Fannie Fierce

Cohabitating Complications

Filed By Fannie Fierce | December 28, 2007 1:31 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: relationships

Dear Fannie,

I'm 21 and gay. I've been with my boyfriend for about 7 months and we're just about to get a place together. Now, I'm still in school, and he works full-time and is very well paid. We're in the midst of planning the decorating for our apartment... and he keeps pulling the money card. Because he's buying the furniture, I don't get a say in how the apartment looks. I mean, I'm grateful and all that he's willing to spring for all this nice stuff, but I want a say too! It feels like I'm moving into his place, instead of moving into OUR place. How do I make him respect my voice in decorating our apartment?

--Marred by Money

MBM,

I've addressed money issues in the past, and I admit... I might have been a bit anti-catipalist/socialist-utopian, but I'll try and be more helpful and pragmatic this time around. So you're getting a place with your beau, but the boy is blocking the interior designer gem deep within you. While I think it's perfectly normal for two queens to butt heads over chartreuse or periwinkle duvet covers... you're problem may run deeper than bedframes and window treatments.

Moving in with a boyfriend or girlfriend is a big decision, and one that many couples rush into. And while it's possible that you and your boyfriend are ready to move in with each other, 7 months does seem a little hasty to jump into a joint lease agreement, where you're locked into living with someone you've only known for less than a year. I know that 7 months is like a decade in gay years. And while it may seem like a nice idea to see each other all the time, that can get old really fast. I think one of the most integral components to a relationship, especially a new one, is time apart. Being able to have your own space is important, because chances are that there are some things about him that bug you. When you live together, those will be there all the time. Moving in with a partner isn't just about occupying the same space together, it's really about compromising and work together to make a livable living space.

Now, if you're boyfriend is playing the money card where the furniture decisions are considered, it's pretty clear it's not just about money... it's about power. This is a classic case of how money can really fuck over a relationship. It's one thing if one party "doesn't mind" paying for something, like dinners, concert tickets, etc. But when one's economic situation is used to position one partner in a superior place in a power differential, that's a problem. I would recommend that you be firm about the fact that just because you don't have the same amount of liquid assets, doesn't mean he can just ignore your opinions. He may be purchasing the furniture, but you have to live there too.

You might try and agree to budget so much money for decorating. You both should try and contribute proportional amounts to that pool of money being used for furnishings. That way you can both be equally invested in the process of creating a home together. Also, if you don't like a certain design choice he makes, it's insufficient to just disagree with it. Come up with a viable alternative option, otherwise, shut the fuck up and enjoy your sugar daddy.

++
fiercely,
fannie

send your questions to fannie@bilerico.com
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It sounds to me like you have the im in charge boyfriend.So its time to have the talk about were a couple and if he is stil the control freak then its time to get out while you can and say was nice knowing you.

I had a boyfriend like that once. When he started this crap I dumped him right away. If he's willing to pull the power-trip card this early in the relationship, it'll only get worse as time goes on. I say dump him immediately!

Bil's right - if this dude is already acting like a jerk, it doesn't bode well for the relationship.

Good point about the power, Fannie. If it really is a co-equal relationship, which it doesn't have to be, then money isn't proportionate to voice.

Of course, it doesn't have to be, and having a sugar daddy is a lot of boys' dream. :)