When I told my sister that Dean and I were planning on moving in together, she got quiet, then said, “Why would you do that? When you move in together, it should be really special. I mean, if you’re going to move in together, you might as well get married.”
My conservative background came rushing back to me and I thought, “Gosh, she’s right. She’s really right.” Why do people move in together? To figure out whether they’re compatible? To identify all the things that can go wrong before you get married? I agree with Therese. When I move in with someone, I want it to be permanent, forever, like…practically married. If I’m not married, I’ll start worrying that I won’t be able to live with someone with certain idiosyncrasies. I can already see myself running out the door, driving to my sister’s place again. “Therese! He threw up all over my fur coat!” Something like that.
In my ideal world, I would live where I live. Dean would live where he lives. We’d get engaged, get hitched, then move into a 2 bedroom, 2 bath flat on Telegraph Hill. But that’s not going to happen. It’s a recession. I don’t know the details of Dean’s finances except that he doesn’t have credit card debt. I’ll be paying off $1,000/month in student debt until I’m 40 years old. But after that, I’m home free! My mortgage payment is more than manageable. I’m starting to realize it’s not hard to rent my place out and that people are willing to pay. I should have asked for more and held steady.
I think of his money as my money, sternly eyeing him as he buys rounds of drink at the bar. I think of the money he’s budgeting for an engagement ring and I start thinking about how much more important it is for my kids to go to private Catholic school…in the city! Gulp, I’m already picturing the financial aid and scholarship forms I’ll be filling out. If my parents can do it on their wages, I’ll make it work with mine.
And so I’m assessing Craigslist responses for potential subletters. There’s more than enough demand. That’s $1800/month we can put into savings for all the things we want to do: Burning Man, England, engagement ring, wedding. I’m not renting my place out because Dean and I are going to have so much fun living together. I’m moving into his 1 bedroom apartment. This is not ideal. But it works. I’m not made of money. There are a lot of financial things to consider. And it’s time to make some sacrifices.