Distance with boyfriend just right

Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

bio | email

DEAR AMY: My boyfriend lives an hour away. He's made several jokes about moving somewhere together, but I'm worried that these jokes are actually serious. He's a great man. He's funny, chivalrous and charming, but he's not financially stable. I've spoken to him about his spending habits several times. He's slowly understanding the difference between "needs" and "wants." I've tried to dodge the subject about moving in together because I'm not comfortable co-signing anything if he is unable to keep up with his side of the expenses. I have never been in debt, and my credit is great. I pay all my bills on time. My friends tell me life is all about risk and that I should live a little. The fear of going into debt or tapping into my savings scares me, but I also don't want to lose him. What should I do?Running Out of Time

DEAR RUNNING: Your friends are right in this respect: You should embrace the risks life throws your way, but in this scenario you should define risk as being brave enough to have a series of conversations with your boyfriend about finances and then making choices about what you are willing to do.

You should definitely "live a little." But given your prudent financial temperament, you and this guy seem like a mismatch in an important area.

You should not live with someone who isn't financially stable. That's why dating is so much fun. Unless you marry or live with this guy, you get the laughs without the financial hangover.

DEAR AMY: "Animal Lover in Maryland" was concerned about two guinea pigs her friend was leaving on a cold porch. I had a friend who was planning to get a dog for his sons, and when I asked where the dog would sleep, he said, "In the backyard. I'll make him a doghouse." Amy, we live in Denver, where it can get extremely cold for extended periods. I convinced him not to get a dog.

Dog Lover