Help me negotiate feeling pressured to move in with my boyfriend
August 25, 2017 12:42 AM   Subscribe

My long-distance boyfriend of nine months has just moved to the city where I live. He's been dropping hints and making suggestions about moving in with me, which I've been vaguely agreeing with because I understand why he wants to. But I've had a previous bad experience which makes me worried and uncomfortable with the whole situation, and I don't even know how to start approaching this.

The previous bad experience was with my last bf. He moved in with me after being evicted from his flat as he couldn't pay the rent, which wasn't his fault - but he then proceeded to contribute nothing to the household. In the two years plus we lived together, he never had a job, and benefits rules meant that I was financially responsible for him, and yet I still also ended up doing the cooking/cleaning etc.

My current boyfriend's situation isn't entirely similar - he has a job, albeit much lower paid than mine. But he has moved here because he lost his place to live (he was living with a relative who downsized), and he has lost jobs in the past due an intermittent and ongoing health problem. He's also pressuring me to get used to sleeping in the same bed as him - I know thats normal for couples, but after long periods of singledom I sleep very badly in a shared bed (with anyone, not just him). I have a stressful and tiring job, along with chronic pain, so I just don't think I could cope with the loss of sleep from however many nights of ruined sleep it would take to get used to it. We tried it once - I was still awake at 3am and gave up and went to sleep on the sofa. But he seems so keen on the idea and it is such a normal thing for couples to do I just end up saying I'll try again later.

I understand why he wants to move in - I own my house, and rents here will eat up at least 50% of his take-home pay (obviously he also says he wants to spend more time with me!). But I'm worried about ending up financially responsible for him when I'm facing my own health challenges; also due to the size of the house I'd have to evict my flatmate and lose that backup monthly income (it's not a lot - flatmate is a friend; I've given them a heads-up that this is a possibility and that I'd give them several months notice so they could find somewhere else to live).

I don't know how to start this conversation without it seeming like I have doubts about the relationship - I think we're great together, and have loads in common. This is entirely specific to living together. And his points about the costs of living separately are totally reasonable, so I find it difficult to counter them.
posted by Vortisaur to Human Relations (33 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
"I'd like to keep dating you, but that fact that you keep pressuring me to do things I already told you "No" about, like sleeping in the same bed, makes me think we are a bad fit. I'm breaking up with you because I deserve a partner who respects me."

I actually would not be that direct. Just letting you know you already know what to do. You're right, this person already takes advantage of you. Don't move in. Don't date anyone who is taking advantage of you.
posted by jbenben at 1:13 AM on August 25, 2017 [53 favorites]


9 months of LDR is nowhere near enough time to make a decision re living together—you barely even know each other.
posted by she's not there at 1:15 AM on August 25, 2017 [28 favorites]


The fact that you are feeling pressure is a pretty big warning sign.

His response when you tell him you have doubts and are feeling uncomfortable and want to take your time will tell you loads about his priorities, and how he weighs your comfort against his. The slightest bit of pushback, making you feel like you SHOULDN'T feel the way you do (which is entirely valid, and correct, and 100% reasonable) would be a red flag.

It's a big deal to move in together. It's an even bigger deal to move into someone's space. It should be approached with a massive amount of care and respect. The fact that it seems you're already arguing about this, i.e. he's already pushing against your discomfort, frankly alarms me, and I think you should supply a firm no for now and wait and see how things develop.
posted by PercussivePaul at 1:17 AM on August 25, 2017 [39 favorites]


I absolutely agree with PercussivePaul.

If you want a softer answer than "hell no", I'd probably start the conversation by saying that you think this relationship has a lot of potential, you're excited about dating him, and you don't want to jeopardize something with long-term potential by trying to force it to move more quickly in the service of temporary convenience. Nine months of long-distance really isn't that long to get to know each other. I'd want to try a gradual step from that distance to living in the same town, seeing each other more often, before taking the much larger step of deciding to move in together. I'd also want him to have space to build an independent life in the new city.
posted by Metasyntactic at 1:24 AM on August 25, 2017 [11 favorites]


Also, I find the assumption that he's not going to be paying you rent to be ... odd.
posted by Metasyntactic at 1:25 AM on August 25, 2017 [69 favorites]


Yeah anything else aside, he would need to legally be your tenant, and pay rent. That means a lease an everything. Is that "romantic"? Of course not, but if he balks at that he's basically saying him feeling awkward is worth literally risking your financial livelihood. You can give him a deal on rent if you want, but if he's asking to move in rent-free that (that being asking/expecting you to support him financially) is n enormously bigger commitment than just moving in together.

Also, although it is less common, there are many long-term, even happily married couples who do not share a bed because sleeping is it's own thing. That's an ok position to take.

Also 2, you're not ready for this step, and that's enough. Moving in together out of financial convenience (for only one party, I might add) is just about the worst idea. You don't need to justify, you don't need excuses, you can just tell him that you're not ready for that step yet. If you are in a healthy relationship, it can wait.
posted by brainmouse at 1:38 AM on August 25, 2017 [15 favorites]


Dating someone doesn't give you the right to save money or freeload off them. So I think you are being entirely reasonable and, if he really is really trying to convince you with financial arguments, he is being ridiculous. You have dated less than a year and most of it was spent apart -- you are in no way responsible for this guy's finances.

I would say you are happy in your relationship with him and you care for him, but you've never moved in so quickly with someone/you like to take things slow and you simply aren't comfortable living together already. Tell him it's just not up for discussion because it's simply too soon. You don't need to give him any explanation beyond that. If he pushes you on it, then that is just even more proof you are doing the right thing by not having this man move in with you and you are probably avoiding what happened with your last boyfriend.

You mentioned that you've been vaguely going along with his comments about moving in with you, so I think it's important that you be direct and clear. Tell him you've thought about it a lot and, while you hope you can get to that point one day, it's not right now.

When and if you do get to the point where you want him to move in, discuss financial responsibilities and household expectations upfront so it doesn't end up like your last boyfriend.
posted by AppleTurnover at 1:40 AM on August 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Honestly, if you don't have doubts about the relationship, this should make you reconsider that. You've said no, you've said you're not comfortable, you've said this causes you pain, you've said you'd rather not, and his response to all these things has apparently been, basically, that he feels it would be better if you just ignored your discomfort and misgivings and reluctance and health concerns. That's not a great sign, in my opinion.

I'd tell him that you're not comfortable, and his refusal to accept your no isn't doing anything to change that. If he keeps pushing, I'd take that for the giant red flag it is and tell him to find himself a new girlfriend.
posted by mishafletch at 1:42 AM on August 25, 2017 [19 favorites]


Nthing what everybody else is saying. You are right to be very uneasy - your very reasonable needs and concerns don't seem to be relevant if he keeps pushing for things that you've told him don't work for you. That starts with sleeping arrangements and ends with living arrangements.

If you have not sat him down and clearly expressed your needs and what is/is not possible at the moment do that now. Scripts have been provided.

If you want to explore how much potential freeloading he was hoping to do see how he reacts when you tell him, for the avoidance of doubt, that you'd expect him to sign a tenancy agreement if and when he moves in. You'd give him the same terms as your friend currently has. These terms are favourable to market but ensuring there's a legal basis is the grown up thing to do.

If he is pushing back on any of that you know what you need to know. If he was under the impression that moving to your city and moving in with you would give him an easy life you're telling him that won't happen. If that really was his expectation the sooner you both know that the better. Don't be bullied/guilt tripped into doing anything you don't want to do.
posted by koahiatamadl at 2:29 AM on August 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


If you really don't want to move in together and your mind is already made up then absolutely just say so.

However, if you're on the fence and want to talk it out first, here's a possible script: "If you moved in with me, I'd be both your landlord, and your girlfriend. That could cause conflict if not managed carefully. Let's talk about the (financial, physical) arrangements now to make sure this is the right step for both of us."

For financials, you each write down your monthly income & expenses, and then create a shared hypothetical new income & expenses sheet for when you live together. Compare the two. You have to see that you're both coming out ahead! If the comparison makes it clear that he's saving a lot, and that you're not saving anything at all (or maybe you're even losing money due to loss of rental income), what does he propose to do about that?

For physical arrangements, go over things like your chore schedule with current flatmate which he inherits and the bed situation ("You already know I can't sleep in the same bed for my health, but we can do at least 30 mins of cuddle time every night!").

Pay attention to how he reacts and engages with this. You'll want to see an attitude of "I want this to work for both of us" in your discussions. If he pouts about having to pay rent or utilities share, doing chores, or physical arrangements (your own bed), then that's a position of wanting it to work for him only and not for both of you.
posted by tinydancer at 2:42 AM on August 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


Wait, what? No way on this planet should that guy move in or even get to enjoy the pleasure of dating you! He is already trying to get you to do something that causes you pain and discomfort and suffering (sleeping in the same bed) just because he vaguely 'wants' it? How many ther ways would that energy play out if you were living together? Also: if he is putting out the idea that he wouldn't pay rent to you, now that is just funny beyond belief. Why on this earth would you be expected to pay a mortgage/taxes/etc, while he just gets a free home because he presented the idea convincingly enough that it seemed normal? N-O to this childish, goofy, disrespectful proposition. And all this is without taking into account the horrors of trying to kick someone out of a home once things go downhill. And it sounds like you have enough on your plate without that looming over you. Good luck to you!
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 3:38 AM on August 25, 2017 [15 favorites]


It is your house. yours, and you get the final word on how it is inhabited. If he wants to live there, he has to pay rent, and if you want him to sleep in his own bed than that is what he'll have to do. This is why it is great to own your house, it gives you that independence and power over your own life. Don't give that up for anything.

Also, saying that sleeping in the same bed is a normal thing that couples do is not really true - lots do, but lots also make different arrangements that suit their needs. I'm writing this lying in my own bed, while my boyfriend is asleep in his room 2 floors up. I wouldn't get any damn sleep if we shared a room and he respects that. You deserve the same sort of respect. When he has shown that he can reliably pay rent, and is happy to accommodate your needs, then you can discuss him moving in.

If you do want to try co-sleeping again, try it the next time you have some time off work and can sleep in if it takes a long time to get to sleep.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:57 AM on August 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


Yeah, wait, why isn't he helping towards rent? He should at least pitch in to utilities and groceries and household expenses if he can't afford to pay rent. This doesn't bode well and I don't blame you for not feeling good about this. My SO and I are long distance and closing the gap for a year. He's moving in, but we're doing a "trial" move-in where he moves in for a few months. He is still helping towards rent though. And if things get weird, he's willing to move out and find a roommate or his own apartment.

I just feel it's unfair that your boyfriend is moving to your city and making moving in with you to be the only choice, because he knows that cost of living is too high. He could totally find roommates instead. You guys will still be way closer in distance than ever before. The sharing the bed thing is icing on the uncomfortable cake.

If you want to go the nice way, I would say "Hey boyfriend, I'm really excited that we'll be in the same city, but I'm not ready to move in together yet. I think it'll be best if you find roommates here (they could be new friends for you who knows) and we can re-visit moving in later." If he pushes back a lot on that, you certainly don't have to be nice. That would be a deal breaker for me. I wouldn't feel respected or like my partner was willing to compromise.
posted by socky bottoms at 3:59 AM on August 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


"Last bf. He moved in with me after being evicted from his flat as he couldn't pay the rent, which wasn't his fault"

Not to be mean, but I find this statement odd. Unexpected shit can happen, yes, but not being able to pay the rent is a big old bright red flag. But Extenuating Circumstances! I hear people cry (including myself, who also has had money issues)


But you can't be a bleeding heart about money. Especially not your own financial well-being.

You have a history of being taken advantage of financially, and a bit emotionally.

Protect yourself, give a firm, unambiguous NO and keep a careful eye on said bf for other red flags like pushyness and ignoring your needs or viewing you as a convenience dispensing affection and support on demand.
posted by Jacen at 4:05 AM on August 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


others above have said it better than I could that you should not give in to the pressure. Don't let him move in.

What I want to add though is re
He's also pressuring me to get used to sleeping in the same bed as him - I know thats normal for couples, but after long periods of singledom I sleep very badly in a shared bed (with anyone, not just him). I have a stressful and tiring job, along with chronic pain, so I just don't think I could cope with the loss of sleep from however many nights of ruined sleep it would take to get used to it. We tried it once - I was still awake at 3am and gave up and went to sleep on the sofa. But he seems so keen on the idea and it is such a normal thing for couples to do I just end up saying I'll try again later.

I have been together with my husband for 19 years now, we moved in together 9 yrs ago, before that we lived in separate flats.
one of the main criteria when looking for a flat to share was to have a bed room for each of us - yes, this costs extra money BUT my husband as a mdical condition (restless legs) which makes it impossible for either of us to be comfortable to share a bed all night.
So we have separate bedrooms and it is not at all an expression of lack of initmacy etc but simply a practical consideration. If you do not wish to share a bed, stand your ground!
Just becuase it is "normal" (says who? I know a number of couples who have separate bedrooms) does not mean you have to. In fact visiting the other's bedroom is quite romantic. If oyu can afford it rent wise (and as you have a house it sounds like you can) retain your own bed room.
But I still feel you should not do let this particular man move in with you.
posted by 15L06 at 4:30 AM on August 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


You already have a good living arrangement with your friend/flatmate/tenant contributing to a shared home. Your boyfriend moving in should feel unambiguously like a step up FOR YOU if you're to consider it seriously. The way you describe it makes it sound like a step up for him but a step down for you.

Trust your gut and don't change your life in a way that makes it worse just because this dude sees how it would be better for him.

Also, as others have said, it's very normal for couples to keep separate beds.

And, for what it's worth, it's entirely possible to have a deep, meaningful, long term relationship that doesn't lead to living together. My bf and I have been together 10 years, we're very happy together, and we have never lived together and don't plan to. I think it would be bad for both of us and our relationship to do so. But we also have no plans to break up anytime soon.

Trust yourself! What you want is valid, even if it's unusual. If it doesn't match with what your bf wants, there are times when it's reasonable to make compromises, but they MUST come from both sides, and it's ok if some things are just not available options (eg, health and well being)
posted by spindrifter at 4:34 AM on August 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


"I don't know how to start this conversation without it seeming like I have doubts about the relationship"

It sounds to me like you are having doubts about the relationship. Normal, healthy doubts that make sense when you're in a LDR, and reasonable doubts that his current reasons for wanting to move in with you have more to do with him looking out for his own wants rather than your needs. If you're worried that saying a flat "no, sorry, we're not at that stage of our relationship yet" will cause him to break up or fight with you about not caring enough about him, then I think this has more to do with feeling like being together with him is mandatory, and your needs are starting to come secondary to that. Which is a lot of pressure - and really unhealthy.

This does feel a bit like a litmus test for your relationship moving forward to me: If he loves you, he'll understand your needs and find a way to live on his own and still see you. He'll see this as a relationship-stage issue. Give him a firm no. "I'm sorry, that won't be possible" is the phrase a lot of people here seem to say works, repeated as necessary. Me, I would go with, "Yeah, that would be better for you, but I'm not ready for that even if I didn't have worries that this would be repeating past mistakes - I'm sure you understand." With a gentle laugh and a look of expected shared understanding. If he pitches a fit or puts more emotional pressure on you to change your mind, this isn't about housing anymore - it's about being with a guy who doesn't respect your needs. And is that the relationship you want to be in, just because you're otherwise great together and have loads in common?

The first step is a firm, unequivocal no. You can't dance around this one with polite demurring and hope he'll take the hint. People who want something that someone else has and they feel they have a moral right to (whether correctly or not), never take hints. They literally don't see all the little signs of negative feedback you're sending with half-words and body language. If your no is not respected - if he turns it into "you don't love me" in any form - the answer is the truth. Of course you do, or of course you don't yet (however the case may be), but if the relationship can't survive living apart and him having to pay rent like everyone else does (including you - what, you aren't giving up a significant portion of YOUR take-home pay on housing that could be better spent elsewhere? Is that a sign that he doesn't love you, that he isn't offering to rent a place and have you move in with him?) - then it's not a relationship, it's two compatible people using each other to get their needs met. Which is only fine as long as it works.
posted by Mchelly at 4:45 AM on August 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


This dude is just a big pile of giant red flags with flashing warning lights.... please god NO do NOT let him move in with you!

* A nine-month LDR isn't nearly enough up-close-and-personal time to get to know someone;
* he wants to move in because he's lost a place to live --- i.e., he doesn't want to or can't pay for his own place, he has basically said he wants to sponge off you;
* he is "pressuring" you into doing x --- anybody who pressures you like that, to do anything (letting them move into your place, sleep with you, anything), is someone to watch out for.

Look at it this way: he wants free room & board and sex on demand. What's in it for you? Would this dude pay you a fair rent? Even if he agreed to, I'll bet that he would not in actuality pay up, either in cash or in labor around the house.

Treat this like any landlord would: talk to the relative he last lived with, get their side of the story on why BF moved out. Talk to his previous landlords, talk to bosses at his former jobs and see why he really left --- I suspect the answers won't be the ones he's been giving you.
posted by easily confused at 4:47 AM on August 25, 2017 [23 favorites]


I promise, men are not so scarce that you have to put up with this.
posted by corb at 5:43 AM on August 25, 2017 [40 favorites]


^^^^^ What they said.

Anecdata: My parents celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary a couple weeks ago. They stopped sleeping in the same bed somewhere around their 10th anniversary. According to Mama, Daddy breathes loud. (According to everyone else, Daddy snores, but what do the rest of us know? Now, I'm the first to admit that my parents probably aren't normal. But their sleeping arrangements work for them.

Anybody who comes along, purporting to love you, then pressuring you to do things you don't want to do? Yeah, that's not love. I don't have enough info from what you've written to call it abusive, but that's way closer to where I'm leaning than love is.
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess at 6:07 AM on August 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


My guy moved in with me after a LDR about that same length. He was unemployed, I had the apartment and a FT job. He had some savings, but the burden fell on me to support the 2 of us for the LONG time it took him to get a job.

The difference was that he didn't pressure me AT ALL. We discussed it informally a few times and I agreed to it happily, wholeheartedly, and with a shmoopy and probably foolish "take my hand and we'll make it I swear" spirit.

Your situation is different. He's pressuring you. You are seeing these red flags and you're processing them properly. Your common sense is functioning at 100% so it won't make you a bad person at all when you tell him, "No, you can't live with me now. I'm not ready for that. And if we are to stay in this relationship, I require separate beds."
posted by kimberussell at 6:12 AM on August 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


For financials, you each write down your monthly income & expenses, and then create a shared hypothetical new income & expenses sheet for when you live together. Compare the two. You have to see that you're both coming out ahead! If the comparison makes it clear that he's saving a lot, and that you're not saving anything at all (or maybe you're even losing money due to loss of rental income), what does he propose to do about that?

I agree with what tinydancer said above (and what others are saying!). I moved into my boyfriend's house that he had a mortgage on, but only after MONTHS of floating the idea, talking about it, some soul searching on if it was the right time, and MOST DEFINITELY putting pencil to paper and talking over the finances several times. I pay him half of the mortgage and utilities, and we bounce back and forth with buying groceries and such. We both had come from previous marriages where our spouses took advantage of our higher-than-theirs income, so we both wanted to make sure neither one of us was taking advantage of the other. After two years living together (and over three as a couple) we have enough trust built up that we help each other out when one runs a bit short of cash, and we've made some major purchases (furniture) together. And we still have budget reviews/conversations once a month to see where we are at and if we have extra money to take on a house project.

From what you've put in your question, this isn't the right time for you, especially if you have to let go of a roommate whose income you count on to make expenses. Boyfriend would have to be able to consistently pay what the flatmate was paying for you not to be on the losing side of this deal. Take lots of time to think through all of this.
posted by MultiFaceted at 7:24 AM on August 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Haha so like he moves into the house you legally own, lives there long enough to become your common law partner and then when you break up he owns half the house even though he hasn't been contributing to the rent and you didn't want him living there any ways?

Haha nope.

It doesn't matter what is "normal for other couples" (?? That's not nearly as black and white as you/he seem to make it, some people GET MARRIED and still sleep in seperate beds...) It matters what you and he are both ok with. You are not ok with something and instead of compromising he's just pushing.

Tell this guy to piss off and get his own place, like a grown man. You're not his mommy, it's not your job to take care of him.
posted by windykites at 7:24 AM on August 25, 2017 [25 favorites]


I can't understand why your boyfriend wouldn't be paying at least equivalent rent as the housemate who would potentially be moving out? There's already a "market rate for people I know" in play here, and it seems clear to me that the boyfriend should be paying that amount. After all, it's not as if YOU are living in free housing -- you're paying a mortgage, insurance, saving up for when the furnace breaks, etc. etc. etc. -- homeowning is great in many ways, but FREE it is not!

If anything, for an early-stage romantic relationship, I would think that each person should be contributing 50% of the living costs -- 9 months is nowhere NEAR a point where I would be comfortable supporting/subsidizing a romantic partner. (In fact, my husband and I only started doing the joint bank account thing and getting rid of our spreadsheet where we split almost all expenses 50-50 a couple of years after we got MARRIED. Maybe we're the weird ones, but I don't think it's all that strange to wait until at least marriage to intertwine your expenses to the point where one person is subsidizing/supporting the other one.)

However, all of this is aside from the point that you don't seem to really WANT this dude to move in, and that is plenty reason to not do it. You guys have been dating for NINE MONTHS and most of that not even in the same location! You need to do some regular, normal dating for a while to see if you are even compatible outside of intense, short trips to visit each other's cities (which can feel a lot more like vacation than "real life").

Finally, you don't mention your age, but various details in your account suggest that you are pretty fully adulting -- you own your own home, you seem to have a steady job, etc. You deserve a partner who is equally "adult" as you -- able to support himself independent of your assistance. You want to be a partner, not a mom, and that is 100% legitimate. I think you should be really clear with your boyfriend that you value the relationship but also that moving in and combining finances is a HUGE step, and even though you love him, you are not ready for it. If he wants to move to your city, that's awesome! But he is going to need to live in a cheaper apartment or find roommates or WHATEVER -- it's NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO FIGURE OUT THE LIVING SITUATION FOR ANOTHER ADULT PERSON.
posted by rainbowbrite at 7:25 AM on August 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Oh but if you want a less confrontational script, try

"hey X, I've been thinking about your living situation. It seems to me like you are hoping to move in here, you have said a few things along those lines. I have given it a lot of consideration and decided that isn't something that will work for me, so when you are making your plans to move, please keep that in mind. I am not ready to live with you".

If he gets arguey/whiney/pressurey/trying to convince you (he might not! He might be cool once you clearly state your boundaries), don't take the bait. Don't argue back. Don't try to prove yourself right. You will just get sucked into a horrible pit of quicksand and next thing you know his boxes are in your living room. This is what you do:

"But why/variations on why"

"because I don't feel ready to live with you/because it isn't the right time for me/because this is what's best for me right now"

Don't elaborate or explain about your past boyfriends, reasons, finances or anything. He's just going to argue around that stuff, insist that he's different or that there is something you haven't considered or don't understand, etc.

"But what about me/my financial situation/ this is so much more practical/ don't you care about me"

"I understand where you are coming from / why you feel that way. But my decision is final."

Don't get suckered into trying to prove that you really are a nice person who does care about him and love him or that you understand the financial burdens on him. Of course you care about him, you seriously consider doing things you aren't ok with to make him happy. Of course you understand the finances, you own and still have a roommate. He can get a roommate too.

"I deserve an explanation/ I want you to explain how you came to this decision"

"I do not have to justify this decision to you. This decision is final."

Stay strong. Don't be afraid to get mad. If your relationship can't handle you standing up for yourself it is a waste of your time.
posted by windykites at 7:48 AM on August 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


If this guy moves in and it's NOT a repeat of your last relationship, I will pay your mortgage for a month. That's how many red flags you've listed--not to mention the ones you probably didn't.

Don't just say no. DTMFA.
posted by radicalawyer at 7:55 AM on August 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


I agree with all of the above (notice nearly EVERYONE is in agreement here, at least about the red flags part) and I will add this:

Even if he were to agree to pay rent, you say he's lost jobs in the past due to a recurring health problem. Just because it isn't his fault, the effect on you is still the same if benefits rules where you are somehow makes you financially responsible for him. You still end up in the same situation as with your last bf. That fact that the health problem is "intermittent and ongoing" makes this scenario more likely that not.

He'd have to show a lengthy period of responsibility and job stability on his own before I'd ever consider having him move in with me. As far as what to say to him, the next time he brings it up tell him "Moving in is a huge step and I'm just not ready for that." Repeat the "I'm just not ready" in answer to any arguments he puts up. Be prepared for him to ask you when you think you will be ready. The answer to that is "I don't know. Not for awhile."

As far as couples sharing a bed being the norm, my grandparents had separate rooms for years because Grandma had sleep issues. My father and his live-in girlfriend of 30 years have had separate bedrooms from the start because Dad snores like a woodchipper. My husband and I do share a bed, but if I wake up in the night I usually wander out to the recliner to sleep because he has to get up earlier than I do, he has the most obnoxious alarm I've ever heard, and he snoozes it fifty dozen times. I also sleep like shit most nights I'm in bed with him, partly because I am the world's lightest sleeper and he bumps around the room like a water buffalo if he comes in later or gets up to pee. Plus he is a cover-stealing asshole and I'm tired of waking up freezing in the middle of the night. I hope one day to have my own bedroom!
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 8:21 AM on August 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


To answer just a very small part of your question, the only reason my husband and I are not in separate rooms is because we discovered that a king size bed where we each have our own twin-sized sheets/ blankets solved our problem. Otherwise, we'd be right with you. I know quite a few couples who don't share. You're normal.
posted by oryelle at 8:40 AM on August 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


I understand why he wants to move in - I own my house, and rents here will eat up at least 50% of his take-home pay

So...you understand that life would be a lot easier for him if he could sponge off of you? If you want to do charity work, there are lots better places to direct your money.
posted by praemunire at 8:55 AM on August 25, 2017 [14 favorites]


> "I deserve an explanation/ I want you to explain how you came to this decision"

You may have to keep saying: "I am happy to discuss my reasons, but that doesn't mean I'm open to pressure to change my mind."

There's a lot of people who use "please explain" as an excuse for "let me point out the flaws in your logic, and when I'm done with those, you have to agree with me."

It doesn't matter what his counter-arguments are. You are under no obligation to (1) let him live rent-free; (2) let him live in your home at all; (3) sleep in a way that causes you pain because he thinks it's more romantic; (4) push your dating into living together before you want that - which may be never.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:04 PM on August 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Okay, but wait: I've been vaguely agreeing with because I understand why he wants to.

Does he know you don't really want to do this? I feel like all the DTMFA people may have read over this. I don't think you should let him move in for a lot of reasons -- and if he did, he FOR SURE would have to contribute financially -- but you also have to TELL HIM you don't want him to move in instead of "vaguely agreeing." If he thinks you're into this...of course he's talking about it.

Source: Me, a person who hates conflict and therefore vaguely agrees to things instead of saying no, which actually makes things more complicated later than just saying "I don't think that's a good idea" in the first place.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 12:35 PM on August 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


My tingly spidey senses are telling me this is not a great situation (but you already know that).

If this guy moves in, then he's going to find other ways to take advantage of you. Mark my words. It will start out with something small and then he'll find ways to work up to bigger things.

I'm another person a lot like Countess Sandwich, so I can relate. It's gotten me into similar situations, and I get it. "But he's such a NICE guy!" Yep. But there are other nice guys out there who wouldn't put you in the awkward position that you're now in.

It's okay to say no to him. It's not being mean. It's self-respect. It's self-knowledge. It's self-love. He needs to put on his big boy pants and take care of himself. If he wants to leech off of a woman in his life, he can go back to his mommy.
posted by chatelaine at 4:57 PM on August 25, 2017


I wonder if you managed to tell him?

Also, super duper late, but sleeping in separate rooms is really nice. I've been married for years now and I love, LOVE having my own bedroom/bed. Will have to give up now that we have a baby coming on the way but damn it was good while it lasted.
posted by Tarumba at 1:09 PM on April 2, 2018


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