I Don’t Want To Move In With Him

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Dear Meredith,

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for about a year and a half. He is a lovely man who makes me laugh. He makes me feel comfortable as my authentic self. For the most part, everything is great. Except for when we talk about living together.

I rent. He owns a house he loves very much and has worked hard to be able to afford. We have talked about me moving in with him, and while I would love nothing more than to move this to the next phase, I do not feel comfortable in his house. I’m a homebody, and home, for me, is my space to unwind after a very long day at work and in traffic. His house does not have the environment that affords me peace and the comforts of home. When we have talked about this in the past, he has said things like, “Why don’t you try living here, and if it doesn’t work out then it doesn’t work out.” I haven’t really dug into that answer with him. Maybe I’m afraid of the response.

He doesn’t seem to be willing to compromise and consider finding somewhere we both can enjoy. What do I do? Leave this man, whom I love, because I don’t feel the comforts of home? Or stay and try to make it work and hope one day we can have the discussion again? I’m stuck at a crossroad of love and comfort, and unsure of what is reasonable to give up.

– Homebody


It would be nice if I could say, “He should want to compromise! He should be open to moving!” But the real estate market affects a lot of decisions. It’s complicated and scary, and sometimes a person’s best bet is to stay where they are.

I want to tell people in expensive cities that they shouldn’t let housing prices/rent dictate when they move in with someone, but of course the financial part of life influences people’s choices. Sometimes couples move in together before they’re ready because that’s what they can afford. I understand that.

With that in mind, I don’t understand why his home can’t be turned into a place where you might be comfortable. Are there ways you can make it feel better? New decor? Rules about guests (if that’s an issue)? A space where you have peace and quiet? If this is about geography (maybe he lives in the bustling downtown of a city and you like the suburbs), that’s something to think about as a possible deal-breaker. If he likes his lifestyle and it doesn’t match yours at all, what are the plans to find a happy medium?

Think about possible changes to his place and then talk about your ideas. Also, find out if he wants to be in his home – and, more importantly, with its decor, vibe, or whatever bothers you – forever.

It’s time to dig into all of it – what works, what doesn’t, and what happens if you can’t find compromise.

– Meredith

Readers? Is there a place you couldn’t ever live? Deal-breaking geography? What did you need to do to make living with someone possible?

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