It’s not a handout when you’re in a partnership.”
“He is literally trying to make OP decrease her quality of living because his ego is so fragile he cannot handle that she out-earns him.”
“That’s what this is about: A fragile ego.”
“When you’re in a partnership, it is not a handout to run things as you’re in a partnership. He is temporarily in a situation where he doesn’t earn much gut that is going to change in the future. Should OP then move out if he hits the jackpot?”
“This is so silly. Either he is OP’s partner and they run their household as a partnership or he can live on his own. OP should not have to make sacrifices so his ego doesn’t get bruised by a woman that out-earns him.” – ImFinePleaseThanks
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update:
“Thanks for the input, everyone! I straight up asked him if he felt like it was too soon for him to be reliant on my income, and he said yes.”
“Moving in together was originally my idea because he’s grown a bit unhappy with his housing situation, but we agreed it’s clearly just a bit too soon given the circumstances.”
“I’m going to get a second dresser so he can have more stuff here and start spending more time at my apartment, but still keep the lease at his house.”
“It’s month to month anyway, so we can reevaluate in a few months.”
Though the subReddit could agree that the OP was trying to do something nice for her boyfriend by helping him out of a tough situation, it was also clear that the couple wasn’t quite ready to compromise the way they needed to.
Maybe after a little more time dating and working things out, they’ll be more successful.