"He wants to move with me; he has a kid and can't pay rent," woman upset with boyfriend

Amy Christie

*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission

Wanting to live together means taking your relationship to the next step, but for that to happen, money also needs to be discussed. And when you've been saving for a while, and your partner just wants to move in, asks for a specific number of bedrooms, and then can't contribute at all, things can get confused, and arguments will easily start.

Should your partner decide how many bedrooms a rented apartment will have when they don't even earn enough to pay their half, or is it ok to ask them to just visit from time to time if they can't add any money to help you with rent?

My friend Tania has been dating her boyfriend, Noah, for two years. They met at a cooking class in Phoenix, Arizona, and have been together ever since.

"On that day, he helped me pick the best ingredients, and we cooked dinner together. We exchanged phone numbers and texted for a few weeks," Tania recalls.

They also met for breakfast a few times and had coffee in the afternoons. As they gradually learned more about each other, they realized they wanted to be more than just friends.

"I was sure he was the right person for me. He hadn't met my parents or the rest of my family yet, but that could come later. I wanted us to be happy together. That's what mattered most," Tania recalled.

She was in college when they began dating, and Noah had just graduated and was looking for a job. In the meantime, he was still living with his parents to avoid paying rent and bills.

"It made sense; why would he go for a low-paying job if he could take his time and try hard to get a higher salary?" Tania said.

She was also working and wanted to move out of her home as soon as possible. She got along well with her parents, but she felt it was time to live on her own and maybe give her relationship a chance to become something more permanent.

Tania had been saving for one year and was ready to go and look for an apartment to rent. And, since she and Noah had been dating for over a year, she felt he could be part of it too.

"I asked him if he wanted to move in together, and he agreed immediately. He was so excited and told me about the recipes we could try together, how we would go on trips whenever we felt like it, or we would just listen to our favorite music and be comfortable in our home," Tania said.

There was one thing he added that she didn't expect, though. Noah wasn't about to come by himself to live with her. He actually had a son with his girlfriend from high school, and they were both living with his parents. The boy's mom had left him with his dad and grandparents and was no longer involved in his life.

"I didn't see that coming at all. He'd never mentioned being a dad, and he seemed so spontaneous that this side of him was not something I'd thought about. Having a boyfriend who was also a dad was different than just trying to be together, and I had to consider that. He wanted to move in together but also bring his son. And that meant renting a two-bedroom apartment, which would be more expensive," Tania said.

The other issue was that Noah couldn't pay his half of the rent and asked his girlfriend to cover the costs until he could get a good job.

"I had agreed to him looking for a high salary only because he was still living with his parents. But to have him come live with me while I paid for everything with my savings didn't seem fair," Tania said.

She told Noah she had to think about it, and he got upset and told her she didn't really want to be together if she couldn't do this for him.

"Why is it so hard for her to be understanding for a while? It's not like I'm lazy and not looking for a job and expect to be watching TV while she pays for stuff. I will find a job soon, and my son won't disturb her. He needs his own room, though. I can't leave him with my parents if I move. That wouldn't be ok," Noah said.

Tania talked to her mom and dad and also let her sister know about this issue. They felt she shouldn't take responsibility for the whole rent or have both Noah and his son move in. And that a two-bedroom wasn't necessary just for her. It was more for Noah's sake.

"He wants to move with me; he has a kid and can't pay rent. So, I called him and asked him to meet for lunch. I told him I could only get a one-bedroom apartment for now. He can visit anytime and stay over, but he should go on living with his parents and keep his son there too. It's not the right time for me to pay higher bills," Tania said.

Noah felt offended by what she said, and he shouted at her and said he didn't want to see her again. Tania is upset, but she hasn't changed her mind about the rent.

How do you think this situation should be handled? Is it fair for Noah to expect his girlfriend to pay rent for both him and his son? Should he agree to stay with his parents until he gets a job and avoid arguing with Tania about rent, which he can't afford anyway?

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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