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lbwhite89's avatar

When are you really ready to move out on your own for the first time?

Asked by lbwhite89 (1208 points ) December 19th, 2010

I’m 21 years old (female) and I’ve made the decision to move in with my boyfriend of 3½ years around the first of the year.

(No, I’m not asking about anything related to my relationship. I know a young girl gushing about how much she loves and trusts her boyfriend is a bit annoying, even to me, but let’s just say it’s a very stable relationship and I have very little worries about that aspect of my situation. Take my word for it on this one.)

My boyfriend has been moved out since August of this year and lives with two roommates—a couple we are close friends with. They split the rent down the middle. He works at a factory making $15.50 an hour as a full time employee and is doing very well with his job. He’s had no problems paying his rent/bills and seems to be getting firmly onto his feet.

I, however, am a college student and I won’t be graduating until 2013. I’m currently a part-time (30 hrs/week) bank teller making $11/hr going to night school, but I’ll be transferring to a 4-year university next fall and will need to find a part-time night job where, unfortunately, I won’t be making as much money as I am now. I’ll probably end up being a server or something like that, with an internship or two thrown in.

My school is paid for with scholarships, grants, and a loan for which I don’t pay on until after I graduate. I currently pay my car insurance, gas, phone bill, and I even buy my own food each week living at home. I haven’t asked my parents for money since my first job when I was 17.

When I move in with my boyfriend, the only added funds I’ll be contributing are maybe a little on the cable bill for wireless internet that I’ll need for school, and a few other things here and there. He doesn’t want me to pay any rent or anything unless I absolutely can and want to. I always said I wanted to be able to support myself before I live with anyone else and I never wanted to depend on a man to support me. However, once I’m done with school, my boyfriend plans to go back for a degree and I will return the favor by semi-supporting him for awhile. He tells me that it’s not being dependent, it’s being in a relationship.

I’m level-headed and I feel as if I’m ready to move away, but this is a huge step and I’d like to hear what others think of my situation. I’ve heard some positive things, but my mother seems to think I won’t be able to do it. My biggest fear is having to move back home and prove her right. What do you think about this?

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12 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It sounds to me like your relationship is stable, and you and your boyfriend have come up with a workable plan.

I say go for it!

(Note: Moms are doubtful by nature.)

JLeslie's avatar

It all sounds well thought out. I assume if something goes wrong (not that I am predicting it will) you can always move back home. My advice is don’t mix your money. I do have one question about the living situation, does your boyfriend currently pay half or one third of the rent and/or utilities? If he only pays a tird of utilities, seems like it would be fair to the other couple that it become 50/50 between the two couples. At one point when I was in my 20’s my roommates boyfriend started spending a lot of time at our townhouse, so he offered to help pay utilities, so my share went from half to one third.

I understand you want to be able to support yourself when you move out of your parents home, but many many young adults have their school and rent completely paid for by their parents, I did. You are still in school, seem responsible and focused, all sounds good to me.

lbwhite89's avatar

@JLeslie My boyfriend pays half and the other couple pays half. The reason for this is because my boyfriend found the place first and so he has the master bedroom with an included bath. The other couple also doesn’t have a whole lot of money coming in, so he’s helping them out right now. So, it’ll still be half and half when I move in.

JLeslie's avatar

@lbwhite89 I see. That all sounds fair. So, financially everything basically stays the same for your boyfriend, and he gets to be with you all of the time. I can understand why he wants to do it. My advice to you, not that you really asked for this advice, is save as much as you can, especially for when you won’t be able to work as much once you transfer.

Sounds exciting!

Have you told your parents yet?

lbwhite89's avatar

@JLeslie It’s nice to hear a positive, unbiased, and yet sensible opinion on my situation, so thank you. :)

Yes, I actually told my parents two nights ago. My mom cried, of course, and kept bringing up all the negative things that could happen. “What if Josh loses his job? What if school ends up not paying everything? What if you can’t balance work and school?” These are all possibilities, of course, but you can’t live your life on what if’s. I could be 40 with a husband and children, and he could lose his job just like he can now.

My dad was a bit better, simply saying, “Well, we knew it would happen sooner or later.” My older sister still lives at home and says that my mom will warm up to it and that she’s just sad I’m leaving. I can understand that. As I said, though, my biggest fear is having to move back home. My parents would definitely let me, but I’m going to do everything I can to prove my mom wrong about me not being able to do it on my own.

I’m thankful that I have the full support of my boyfriend. I’ve been so stressed out lately and my home life doesn’t help much (SO much negativity in my house), and Josh is the only person I can really talk to about anything. He supports me in everything I do and I can’t imagine what I’d be doing now without him.

JLeslie's avatar

@lbwhite89 I am betting your mom is not assuming you won’t be able to do it, she is just nervous for you, and empty nesting a little. She is probably the type to always bring up what can go wrong, reality check, about everything, not just you. Probably just her personality. I know it might feel to you like she is not being fully supportive, but we always hear our parents like when we are little (even I do at the age of 42) when their intention might be very different. You should always feel like you can go home, especially while you are young and still in school, never let pride put you in a bad situation. However, I think moving out of your parents home can be a fantastic thing. It feels good to be on your own, and can distance mentally from your parents being in your head, help you become more of your own self.

I am assuming your parents don’t live far from where your boyfriend lives now, since you commute to school. So, you will still see your mom often. Maybe involve her in something regarding the apartment if you can? Will you buying anything new? Maybe a set of towels for yourself? She can go shopping with you. Or, ask her for a recipe? Show her you still want to spend time with her, and share things. Just a thought.

lbwhite89's avatar

@JLeslie Yeah, my boyfriend lives about 20 minutes from my parents. And you’re right, that is her personality. And I thought I was the pessimist of the family. haha. We aren’t buying anything new, but I have told her that we will set aside a day every week where I will come over and spend time here, and we can watch a movie or something together. I’m not switching my address at the DMV or post office or anywhere for that matter, so all my mail will still be coming to my parents’ house. That all seems like a big hassle and something I probably won’t do until I graduate from college. And, you know, I actually think the distance will improve the relationship I have with my parents.

JLeslie's avatar

@lbwhite89 I am willing to bet you are right about the relationship improving. Good luck with everything. Just out of curiosity, how old was your mom when she moved out of her parents house?

lbwhite89's avatar

@JLeslie She was 14. Her step-father was abusive and she moved from Virginia to Chicago, lied about her age to get a job in a factory, and eventually got married and had her first child at 17 with a man 20 years her senior. Eventually got divorced, met another older man, had me at 24, separated from my father, married my step-father at 28, and has been with him ever since. She never went back home.

So, I have 7 years on her. She quit high school and went back and got her GED. My step-father quit high school in the 10th grade and never got his GED or anything. Neither of them went to college. Between my sister, my step-brother, and I, I’m the only one with a good head on my shoulders. I’m the only one that’s going to school and making something with my life. They’ve always been so confident in my ability to succeed, so her doubts are kind of foreign to me (even though I understand them). That’s probably why I’m having a hard time with it.

JLeslie's avatar

@lbwhite89 Wow. That is some story. Well, there is porbably a lot going on there. You are on the road to being much different than the rest of your family. I don’t mean better or worse (I know people are going to jump all over me for this) but as you finish your degree, and move up in social class, you will probably view the world differently then they do, just a fair warning. My guess is she knows she wants your life to be better than hers, but she probably has no idea how to really make that happen. She also might be projecting a little, maybe she regretted giving up a little of herself for relationships, and doesn’t want you to do the same.

tigerlilly2's avatar

I moved out right after high school and was also a full-time college student working at a minimum wage job full time. I paid all of my bills on time every month and didn’t have to compromise anything like television or internet! If I can do it on minimum wage, you definitely can! You seem like a hard-working, level headed and dedicated person. Go for it! :)

Coloma's avatar

You’re never really ‘ready’, you just take a leap and hope for the best! lol

My daughter just turned 23 and she moved in with a room mate about 2 years ago, and now she has been living with her boyfriend of 2.5 years for the last year.

So far so good, they all make a great ‘little family.’ haha

Remember…most of what you fear in life will never happen!

Good luck!

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