Author Topic: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?  (Read 3717 times)

wonkette

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Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« on: January 16, 2018, 01:47:41 PM »
My SO of two years and I are discussing moving in together. I think our relationship is ready for it, but there are some money things I'm not sure how to discuss. Last year SO's government job ended as the result of the election. After over five years in a high stress position they took a few months 'off' to see family, read some books, and do a lot of exercise. Then they got a part-time retail job and filed the LLC paperwork to start consulting. The consulting thing is actually pretty recent, they've talked to some clients but I don't know if they've even been paid by anyone.

I've always been a regular W2 employee. In fact, when we started dating we joked about the fact that both of our salaries could be found on the internet. We have talked about money, I know they had savings for this sabbatical, they have generally frugal habits, have saved for retirement from their first job and have no debt.

But I am a little bit worried about moving in with someone who is spending more than they're bringing in right now. What can I ask to help me evaluate their financial position overall? Should we be sharing account balances at this point? Pull up our mint apps? What are some things you would look for in an SO given the situation?

I don't know anything about consulting so any insight about what it is like living with a variable income would be great.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2018, 01:52:19 PM »
Frankly, even more than moving in together, I'm a little alarmed that after 2 years together you don't know their finances and feel like you're walking on eggshells about how to ask about it.

Do you talk about other things openly together? Plans for the future, hopes/dreams/fears? Children, religion, politics, nutrition, all those contentious things?

raffmaster

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2018, 01:59:26 PM »
I agree at this point you should be more comfortable discussing finances. Questions like
  • How are we splitting shared expenses?
  • How can I be sure you will be able to keep up your share of expenses with variable income?
  • How much cushion do you have set up for your business?
  • Do you plan on consulting long term or do you desire to go back to W2 work sometime?
are definitely fair game, and nitty gritty details like account balances are reasonable. Definitely agree with Bracken_Joy, I wouldn't move in with them if you don't feel compatible with big life things. After 2 years you should be on the same page or at least discussed all of those things.

wonkette

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2018, 02:44:24 PM »
Frankly, even more than moving in together, I'm a little alarmed that after 2 years together you don't know their finances and feel like you're walking on eggshells about how to ask about it.

Do you talk about other things openly together? Plans for the future, hopes/dreams/fears? Children, religion, politics, nutrition, all those contentious things?

Fair points! I had more details written out but didn't want to write a wall of text. And it is pretty personal. But yes, we have talked about those things a lot. Especially politics, because this is DC. We actually met in a political context so we're good there! :) I feel really lucky to have found SO because of our compatible outlook on these major issues. I could really see a future for us but it is hard to picture with this job uncertainty. But I think some of it is my own hangups because it seems like every other person in DC is a consultant of some sort. We both really enjoy DC (especially me) though the last year's political climate has brought up talks of moving further from this Trump nightmare and somewhere with a lower cost of living when/if we have kids. Our siblings are kind of dotted in some midwestern cities we're interested in (Minneapolis, Des Moines, Milwaukee) and though we've visited them it has only been for a few days. But I really don't want to leave DC before 2020, and SO knows this.

When we travel together we split everything equally using splitwise. One person pays for the plane tickets, one person for the rental car, etc. and then we settle up. When we go out we take turns paying. I probably end up paying for more groceries bc we cook at my place more, but SO always covers cabs. In short, we value equality but aren't tracking to the penny. 

I don't really feel like I'm walking on eggshells as much as I don't even know what information will be useful to me. Like, how is seeing their checking account balance meaningful when their income is variable? And when this business is so new? I've only begun to think about how consultants/freelancers manage their finances this way because I've always pursued W2 employment. I actually do know their rough retirement account balances and that they're at Vanguard, and they know mine. I'm not sure exactly how much they keep in liquid savings.

The big picture stuff wasn't that stressful, because I was lucky to find someone I agree with about values. The day to day stuff is easy too. It is this medium term plan that is kind of throwing me for a loop.

mozar

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2018, 03:24:12 PM »
Maybe I'm reading into things but maybe you're worried that if you move in together you'll be on the hook for housing expenses. If that's the case this mid term conversation is more of a long term conversation. How much are you willing to support your partner, and they you. A long term partner that is committed is different from someone your dating and decided it was cheaper to split rent.

galliver

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2018, 04:30:16 PM »
I think you need to figure out what questions are worrying you specifically and have a frank conversation about them...and they don't all have to be financial. One big one for us to discuss out in the open was "what does this mean?" Like, was it just another step in the relationship, or was it a step *toward marriage* in the relationship (we agreed on the latter...which I think we suspected of each other but it was good to have it out explicitly). There are lots of online lists to this effect to use for suggestions (search "what to discuss before moving in" or something). I did this largely because of the "you don't know what you don't know" effect... Also, some of the questions might be hard and things you don't want to think about...like "what will we do if we break up?" so it's helpful to have a 3rd-party source tell you that this is good to talk about.

It sounds like one of your concerns is "what will happen if his savings run out and his consulting doesn't take off? will I have to support us both?" Obviously, he's the only one who can reassure you with something like "if savings fall below $X I will look for a regular job/start a side gig/other solution". Or, maybe you're ok supporting him to a limited extent (e.g. rent and groceries) under certain circumstances. Hash it out together; there is no right or wrong answer, just perhaps riskier and more conservative approaches, and also what works for you (which may not be what works for us!) I think all the rest of us can tell you is that it's ok, even appropriate, to have these conversations at this juncture, and also that it's ok (and even appropriate) for emotional caring to turn into supporting someone in a physical or financial way at some point...whether the 2 year mark is "it," for you specifically, has yet to be determined (some people are married at that point, and some never get married at all, and some get married and never fully merge finances, and some merge finances before they get married and it works out just fine...even though objectively that's risky).

CNM

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2018, 04:41:43 PM »
I'm assuming that you will both be looking for a new place to live together and that this will be a rental arrangement (versus buying a property).

I don't know that simply looking at your partner's accounts will tell you anything. I'd instead suggest you all draft a budget together, so you all know what rental price ranges you can both afford. Even though your partner isn't employed now, s/he likely has an idea of their monthly expenses and what is affordable and for how long. 

When I lived with boyfriends splitting rent in the past, I personally have tried to get a place that if things went  south, I'd be able to cover the entire rent -- on my income alone or with a reserve fund.

Christof

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2018, 05:02:44 PM »
To be honest, I'm more concerned about your usage of they when talking about your partner. In my circle that indicates transgender which is a significant cost by it's own. I'd say, you need clarity on what expenses are expected from you in the future.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2018, 05:02:57 PM »
You're not suggesting moving in financially also, are you? I would see how this goes waaaaaaaaay before sharing accounts etc, although you could set up a joint account for bills that you both contribute to. If I were you, I'd keep my finances very separate, and really also make sure that that you're fine if things don't work out.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2018, 05:04:25 PM »
To be honest, I'm more concerned about your usage of they when talking about your partner. In my circle that indicates transgender which is a significant cost by it's own. I'd say, you need clarity on what expenses are expected from you in the future.

Your circle sounds a lot more interesting than mine! In mine 'they' is just a way of avoiding the terms girlfriend or boyfriend.

Christof

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2018, 05:31:10 PM »
To be honest, I'm more concerned about your usage of they when talking about your partner. In my circle that indicates transgender which is a significant cost by it's own. I'd say, you need clarity on what expenses are expected from you in the future.

Your circle sounds a lot more interesting than mine! In mine 'they' is just a way of avoiding the terms girlfriend or boyfriend.

That would be  lot cheaper...I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't think about merely privacy issues.

mozar

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2018, 07:49:40 PM »
Quote
To be honest, I'm more concerned about your usage of they when talking about your partner. In my circle that indicates transgender which is a significant cost by it's own. I'd say, you need clarity on what expenses are expected from you in the future.

That depends on insurance if your talking about transitioning.

In my circle it means they are gender non-binary/ non conforming which can mean medical costs or not.

wonkette

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2018, 12:21:10 PM »
I think you need to figure out what questions are worrying you specifically and have a frank conversation about them...and they don't all have to be financial. One big one for us to discuss out in the open was "what does this mean?" Like, was it just another step in the relationship, or was it a step *toward marriage* in the relationship (we agreed on the latter...which I think we suspected of each other but it was good to have it out explicitly). There are lots of online lists to this effect to use for suggestions (search "what to discuss before moving in" or something). I did this largely because of the "you don't know what you don't know" effect... Also, some of the questions might be hard and things you don't want to think about...like "what will we do if we break up?" so it's helpful to have a 3rd-party source tell you that this is good to talk about.

It sounds like one of your concerns is "what will happen if his savings run out and his consulting doesn't take off? will I have to support us both?" Obviously, he's the only one who can reassure you with something like "if savings fall below $X I will look for a regular job/start a side gig/other solution". Or, maybe you're ok supporting him to a limited extent (e.g. rent and groceries) under certain circumstances. Hash it out together; there is no right or wrong answer, just perhaps riskier and more conservative approaches, and also what works for you (which may not be what works for us!) I think all the rest of us can tell you is that it's ok, even appropriate, to have these conversations at this juncture, and also that it's ok (and even appropriate) for emotional caring to turn into supporting someone in a physical or financial way at some point...whether the 2 year mark is "it," for you specifically, has yet to be determined (some people are married at that point, and some never get married at all, and some get married and never fully merge finances, and some merge finances before they get married and it works out just fine...even though objectively that's risky).

Thanks for this. These are some of the questions I'm really worried about, especially 'under what circumstances would I take on supporting SO.' Probably because of socialization as a lady, I've never really seen myself in a breadwinner role. Beyond the dollars and cents part of this (though thanks to those who reassured me that asking to see account balances is reasonable!)I'm finding it really hard to judge their work ethic. Because of some family history I have a real fear of marrying someone who won't work. I think I do need to hear SO articulate something like "If this savings account balance hits X level I will look for a full time job/work 40 hours at the store/etc"

LifeHappens

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2018, 12:39:35 PM »
Thanks for this. These are some of the questions I'm really worried about, especially 'under what circumstances would I take on supporting SO.' Probably because of socialization as a lady, I've never really seen myself in a breadwinner role. Beyond the dollars and cents part of this (though thanks to those who reassured me that asking to see account balances is reasonable!)I'm finding it really hard to judge their work ethic. Because of some family history I have a real fear of marrying someone who won't work. I think I do need to hear SO articulate something like "If this savings account balance hits X level I will look for a full time job/work 40 hours at the store/etc"
I'm 1) female 2) a consultant and 3) the primary breadwinner in my relationship. We're not all bums pretending we have a job :)

The bolded seems to be your primary fear. It would be a good thing to get out in the open right now, before moving in. You can make agreements about when to seek out a different job, if the income isn't happening. If your SO reaches that point and doesn't honor the agreement - well, that's a sign it may not work out in the long term.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2018, 12:52:01 PM »
To be honest, I'm more concerned about your usage of they when talking about your partner. In my circle that indicates transgender which is a significant cost by it's own. I'd say, you need clarity on what expenses are expected from you in the future.

What a remarkably insensitive and ignorant response. Thereís no need for you to play amateur detective and opine about something you know nothing about. There are lots of reasons people may not want to reveal genders on a public forum. it isnít your job to understand why, merely respect the personís choice.

BTDretire

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2018, 01:48:40 PM »
To be honest, I'm more concerned about your usage of they when talking about your partner. In my circle that indicates transgender which is a significant cost by it's own. I'd say, you need clarity on what expenses are expected from you in the future.

Your circle sounds a lot more interesting than mine! In mine 'they' is just a way of avoiding the terms girlfriend or boyfriend.

 I think t's just avoiding a same gender issue.

wonkette

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2018, 01:55:23 PM »
Thanks for this. These are some of the questions I'm really worried about, especially 'under what circumstances would I take on supporting SO.' Probably because of socialization as a lady, I've never really seen myself in a breadwinner role. Beyond the dollars and cents part of this (though thanks to those who reassured me that asking to see account balances is reasonable!)I'm finding it really hard to judge their work ethic. Because of some family history I have a real fear of marrying someone who won't work. I think I do need to hear SO articulate something like "If this savings account balance hits X level I will look for a full time job/work 40 hours at the store/etc"
I'm 1) female 2) a consultant and 3) the primary breadwinner in my relationship. We're not all bums pretending we have a job :)

The bolded seems to be your primary fear. It would be a good thing to get out in the open right now, before moving in. You can make agreements about when to seek out a different job, if the income isn't happening. If your SO reaches that point and doesn't honor the agreement - well, that's a sign it may not work out in the long term.

Hahaha, I'm glad! Maybe this whole consulting business will take off and my paycheck will look like the puny one. Can you tell I don't like uncertainty? But clearly SO and I need to talk BOTH about the business/numbers and the personal. Googling around for 'what to ask before you move in' lists as suggested above.

wonkette

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2018, 02:04:34 PM »
To be honest, I'm more concerned about your usage of they when talking about your partner. In my circle that indicates transgender which is a significant cost by it's own. I'd say, you need clarity on what expenses are expected from you in the future.

Ok. Because this topic just won't die. We're lesbians.

I used they not only for privacy reasons but because it isn't relevant to the discussion. I'm going to assume best intentions but this was a pretty weird comment. Are you actually concerned with my SO's future healthcare spending? Do you talk to people with diabetes or MS the way you talk about trans people here?

mozar

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2018, 03:55:50 PM »
Why not just say she? I dated someone who went by they for three years and oh the linguistic acrobatics! Anyways, its none of my business. I'm just killing time at a cafe.

PoutineLover

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2018, 03:58:29 PM »
Why not just say she? I dated someone who went by they for three years and oh the linguistic acrobatics! Anyways, its none of my business. I'm just killing time at a cafe.
Not everyone wants to be outed even on an anonymous forum. The OP was exceedingly polite in her response. In general it's pretty rude to make assumptions about people's gender and orientation when you don't know them and it isn't relevant to the discussion.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2018, 04:08:14 PM »
Yeah, I think you identified something very important with your fear re: ending up married to someone not working/contributing. So if the plan is in the meantime to continue with separate finances, I think you need to negotiate it somewhat like rooming with a good friend. (Ie, just a roommate I would never consider covering their rent on an ongoing basis... but if I was living with a good friend? Maybe I would, but there would be some ground rules). So I think being very explicit on those ground rules- if your SO can't cover rent, or groceries, or whatever (or conversely if you lose your job and YOU can't cover your portion), how long do you float each other? What ground rules- ie, are you accountable to each other during that time in regards to job searching? And so on. I feel like removing the love and commitment aspects of a relationship from the mental scenario helps clarify the questions a bit. And if you totally recoil from the thought of having moving out type deadlines? Then maybe you're more committed than you realize, and THAT needs to enter into the conversation too.

galliver

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2018, 05:21:32 PM »
Yeah, I think you identified something very important with your fear re: ending up married to someone not working/contributing. So if the plan is in the meantime to continue with separate finances, I think you need to negotiate it somewhat like rooming with a good friend. (Ie, just a roommate I would never consider covering their rent on an ongoing basis... but if I was living with a good friend? Maybe I would, but there would be some ground rules). So I think being very explicit on those ground rules- if your SO can't cover rent, or groceries, or whatever (or conversely if you lose your job and YOU can't cover your portion), how long do you float each other? What ground rules- ie, are you accountable to each other during that time in regards to job searching? And so on. I feel like removing the love and commitment aspects of a relationship from the mental scenario helps clarify the questions a bit. And if you totally recoil from the thought of having moving out type deadlines? Then maybe you're more committed than you realize, and THAT needs to enter into the conversation too.

I think this is key. It's tempting to contemplate the situation (e.g. of a partner's job/work/income loss but not necessarily) as "I don't want this to happen" but ultimately you may not have control over whether they lose their job/work (or get sick, or can't find any work...). Would you really turn them out? Or send them halfway across the country to their parents or a job offer?

The Conversation, I think, ends up being more about defining expectations in forseeable scenarios (freelancing doesn't go well-> savings get spent town--> then what? Or non-financially: we live together for 1 year, 3 years, 5 years-> then what?) and also defining the threshold of what a crisis(/situation that needs dealing with) looks for you. It sounds like you think you're mostly on the same page with finances, but if they think 1mo rent + room on credit cards is sufficient emergency "margin" and you want them to start job hunting when they dip below 3 mos expenses in the bank...that will obviously cause lots of friction if you encounter that. So it's good to clear up, and find a mutually agreeable "$X". Also puts on on the same page in general financial principles :)

FWIW I've found that even when these conversations are hard to start, they bring you closer by the end!

BTDretire

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2018, 05:58:04 PM »
I think how your partner thinks about money is very important, being that you are on the MMM path. The wrong person can really interfere with progress on that. I was very lucky that my SO is very frugal, probably more than myself at least early in the marriage. Now not so much, but we are FI.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2018, 07:15:02 PM »
Wonkette if you are not feeling comfortable about your SO's consulting gig don't move in together right away. Give it another year. Let them get their income sorted out, have a bunch of talks to work out the details that are bothering you and then reassess in a year.

Christof

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2018, 05:16:48 PM »
To be honest, I'm more concerned about your usage of they when talking about your partner. In my circle that indicates transgender which is a significant cost by it's own. I'd say, you need clarity on what expenses are expected from you in the future.

Ok. Because this topic just won't die. We're lesbians.

I used they not only for privacy reasons but because it isn't relevant to the discussion. I'm going to assume best intentions but this was a pretty weird comment. Are you actually concerned with my SO's future healthcare spending? Do you talk to people with diabetes or MS the way you talk about trans people here?

My dad is gay, my wife's uncle had MS (he died), two acquaintances have MS and one has diabetes, a person that inspired me was transgender, although she unfortunately died last year. I work in healthcare, so have some ideas of the financial impact, which is the only thing I mentioned... without judgement, BTW. I also live in a different part of the world, I presume, where other social norms apply, and my remark wouldn't have seen as too inappropriate. I don't speak English as a native language. I do appreciate that you are assuming best intentions, unlike some other's here, that seem to assume that everyone has a US background, when I'm neither hiding age nor locaton in this forum.

Now that this is hopefully out of the way...

I understand that people can be cautious about talking about finances as it's been often treated as sensitive information one doesn't share. At this point I would understand if they haven't shared all details with you, but I also would see moving in as a time where it would be appropriate to ask for more details. They might not want to share everything pro-actively because they never have been tought to share this kind of information, but they definitely should share when you ask - after some time to make up their mind, of course.

Starting a business is an adventure full of uncertainties. All they have is hope that it works out and they make money. I obviously can't speak about your partner, but when I started my business, my perspective on this changed daily, if not more frequently. It took me many years before my mood did not change on any prospect client, on any lost contract, on any paid invoice, on any tax payment I had to make. It's a rollercoaster... Even today after more than 20 years I would hesitate to make a clear statement regarding future finances, and I know my wife since I was 13 and finances is one of my focuses.

My wife wasn't certainly happy all the time, but she trusted me and my plan for which I'm forever grateful. I imagine it must have been similarly difficult for her and it took quite some time before it looked positive to her which was years after it looked great to me.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 05:26:29 PM by Christof »

Christof

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2018, 06:45:11 PM »
To be honest, I'm more concerned about your usage of they when talking about your partner. In my circle that indicates transgender which is a significant cost by it's own. I'd say, you need clarity on what expenses are expected from you in the future.

What a remarkably insensitive and ignorant response. Thereís no need for you to play amateur detective and opine about something you know nothing about. There are lots of reasons people may not want to reveal genders on a public forum. it isnít your job to understand why, merely respect the personís choice.

It's been really difficult to ignore you accusing message. I've said prior to you posting this that I hadn't considered privacy as an issue, because it just never crossed my mind. If you read my response again and take it literally, all I said was that transgender treatment is expensive (and I know two transgender people), which is a fact. Everything else is an interpretation based on your understanding of what is socially appropriate and what is not. I understand that in your part of the world it is inappropriate to make financial comments based on the wording that someone is using to desribe their partner and that hiding gender and personal orientation is important, but I'd really appreciate if you would not assume that your values and social norms are universally applicable.

zeli2033

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2018, 10:05:33 AM »
The gender conversation that hijacked this thread is fascinating in the sense that the conversation spans perspectives, locations and societal expectations. To respect our OP and their desire to get some direct input on their situation, that's all I'll say about that.

@wonkette : As a fellow planner who likes certainty and stability, I relate to the general undertone of what you've posted and as many posters have wisely pointed out: Your future with or without your partner is unclear and you want it to be transparent. And it absolutely sounds like you want the future to be with your partner. That said, you may benefit from:

1) Aligning on the goals of your relationship (where is it going? Do y'all want to get married? Are you in it for fun? etc). Assuming each of your relationship goals are clear and are both supported by moving in together as a next step toward reaching those goals, then

2) Discussing what the financial expectations are from each other when living together (within the context of the relationships goals you shared).

This is where you can each suss out and discuss what's ideal, what's not and your fears. Share your concerns around wanting to be supportive of their consulting business but that you're balancing those with fears of being on the hook to provide more financial support in the relationship over time and why that scares you. I think this is also where you can state your desire to share financials with each other as it helps you get to the goal of putting a plan in place should you move in together. It's absolutely reasonable to share that level of detail with each other. These conversations (plural) will take time and emotional energy, so be patient but also be as explicit as you can. IMO the biggest break point here is if both parties aren't honest with themselves or each other.

And if these conversations bring up any societally stereotypical, financial or historical baggage that has been mentioned a few times in the thread, it is 100% okay to bring that baggage with you to the conversation. Try not to judge it. Acknowledge it for what it is and speak as honestly about it as possible with your SO. It will help provide clarity to why your expectations are what they are and will put your fears into context for both of you. Encourage your SO to share their baggage, too so you have the same level of context when trying to understand where they're coming from.

If you're on the same path and moving in is the start of building your future together, then your baggage and their baggage becomes collective anyway. This just helps get you to a place where you can shed some light on it and ask for a little help unpacking it.


AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Getting serious w consultant SO - what to ask before I move in?
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2018, 03:23:55 PM »
Wow, this thread. Even a simple question is loaded with sexual politics when you're not the "norm"! The use of the word " they" isn't something I find particularly unusual. OP, I'm sorry your thread has gone this way, and that you've felt it necessary to divulge more information than you originally wanted to. Your SO's gender isn't relevant, imo.