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It's been 4 years and it doesn't look like he will ever change. How much longer should I wait for him?

Tagged as: Dating, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (6 October 2018) 5 Answers - (Newest, 8 October 2018)
A female United States age 22-25, anonymous writes:

Hello all.

I am seeking advice on how to make a relationship move forward or how to make your SO plan for the future,

I have been dating my boyfriend for 4 years as of October. He is 27 and i am 23. We have had a wonderful relationship thus far and i would like for us to marry at some point and begin to plan to buy a house.

I have had several conversations over the past year with him about budgeting, moving into our own place (we both still live at home), and when/if he would ever like to get married. He says that he would like me to finish school before he would do anything. Additionally, he refuses to save any money because he has credit cards he is trying to pay off. He said once they are paid off he would start saving.

I am asking advice becasue I am beginning to doubt he will ever change, and I have not felt like this in our four years. A year ago, he said he was paying bills down, and just recently I found out that his credit cards are still at the same balances. He told me he enjoys living at home and does not want to pay rent. Both of us have decent jobs that could afford us a life together. I am in school another 2 years, and just got a job offer in the area i am studying. I would like to plan to make life decisions together, but right now it feels like im planning my future and he is not planning anything. I would love to hear other people's experiences or advice. How much longer should I wait for him?

View related questions: living at home, money

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A male reader, Code Warrior United States + , writes (8 October 2018):

Code Warrior agony auntDon't marry someone who has a lot of credit card debt - especially if they're unable or unwilling to pay it down.

As for whether or not you're wasting your time, who knows for sure, things can change. However, based on the fact that he likes living rent free in his parent's home and has no desire to change that, I'd say he currently lacks ambition. Combine that with not being able to reduce his credit card debt over the last year, and I'd say the red flags are present.

Contrast your boyfriend with my son whose 26, has a good job, and lives at home rent free. He is making massive payments on his student loans and his new car and nearly has both paid off. Also, while he doesn't mind living at home rent free, he's planning on moving out after he saves enough for a down payment on a house (which is what I told him I would allow him to do). He's doing this on his own as he has no significant other in his life at the moment. However, prior to landing that good job, my son wasn't exactly Mr. Ambitious and had a similar attitude to your boyfriend. However, once he landed his good job, everything changed. That's why I say that things can change quickly for your boyfriend, especially if a significant life event alters his perception.

Sorry I couldn't give you a more definitive answer, but I don't think anyone can. I guess you need to decide if you're willing to wait anymore and act accordingly.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 October 2018):

You are on totally different pages.

Women often want to settle down earlier than men do. I don't think your boyfriend wants the same thing that you do.

He wants to take it a bit easy for a while longer. Who knows how long that is going to be?

He has lied to you, saying that he will start to save when his credit card balances are paid off, but then you find he's still using them, so it sounds as if he is never going to start saving. It sounds as if it's something that he's not keen to do. He's got it made living where he is.

I don't think he's going to suddenly decide to be grown up and independent and work hard. If he wanted to settle down and have a mortgage and children, I think you would know by now that that is what he wanted.

How much longer you wait is up to you of course, but I guess you just have to ask yourself the question, how much more time do I want to waste?

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (8 October 2018):

Honeypie agony auntHold off on buying a house just yet. YOU can move out WITHOUT him. However, if he does end up staying at your place a lot... he will have to pitch in.

If you are OK with living at home until you are done with your degree (and your parents are OK too) I'd actually stick with that and SAVE up as much as you can. THIS is really the time to save up.

As for him... well, he is on his own schedule. I think him moving out while having credit-card debt is not smart, however, it also seems like it's NOT really a goal for him to move out and be a independent GROWN ass man.

27 is (IMHO) pretty "old" to still be living with your parents. Now I GET it if he ACTUALLY pays SOME rent and help out with the bills but if he is just mooching... what makes you think that 1. he won't mooch on you and 2. that he will "ever" really want to leave his parents place? (unless they kick him out).

Why should you put YOUR life on hold waiting for him to grow up?

He OBVIOUSLY doesn't WANT the same things in life as you do. He is QUITE happy with living at home and being catered to.

The fact that he has a well paid job and mooches off his parents should tell you SOMETHING about him.

Just want to add that my oldest (she graduated high-school this summer and is waiting to start her first semester at college) is working her FIRST job and IS paying "rent" and the rest of her income (or most) she is putting into her savings account. She will if she can keep her grades up still work some hours of her first 1-2 semesters. She is 18. She is NOT a super mature or grown up person but she is PREPARING to be an adult and go out on her own.

YOU have to decide, IS there REALLY a future with this guy?

You have waited 4!!! years already for him to even BEGIN to share in your dreams but THEY are NOT his dreams. He might be PERFECTLY happy to live of his parents until they KICK him out, which they might never do.

So YOU have to be the one to figure out, are we (you and him) even on the same page? Or... even in the same book?

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (8 October 2018):

Andie's Thoughts agony aunt- I don’t know how it is in the US, but 1 in 3 millennial still won’t be able to afford a mortgage at 40 years old, so living with parents is sometimes a necessity, even as a full-grown adult

- Don’t get married until you’ve finished school and paid off debts. You can’t think about the future until you’re past these situations

- You may have been together for 4 years, but you are still very young. Give it until you finish school. If he still hasn’t paid off all or most of the debt, you have your answer. He can’t AFFORD to save because of the debt, but he also doesn’t WANT to have to pay rent to anyone. That says a lot.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (8 October 2018):

Finish school, and let him payoff his credit card debt. That sounds totally sensible and mature to me. If he's still living at home, obviously it is due to financial-hardship brought-on by his credit card debt! If he's burdened with too much credit-card debt; he will not qualify for a mortgage anytime soon anyway!

If he can't afford rent, because he has to rely on help from his parents. How will he afford a mortgage, car, and the cost of house-maintenance?

Marriage under those circumstances is a terrible idea!

If his credit-debt is at the same balance, maybe it's because he's paying only the minimum payments; while still using them. What kind of a job does he have that he can't afford his own place? Seems he's bad with money-management.

I don't think he has much real ambition and probably doesn't want to get married anytime soon. He likes not paying rent.

He's right about a couple of things. You should finish school before thinking about marriage and buying a house.

You may think he's a great boyfriend, but he's not husband-material! He lost me at thinking it's better mooching-off his parents; than quickly paying-off his debt and accomplishing his financial-independence.

Living at home at 27 doesn't work much in his favor either. How can you overlook that? Aside from the fact he's stalling?

Establish good-credit, complete your degree, get a good job; and maybe you'll determine he's not the right guy to marry by the time you've accomplished all that.

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