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Would you move in with your SO's parents?

Asked by tedd (14013 points ) January 8th, 2013

So let me lay out the details first before I move onto the actual question… bear with me, the details are long…..
-My g/f and I have been dating for a little over two years. We’ve lived together since last May. We have our ups and downs, some more severe than others, but all in all things are going well.
-My g/f went to school to be a Zoo Keeper. She has had several internships in the field and one job at the local Zoo. Unfortunately she worked through a contractor rather than the actual Zoo, and had a terrible experience as the contractor was poorly managed and owned by frankly a terrible person. She left that job but in order to stay near me (no other Zoo Keeper positions were open in our area) she had to take a position as a Vet assistant.
-In general my g/f is turned off about staying in her current field. She’s been bitten twice (once in each hand) in the last year (once by a dog and once by a lemur), and both injuries have required surgery and left scars and potential long term damage. On top of that, Zoo Keepers, despite what you may expect, make diddly squat for pay. She is now planning to go back to school, at the moment with the goal of getting a new degree as a Dental Technician (though I suspect the exact degree/job she’s trying to switch to is subject to change).
-My g/f is an only child (and adopted). Her parents did very well for themselves, and her father has a standing offer to pay for any further education she wants (he has been harping on her to get a masters or more for at least as long as we’ve been dating). They have also got an open offer for her to move back in with them (they have made no offer to pay her rent if she goes back to school). They live roughly two hours away from my g/f and I now (they live in Cleveland, we are in Columbus), this as you may expect would be a strain on our relationship.
-I am an analytical chemist, and part time I tutor an autistic boy. I’ve not worked less than 60 hours a week since I graduated college about 3.5 years ago. I make pretty good money.
-Unfortunately I am also in extreme debt thanks to student loans. I currently owe a bit over 100k in student loans. My minimum monthly payment is about $950, and in a typical month I pay several hundred over that. On top of that I also have my rent, car payment, insurance payment, phone bill, utilities, etc. At the end of the day my student loans aren’t coming down quickly, my savings account is a paltry $1100, and my spending cash is extremely limited.
-I am trying to become a forensic scientist. I’ve applied to probably 30 jobs in the past 3 years, and interviewed for (or at least had some follow up) with probably 7–10 of those positions. I am qualified to be a forensic scientist (and am further qualifying myself with textbooks and a class). But Forensics jobs are not plentiful by any means. Locally there are only 3–4 labs that employ a total of probably 100 forensic scientists. Nationally, it is far more likely that I will find a position, but unfortunately that position could literally be anywhere. I’ve applied to positions in San Francisco, Oklahoma, Florida, the Dakotas, even Afghanistan. Getting one of these positions will likely require me to move some distance away.

Now the new detail that brings up the question. My g/f visited her parents this last weekend and told them of her plans to go back to school and change fields. They were of course very supportive. She took them up on their offer, and plans to move back to Cleveland this coming May when the lease on our apartment ends (I suspect she plans to go back to school even if she doesn’t move back to Cleveland, but that is a moot point). Anyways, in talking with her parents her father made a pretty astounding offer. He offered to allow me to move back to Cleveland with her, and live in their house with them. It would be rent/utility free. Assuming I could find a position in Cleveland similar to my current one, this would allow me to dump a significantly larger amount of money into my loans every month, and pay them down much quicker.

But then there are the problems. I am vehemently independent. As my mother put it, I knew when you packed your car and left for college, you weren’t going to be moving back in. (when she was explaining why my room was storage by the time I came back for my first christmas break) And she was right, I never moved back, not even for a summer break. Although my g/f swears we would be independent, at the end of the day we are still living in someones house and his rules apply. Her father, while a nice guy, is somewhat strict. He only had one child. They’ve got the type of house where you don’t eat in the living room, and no ones sat at the $7000 dining room table for a meal in years. It’s a quasi-museum.

On top of that I’ll need to find a position quickly, as my health insurance is dependent upon it. A cursory search found a few prospects, but with questionable pay and benefits. As far as becoming a Forensic Scientist, the prospects are no better in Cleveland than they are in Columbus. If I continue to pursue that career it is likely I will find a job that is still several states away (necessitating a second costly move no less).

So what do I do? If my g/f and I become long distance it would be an incredible strain on our relationship. If I move in with her family I will undoubtedly feel restricted, but at the same time it would be nice as far as paying down my debt. It could be a moot point or even problematic if I should happen to find a Forensics position. What advice have you got?

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