- 8 years ago
Thought I’d share my frustrations to avoid unloading on my friends (again). Engagement is only a small part of my story. My boyfriend & I started dating about 2.5 years ago. I’m 31, he’s 35. I lost my job about 8 months ago. I’m doing ok financially (savings from seeing this coming in my industry+unemployment+picking up a small part-time job not in my original field (but that I have an interest in), but despite this fairly solid cushion I remain concerned about finances as I’m about to lose unemployment benefits, Cobra premium help and still have large grad school loans. I moved in with my boyfriend a few weeks ago. We had been talking about it for quite a while, but I wanted to make sure that while it was very helpful financially, finances was not the reason. We planned on doing it when we did so that a kitchen renovation of his place would be finished and it wouldn’t yet be winter in New England, making a move unpleasant to say the least.
Of course, the kitchen renovation did not happen as scheduled. All of his kitchen things are in boxes in anticipation of the renovation. My kitchen things are in boxes. Some of his things are shuffled about in the meantime so my books and decorative items are also still in boxes. I’ve moved a lot in my life and I haven’t ever minded that because I always unpack within a week at most. (Last move I unpacked all but a box or two 36 hours after moving.) It turns out I hate moving when I have boxes sitting around. Now I get why others hate moving with a passion. With none of my stuff up, I don’t feel like it’s “our place” yet. This makes me sad. He knows this, and will help on putting up pictures that I can’t do myself, but has been busy himself with travel for a new job started at the beginning of October. The new job came with a large boost in salary but as it’s starting up something new, it’s pretty daunting with high expectations.
Again, anticipating the kitchen renovation, he started to tear out the cabinets himself to save on demolition costs, but before the actual contract was signed and a start date set due to some work trips. (Agh, I can feel my blood pressure rising as I dwell on this.) The kitchen already had problems, hence part of the reason for the remodel: no working dishwasher, new one delivered but too large to install in the old hole until we redo it, broken disposal, leaking fridge that we duct tape the freezer shut, non-working oven). Microwave & stovetop work, but because he’s worried about plumbing, he doesn’t want to cook in there to make dishes we have to clean up. Think paper plates and cups and eating take out a lot. Take out all the time gets to be expensive with basically no income coming in. He has a cat and we have to block the door closed all the time so the cat doesn’t get into the mess of the room and eat something, which sounds little but over time gets to be annoying having to unblock/reblock the door all the time.
Why the delay on the kitchen? He thinks he should be getting a better price estimate than he has from two different contractors. He delays at talking to the contractor about it, the contractor in return doesn’t prioritize him. Talked to the first contractor in May, the second starting in June/July.
Recently he apparently looked up engagement rings and was surprised to find out how expensive they are. (Shock! He independently thought about it!) He has enough saved that he can afford the ring (he has quite a bit of cash saved plus very low living expenses), but he’s fairly frugal on top of a procrastinating personality. We’re definitely opposites in this regard because change is hard for him. I’ve told him it doesn’t have to be an expensive ring, and he responded, “but what if I want to get you one.” It’s been a joke that the only way to make these past few months more expensive for him is to add on the ring (his 8 year old car broke down twice and reuired 3k in work, he has to pay health care expenses at his new job for the first two months himself), but it’s turning out to be true.
The lack of a kitchen and not feeling settled in is making me very sad and really, it’s becoming unbearable. Yet pushing for that to be fixed is delaying us getting engaged. I’m afraid the kitchen issue either takes a toll on our relationship if I keep bugging him, or on me personally if I just try to ignore the fact that I don’t feel like we have a home together right now. So… I’m not sure what I’m looking for beyond the opportunity to vent but any tips on what to do. And of course, tomorrow my family will be pestering us about both engagement & kitchen renovation.