My gentlemanfriend is moving in soon, and I am freaking the f**k out (FTFO, as I’m reclaiming it).
I’m not FTFO because I don’t love this guy. Because I do. Clearly. Or he wouldn’t be moving in to the home I’ve safeguarded from all male influence for several years. In fact, cohabitation with a man has only happened the following number of times in my entire lifetime:
I am FTFO, because of money. I know – from countless people reassuring me – that my life will be “easier” with someone to share the load. I’m not worried about him as a contributor since he’s gainfully employed and also a hard-worker. What I’m worried about is how we’re going to manage our money.
My parents married when they were both 22 years old, and then they built a financial life together. In 1971**, you started from nothing and made it into something. Together. With two incomes. My mom worked outside the home, as did most of the moms I knew. She even supported my dad during his last year of university with her $350/month secretarial job. There was no “her money” or “his money”, only “our money” – no matter who earned it.
In 2012, you have to prove yourself as an individual before you are deemed long-term partnership material. By the time most people are “ready” to marry, they come with a home, a car, a career, some savings (hopefully) and a lot of debt (unfortunately).
This makes no sense.
I’m not condoning child-brides – which at 122 lbs. my mother obviously was – but I am a bit mystified at the way our culture works now. How do two adults with lives already built bring those two lives together? It’s like trying to attach your house to your neighbours’ and then expecting to live in total harmony.
My 30-year-old gentlemanfriend, who has next to no financial responsibilities, is partnering up with a 33-year-old woman with many, many, (many) financial responsibilities. I’ve had a job since I was 12, and I’ve NEVER had to answer to a single human being about how I spend my money, just as neither has he, since he’s also never really lived with a romantic partner.
Oh ya, and did I mention he HATES talking about money? That he openly shudders when the subject comes up because he believes it’s a rude conversation topic? Meanwhile, I am baring my financial soul to the entire World Wide Interweb (or at least the people nice enough to click on my homepage).
How are we supposed to make this work? No, really…how? I have no answers. Please offer your advice as to what’s worked and what’s bombed for you. I need help so this shit doesn’t hit the proverbial fan, because did I also mention I really, really love this guy?
*I lived with my daughter’s father for about three months, and it didn’t go so well. I spent most nights at my parents’ house. Hence, the 0.3 number. It represents, in mathematical terms, just how dedicated both he and I were to this particular scenario.
**That’s the year my parents decided to marry, and they stand by their decision to this day. Seriously incedible. If I had to stick with the decisions I made when I was 22 years old, I’d be a pink-haired poet living in abject poverty in the Northwest Territories with a guy who sells weed for the Hell’s Angels and plays Call of Duty 12 hours a day. Uh, no thanks.