Lesbianing With AE! When She Wants to Move in but You’re on the Fence

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Dear Lindsey, 

It’s coming up on a year with my current girlfriend, let’s call her Amy. Amy is in the process of applying to grad school and just told me that she wants to move in together for practical and romantic reasons. She’s thinking we can save money by getting a one bedroom together, and she knows she won’t be earning a lot while she goes back to school. I agree it makes sense but honestly that’s not a step I want to take right now. For me, moving in together is a sign that things are serious. I say “it’s only been a year,” and Amy says, “but it’s been a year!” When I told her I wasn’t sure I was ready, she sort of threatened to go to an out of state grad school instead of one nearby saying she could not afford the rent. I might be willing to move into a two bedroom together where it was me, Amy, and another roommate. I don’t want to lose her, because I do really love her, but I don’t want to be pushed into this and come to resent Amy. 

-On the Fence 

Dear On the Fence, 

You know yourself. You know what you want and what you need. Maybe moving in isn’t right for you at the moment. 

It sounds like your partner is not listening to you — or worse, that she is trying to emotionally manipulate you to get what she wants. 

Yes, it may be cheaper for her to go to grad school in another state if you live in a super tight rental market where she would not be able to afford to live there and go to school. But she hasn’t been admitted to programs yet, and she doesn’t know if she will get any financial assistance to offset her expenses. 

Her ultimatum is a little premature. If she is still in the application phase, then it could be another four to six months before she has to decide where to go. 

At that point, perhaps, you would be more amenable to cohabitation. 

I would not hold that option out to her unless you think that it might be true. 

You say you love her. You say the timing is too soon for you. If another six months would make the difference, and she would know six months later where she has been accepted, you can have a real conversation about it at that time.  

You say you love her. You say the timing is too soon for you. If another six months would make the difference, and she would know six months later where she has been accepted, you can have a real conversation about it at that time.

Right now, you should tell her (again) that you love her, you support her future, but you aren’t ready to move in. 

Tell her that it isn’t her, it’s you. Maybe you’re charmingly old-fashioned. Maybe you really like your own space. Maybe you worry that a grad student won’t pull through with her share of rent, utilities, or chores. Whatever it is, communicate it to her. Tell her you understand if she needs to go to another state, and you love her. Call her bluff, in other words. 

If you want to show her that you support her future, help her search for scholarships that are open to graduate students. Find ways to support her through the application whether by editing her personal statement or paying for food delivery. Identify lucrative (and flexible) jobs she can take while she is in school, so she does not have to be so worried about money. She might drive for a ride share company or do event catering. Nannying is another lucrative gig that she could swing if her program offers night classes. There are many ways to solve her money problem that don’t mean you agreeing to something that isn’t right for you.

There are many ways to solve her money problem that don’t mean you agreeing to something that isn’t right for you.

All that said, if this sort of threatening behavior is Amy’s go-to reaction when she does not get her way, that is not likely to change if you do end up moving in together. Someone who is manipulative and lashes out when she doesn’t get her way is not going to change that strategy, because it’s working for them, until they stop getting what they want. If this is her pattern and you love her but don’t want to be taken advantage of, you need to assert strong boundaries. 

If this sort of threatening behavior is Amy’s go-to reaction when she does not get her way, that is not likely to change if you do end up moving in together. Someone who is manipulative and lashes out when she doesn’t get her way is not going to change that strategy, because it’s working for them, until they stop getting what they want.

Don’t be afraid to tell her when she is being unfair or unreasonable. The worst that could happen would be she would move to another state or break up with you out of retaliation, and that might be a blessing in disguise. Good luck! 


Do you have a question for Lindsey? Great! Send it here: [email protected] with “Q for Lindsey” in the subject line. 

 

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