Post # 91
You keep saying he won’t “let” you buy a cheap bookcase….I guess I don’t get it. If it was bothering me that much I would’ve gone out during the day and got a $50 bookcase and set it up. When he noticed/asked about it, I would shrug and say “yeah I got a good deal on it and needed some more space for some of my stuff too. Not really attached to it, whenever you find a new one that you really like i’ll sell it on craigslist probably.” A bookcase should be a non-issue. If you were going out and buying a car with joint funds or installing a permenant fixture in the apartment, yeah, I’d say you need to talk about it. But buying a relatively small piece of furniture with your own money….IDGI.
Post # 92
lawandbeauty53: I agree with this 100%. I was in a similar situation when I was in college and living with my first boyfriend. He was a couple years older and had graduated and had a real job so he paid for prob 75%. He wasn’t really controlling with money but he started to be controlling in other ways, and my fear of being alone made me stay for far too long.
Post # 93
secondtimecharm: Yes, he did know that from the beginning. As an international student I can only work part-time so it’s not exactly like I am lazy and avoiding doing more. He does not pay more rent just because I am here, and I clean his place and do all of his laudry, so it is not exactly like he is getting a bad deal. Again, I am very grateful that he is so generous and understanding, but I have worked very hard since I have been here and I want to feel proud for what I accomplished. Tuition here in America is outrageously expensive and I guarantee you most people my age are not paying it on their own like I am…
In terms of my culture background, I am French and he is American.
Post # 94
clarissabee: Well, then you need to have serious conversation with him and perhaps see a counselor who can help you both work through these issues. Even though he is paying the rent, you should have a say in things. You are more than a guest. Are you afraid of him? It’s difficult to understand this, because it sounds like there is more going on than a bookcase. What are you options if you decided to break up with him? Would you be able to get your own place, or would you have to leave the States? Don’t take this the wrong way, but I”m getting the feeling that you may be a bit young and he is older. Am I right? The difference in power between the two of you is a little concerning. If you are disagreeing over a bookcase and have completely separate groceries, etc, what will it look like if you get married (are you engaged, or did I make that up?)?
Post # 95
Ok now I get it. I understand the tones (French people tend to not sugarcoat and have very blunt written and oral communication), the questions and the background. I was in the exact same boat with my now Fiance and I remember a vivid fight we had about an A/C (he refused to buy one by 95F weather saying summer is only 3 months). He finally caved and bought one and could not sleep without it on afterward.
OP, buy the damn bookshelf, trust me. That’s the only thing to do at this point. Use it as a catalyst to re-discuss this arrangement you have where everything is separate, you know it is BS, especially for the food. If he freaks out and threatens to kick you out, leave him.
Really trust me I understand what you are going through, when I moved here I could not have stayed if it wasn’t for him helping supporting me and there is no shame in admitting that. It was tough for him sometimes to feel like he was carrying us financially but if your SO loves you he knows it will be temporary. C’est pas compliqué.
Post # 96
secondtimecharm: I’m not afraid of him at all. Afraid of giving up on the first person I’ve loved? Yes, very much so.
I do have options. I have a scholarship for housing that I turned down to live with him. If I did not have that, I still have enough money saved up to live off for a few months. I am saving that money to get a car soon, as I desperately need one to get to school and work. So I could use those funds but then I would not have much for a car. But regardless, I am not with him because of the financial security at all. If he made me so unhappy I couldn’t care less about money or security, I would just leave.
Our age difference is 5 years. I am 21 and he is 26. He graduated early and is now working full time.
I do wonder if things would be difference between us if I had money like he does to contribute…it does really upset me. He would not even put me on the apartment lease after a year of me being there because he said I didn’t pay the rent, so he said it didn’t make sense. Yet, not having me on the lease even though I had been living there for a year was technically against the lease. And he only did put me there finally because the office manager told him if he didn’t they would kick me out. It was so humiliating to me the whole experience.
Post # 97
brideprivee: Wow. That is crazy! I am glad he finally got the AC!
Did you and your SO end up staying together?
Post # 98
clarissabee: I find it really bothersome that you keep saying “I’m supporting myself” and “he is not supporting me at all”…he is supporting you. He is paying your rent and utilities. This is most people’s LARGEST expense. It’s fine, I’m not saying that this needs to change. But your attitude of thinking that you are self sufficient is incorrect.
I think that if your SO is paying all the bills, that your SO gets the lion’s share of the say in how you live. Sorry, but that’s the truth. I think it’s unreasonable for you to request that you move to a larger appartment so that you can have a whole room to study in (study at school or your local library or coffee shop if you need extra space).
Beggers can’t be choosers, girl.
I can appreciate that you dislike his minimalism – most people would dislike it. I think you have a fewoptions: 1) pony up your money to buy the furniture. Search to find something you can both agree on. There are options out there that are stylish and not too expensive. 2) Just live with it. Until you are paying 1/2 the rent I don’t think you have much leverage to bring furniture into his house that he doesn’t like. 3) Move on from this relationship and move out. The minimalist thing would not be a deal breaker for ME and it’s not inherently wrong…but it might be a deal breaker for you. You guys also seem to have a relationship where you treat each other a bit more like roommates rather than paretners. That may be ok based on the stage of your relationship, or it may not be. As a 21 year old, I’d think that wsa completely fine. But maybe it’s not for you. Your call.
Your boyfriend reminds me of Steve Jobs. He was also famous for having a practically empty house. He’d only bring in furniture that was perfect, so he had like one couch and 2 years later added a lamp. He just couldn’t stand to have things around that weren’t “perfect” to his eye. Seems a bit nuts. You’ll be the best judge of whether your SO is just trying to minimize waste until he can get the right item or if he’s gone over the deep end about the physical objects in his life.
Post # 99
cbgg: Oh, I’m very much aware of how much he is helping me. But when a girl says that her boyfriend is paying the rent, people automatically assume he is some sort of sugar daddy and he pays for everything she needs…which is not the case and I wanted to make that clear.
I think overall I should have not brought this topic up until I had enough money to pay for a 2B or more furniture, so that was my mistake.
And no, the being treated like a roomate for me is not ok at all. I have tried to convince him to open a joint account to pay groceries and he says he doesn’t want to because it’s not necessary.
That is amazing about Steve Jobs – wow. Talk about OCD huh? Lol.
My boyfriend has lived without furniture before and he is fine with it, he says he prefers knowledge and experiences in life instead of things. As long as we live a normal life I can accept him the way it is. If his house had no furniture and he would not buy it or would give up normal necessities, I don’t think I could do it.
Post # 100
I’m not trying to be mean when I say this, but the fact that you refuse to accept reality, have rose colored glasses on that makes you see things the way you want vs. the way they actually are, and you have this fear of letting your “first love” go is going to keep you stuck in a very painful situation forever until YOU change and accept reality for what it is.
You say —– “……As long as we live a normal life I can accept the way he is. If his house had no furniture and he would not buy it or would give up normal necessities, I don’t think I can do it.”
FACT: Your Boyfriend or Best Friend has lived (before your relationship) and continues to live without most basic furniture and home comforts and chooses to live a “weird” NOT normal lifestyle. Even when he moved in with you, he absolutely refuses to change and adheres very strongly to his abnormal anti-furniture-except-when-it-is-super-expensive mindset REGARDLESS of how YOU feel and what you want.
I’m not telling you to break-up with him, but if you choose to remain with him you are going to have to accept that he will never care about creating a nice home with creature comforts unless it meets his ridiculously high standards. He will always care more about how he feels and what he wants vs. what you want and how you feel. You will always live this weird NON-normal home lifestyle if you stay with him because he was this way before he met you, and he will stay this way with or without you.
Woman to woman, there is one piece of advice I will offer that has helped me a lot when I was your age and going through a rough time with my ex-BF. When you are in school, not yet financially independent to live on your own, you do not have a FT job or career to support yourself, and you are in a position where you need a lot of help and support (like being a student) it’s okay to have a Boyfriend or Best Friend to date, but do not live with him. If you do that before you can fully support yourself, you are essentially giving all of your personal power away and you will always feel beholden or like you are indebted to/or owe your Boyfriend or Best Friend who financially supports you. Right now, the power dynamic is completely off in your relationship, where your Boyfriend or Best Friend has most of the say and decision-making ability and you have to do as he says. This is a really horrible place for you to put yourself in. If I was your BFF, I would tell you to move out of his place, take the on-campus housing and just date your Boyfriend or Best Friend — have him take you out on dates and want to do things for you/take care of you (this is what all boys want to do for the girl they truly love) but you are in NO way indebted to him financially. Until you finish school and are completely financially independent, Do Not move in with him.
You keep saying you are 100% supporting yourself through school without your parents’ help, but you need to stop saying this because you have essentially substituted your Boyfriend or Best Friend for your parents and now he is supporting the two of you. And the fact that you cannot even buy a bookcase “without his permission or say so” speaks volumes into how unhealthy this dynamic is. As one woman to another, until you are 100% independent you will never be able to really see for yourself if your Boyfriend or Best Friend truly is the man for you. Right now you are in such a powerless position that it is impossible for you to determine what is the best thing for you, and until you change your situation you will always wonder whether he is truly the love of your life or whether you might have settled for the wrong guy because you couldn’t see that you deserved so much better than this.
Post # 101
clarissabee: Yes we are getting married. Finance is not a thing we fight over a lot since we have the same views for most things. But we talk and compromise! However it was crystal clear that as soon as I was done with school I would participate just as much. The big difference is that we had an understanding and he was 100% supportive. If I thought we needed to buy a bookshelf for his books and I didn’t have the money, even if the money would come out of his pocket, we would still talk about it. He would not say: well it’s my house and my money so go scratch.
Post # 102
I can’t necessarily say that he will change but his age may have something to do with his lack of desire to decorate or furnish his house. At 26, all my Darling Husband owned was 2 mattresses on the floor and a crappy couch. When we moved in together years later pretty much all of the furniture was mine. At 26 his priorities were not about making a home.
Also, again I have to agree with other bees who are pointing out that you are not supporting yourself. Not at all. There is no need to be ashamed of it. Plenty of people either live at home or get financial support from their families during college. You should however acknowledge it. If I were your Boyfriend or Best Friend I would be furious if you went around saying “I’m self sufficent, supporting myself” when I was in fact paying all of your rent and household expenses. I understand that American University is quite expensive. I, in fact, did put myself through college while while working full time and paying 100% of my living expenses including massive medical bills from the kidney transplant I’d had at age 20. I lived in crappy apartments with roommates I hated and lived off whatever food I could scrounge from work and ramen. Just focus on your priority, your education. It is worth not having luxuries to be able to afford your schooling. There is plenty of time for nice houses and beautiful furniture after school is finished