No financial harmony in this relationship

Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

bio | email

DEAR AMY: My boyfriend and I are in our early 20s and have been together for three years. I work full-time in a restaurant, receive little to no help from my parents, and live in a one-bedroom apartment that I struggle to afford. He lives with his parents rent-free and seldom works. He is a talented musician, and the primary reason he lives at home is so he can spend his time on his creative pursuits. In truth, though, he practically lives with me, returning to his parents' place only to eat and work on music while I'm at work. I've been tolerant because I love him and think we make a great partnership -- we are also in a band together. However, as we get older, I worry: Am I becoming a substitute for his parents? Can I afford to support myself and another person? At what point will he admit he needs a day job? I've tried to address these issues, but he always thinks I'm trying to pressure him. He defends himself by claiming he writes all the songs in our band, and that we wouldn't get as much done if he had to get a job. I know I can't make him get a job or officially move in with me, but how can I make him see things from my point of view?Girlfriend in a ConundrumDEAR GIRLFRIEND: Even artists need to work -- and working outside of music gives a musician not only money, but also material. Otherwise, your boyfriend's music would be limited to anthems in praise of the comfy couch cushions.

A story I read in LA Weekly noted the day jobs of some famous indie rockers. My favorite is Jack White (of the White Stripes), who was a furniture upholsterer.

Your boyfriend is defending his choices. He is very clear about his inclinations and intentions. You need to decide whether you are willing to be the breadwinner and support him. Otherwise, cop to judging him and be as clear about your intentions as he is about his own. And -- please -- don't push for him to "officially" move in with you.