Dear Barb—Moving In

Dear Barb:

Hi, my boyfriend and I have been dating for four years and we moved in together three months ago.  We got along great while we were dating, but not so much now.  We seem to argue a lot more about finances—I am a saver and he is a spender.  When we were dating and each had our own money, this didn’t seem to be a problem.  I have also noticed that he never puts anything away, I am constantly picking up after him.  I know when he lived at home his mom did all these things for him, but he can’t possibly expect I would do this as well.  To be honest, sometimes I feel that he is too nosey.  He is always asking me where I’m going and with who, and wants to see who is emailing me or who I am talking to on the phone.  I like to have a little bit of privacy, which I easily give to him.  I have not brought up a lot of this stuff, because I don’t want to cause anymore problems between us, but I am starting to doubt whether I can continue living with Matt.  I don’t know what to do because I do love him, but I need more space and I don’t like the arguing.  What do you think, is the relationship salvageable? Thanks so much, McKenna.

Hello McKenna:

Thank you for writing, and your relationship is quite probably salvageable.  When a couple move in together the dynamics of their relationship completely change and it takes time to adjust to the new situation.  The most important aspect to any relationship is communication.  You and your partner need to discuss expectations for now and the future.  Finances often are an issue when couples began splitting bills and planning for a future together.  It is a good idea for you both to meet with a financial consultant early in your relationship, before problems begin.  Map out your future goals with a financial planner and decide how much each person will contribute to pay bills and save for the future.  It is also important that you each have your own spending money.  You should be able to buy the things you want, within reason.

Another aspect of living together that should be carefully worked out before major issues arise are the chores and who will do which one.  For example, who will do the vacuuming, or cleaning the bathrooms, or the cooking or laundry? If you both sit down and discuss these issues, they won’t escalate and become a major source of conflict.  Moving in together involves many changes and adjustments, including privacy issues, but when resolved, can lead to a deeper level of love and commitment.  All relationships go through a growing phase, so don’t give up, take the time to work through these obstacles and you will create a very satisfying and caring relationship.  Best of luck McKenna.

Email your questions to voice@voicemagazine.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.
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