Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Parents Want to Buy Me a House and I’m Pissed”

I am a 19-year-old college student with a problem: My overbearing parents want to buy me a house. As silly as it sounds, this is absolutely stressing me out. I moved 1,000 miles away from home to go to a very affordable university and still have relatives nearby (this was not possible back in over-priced California). My parents laid it out straight for me in the beginning and told me they DIDN’T think they should have to pay for my college, since my mother paid for hers all herself and my father had no debt because he want to a military academy. Lo and behold, they refused to let me take out loans and insisted on paying for (most of) my tuition and dorm fees (begrudgingly, although they insisted).

I have a job and car and informed them that I was looking into an apartment this coming summer (which I would pay for entirely). My boyfriend and I discussed the idea and decided it was best for our relationship and finances for us to move in together. They absolutely rejected the thought of me “wasting money on an apartment” and then developed an idea to buy a house as an investment and I could live rent-free with a roommate! I have a few problems with that: 1) I am sick of roommates because, truth be told, I am a clean freak and have had my share of dirty, disrespectful ones; 2) It is so obvious my parents are doing this to partially control me 1,000 miles away; 3) I want to live with my boyfriend, whom I practically already room with in his apartment (although I am still technically in a dorm).

I tried to bring up the idea of my boyfriend being my house “roommate” and he would pay rent (which we agreed to split), but all my father could say to the idea was that he would “try to remain neutral” and my mother literally changed the subject on the phone and IGNORED what I said. To top it off, my mother and brother have decided they are allergic to my beloved high school dog and want to send her to live with me once they have bought me a house! While I love and miss my dog and would actually want to take her, this is incredibly manipulative to me — it is probably the one thing they could have said to sway me after I tried to talk my way out of the house.

I wouldn’t mind it so much if they were less pushy with me and would listen to my concerns: I’m not sure I want to do yard work or remodeling (they want a “fixer-upper”); I DON’T WANT A FEMALE ROOMMATE; I want to live with my boyfriend! The more I try to get them to see the practical side of it or consider what I want, the more rushed and pushy they are about me finding a house for them to buy! I’m only 19 — I’m barely ready for a lease, let alone a house with a roommate and responsibilities I may not want! Help! — House Arrest

Absolutely, your parents are trying to control you and as long as they are paying for any part of your lifestyle, that’s a power that they have. They can threaten to stop paying your tuition and anything else they’re covering if you don’t do as they want. Are you prepared for that? If not, you should continue living in a dorm where your parents won’t force the responsibility of home maintenance and dog-care on you.

If you are prepared to take on the financial responsibility of your lifestyle — tuition, books, rent — then tell your parents exactly that. Be firm and let them know that while you can’t stop them from buying a house, you have no intention of moving into it. Whether they like it or not, you are moving into an apartment with your boyfriend this summer that you will pay for yourself. If they want to buy a house as an “investment,” you won’t stop them but they’ll need to find another renter for it since you have no desire to take on the responsibility they’re asking of you. Explain to them how grateful you are that they’re paying your tuition, but be prepared that they may “cut you off” if you “disobey” their wishes by moving into an apartment of your own this summer … with your boyfriend.

My gut feeling is that your parents like to “cry wolf” by saying they won’t pay for this or that but then cave when push comes to shove. That may be the case here — they may threaten to stop paying for your college if you move in with your boyfriend, but the threat could be an empty one. HOWEVER, you cannot depend on that. You have to accept that that’s a very real threat. Before you tell them that you’re prepared to take on the cost of college yourself, you need to make sure you actually are prepared for that, and you need to do some soul-searching to figure out if that risk is worth the freedom it would grant you.

While it may not always seem like it, having parents pay your bills allows for a different kind of freedom — freedom from anxiety over finances and loan debt, for one thing (something you may not even appreciate until you’re out in the “real world”). But every freedom comes with a cost and you need to decide if this particular freedom is worth the freedom of deciding where and with whom to live.

Finally, remember: In about three years, you’re going to be a college graduate with a lot more freedom and a lot more responsibilities than you have now. If you’re “barely ready for a lease” now, why push it? Enjoy dorm life — for better or worse — for another year, and keep spending as much time as you’d like at your boyfriend’s place without the pressure of “living together.” Sounds like a win-win to me.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

165 comments… add one
  • kerrycontrary March 8, 2012, 9:22 am

    I think Wendy’s advice of staying in the dorms is a good option for right now. Yeh, you’ve had crappy roomates, but that’s part of college and its part of growing up. You learn how to deal with other people through those sorts of experiences. And how many roomates can the LW have had by 19? 2? You should try rooming with some of your close girlfriends or find someone on campus who is also a clean freak (there are plenty of clean freaks out there). I guess I’m saying this because I don’t think moving in with a boyfriend in college is the best idea. When I was in college I spent every day/night at my boyfriend’s apartment so I get that, but we also needed time alone and places to hang out with our friends apart from each other. I just don’t see the need to take your relationship to such a serious level when you are in college and you should be having fun.

    In addition, and I may be reading into things too much, but I get the sense that the LW spends the majority of time with her boyfriend and little time with female friends. You need friends! If you had great ones then you would probably want to spend a ton of time with them, maybe even deal with their dirty dishes so you can live with them, spend saturday mornings laughing about the night before and Tuesday nights doing tequila shots for no good reason at all.

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    • blarfengar March 8, 2012, 9:29 am

      I got that sense too, and I think part of it is an intense need to be grown up as a way of separating herself from her parents. I’ve noticed this tendency with anyone I’ve known who’s had overbearing parents.

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      • Jiggs March 8, 2012, 3:54 pm

        Holy shit I think you just explained my life.

  • Renee March 8, 2012, 9:27 am

    I should print this out for my future self, when my children are adults in college. It makes me ill to think how parents are no longer parents, but manipaltive creatures playing mind games.

    Don’t co-sign the deed!

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    • Renee March 8, 2012, 9:30 am

      A bit of regret with my comment, please don’t use the tone or language I used. Just listen to Wendy.My apologies.

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      • Addie Pray March 8, 2012, 10:48 am

        Comments with a little tone and language make things more interesting, no?

    • Elizabeth March 8, 2012, 2:14 pm

      I actually agree with you, Renee. 🙂 One of my great friends in college had parents like this. They even went so far as to get credit cards in her name (without her knowing) and used them to pay her tuition “so she would graduate with good credit.” It all came to an awful head when she got a prestigious scholarship that paid full tuition. Her parents threatened to disowned her because she a) she was “refusing their generosity” and b) she threw off their ability to get parent loans to pay for her sister’s education at a much more expensive school. It’s an inappropriate way to control another person, even if it’s your child.

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      • Red_Lady March 8, 2012, 8:45 pm

        Good lord! She “refused their generosity” by getting a full-ride scholarship? How dare a child find ways to pay for college other than taking their parents’ money! Geez.

  • natasha March 8, 2012, 9:29 am

    At 19 years old the last thing you should do is live with a boyfriend. You are entirely too young for those types of commitment… you will learn this in about a few years.

    I definitely agree that your parents are putting too much pressure on you as a 19 year old so I would forgo their whole buying a home idea.

    College housing should really be able to help you find a more suitable roommate. You have to fill out questionaires all the time when you register with housing, that is how they match you up with someone. If you wrote that you were a neat freak and preferred a very clean room then they should be able to uphold your wishes. I would also look into a single room, that would be perfect for you since you do not want a roommate.

    Lastly, you need girlfriends.. you should live with girlfriends not boyfriends at 19 years old. You should focus on school and friends and yes your relationship, but your focus should certainly not be about living with your boyfriend.

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    • Renee March 8, 2012, 9:32 am

      Two different issues, one living with boyfriend and another with her parents. She’s 19. And for many, we might of not been there, but I won’t judge her solely based on her age.

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    • savannah March 8, 2012, 9:55 am

      At 19 I had tons of my college girlfriends living with their boyfriends and I don’t think its categorically a bad idea. The outcomes of those living situations were just like life after college, some were a good idea, others weren’t and that was that. What does she *need* girlfriends for? If she’s 19, presumably talking about living situations for her junior year I’m sure she does have a good group of friends.

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      • lets_be_honest March 8, 2012, 10:07 am

        You really don’t think she needs girlfriends? At 19? That makes me sad.
        She should be focusing on acting 19, enjoying those years, studying and having fun with girlfriends, not pretending to be a grown up when she doesn’t have to be.

      • savannah March 8, 2012, 10:33 am

        I think you can maintain friendships with girls without living with them. I don’t understand the idea that once she’s living with her boyfriend thats it! she’s cut off from the world, never to drink cosmos out on a friday night with her girlfriends again! oh the horror! What? an apartment is where your shit is, not where you spend your entire life. And acting 19 means different things for different people all over the world, so I just don’t get the impulse at all to make her age into a limit for what she can do and experience.

      • bagge72 March 8, 2012, 10:36 am

        It’s not that she can’t do that, it is that she makes it seem like she wants to spend all of her time with him. We have all seen one of our friends in college disappear, because they got a boyfriend or girlfriend, until they break up two years later.

      • savannah March 8, 2012, 10:44 am

        I don’t think college has the market on those types of relationships and I don’t think that it depends on where you live. People who act like that in a relationship are going to do that regardless of their living situation and well after graduation, and if thats what she wants we can try to guide her elsewhere but she’s going to be in that type of relationship dorm room or not.

      • bagge72 March 8, 2012, 11:31 am

        doesn’t mean we can’t warn them that, it is much more fun to hangout with your friends.

      • lets_be_honest March 8, 2012, 10:38 am

        Oh, I read your comment wrong then. I thought you were saying who cares about girlfriends at that age. I just would hate to see her in a position in a few years when she is and has to be an adult and looks back on these years with regret for not enjoying it while she could have.

      • Caris March 8, 2012, 3:17 pm

        She can still enjoy life and live with her bf…

      • theattack March 8, 2012, 10:49 am

        Exactly, savannah! I know that I can’t live with my friends. I can only live with random people or my boyfriend. Living away from my friends is how we maintain our friendships, otherwise I would kill them.

      • savannah March 8, 2012, 10:58 am

        Seriously! So many friendships were ruined my junior year because people think its a ball to live with your friends, when in reality its a passive aggressive/drunk-screaming at 2 am/putting dirty dishes in peoples beds/months of silent treatment nightmare.

      • ColorsOfTheWind March 9, 2012, 6:55 pm

        As a 19 year old college student myself I can say that the idea of living your boyfriend does not sound like a the best idea. Also the tone of your letter worries me. I understand that parents that controlling are frustrating, but you sound much younger than 19 and quite petulant. If you are trying to convince them that you are mature enough to make your own decisions and live with your boyfriend, that tone certainly isn’t going to help. You really need to kill the my-way-or-the-highway attitude that your letter reeks of. Yes, it sucks to find out that going to college isn’t total freedom but that doesn’t mean you need to act 13 again.

        I agree your parents are being insanely manipulative. I get it. Mine have done similar things. They paid for my spring break plane tickets last year (something they NEVER did for my sister) to choose which airport I would fly into so I couldn’t leave a day early to see my ex-boyfriend (who goes to school in florida).

        But you really need to remember that they are trying to manipulate your life because they love you and think they are doing what is best. You should really try to see the good in the opportunity they are offering you before you completely nix it. If you save the money you would be paying for rent you could go on a great vacation with your boyfriend over spring break or enjoy much more financial freedom and security than your peers post-graduation. I don’t understand why you view them paying for your school and dorm fees as a bad thing. What’s the rush to grow up and have control of all of your finances? Remember, you’re just 19, so stop acting like a 13 year old trying to be 30 and enjoy what everyone keeps telling me will be the most carefree years of my life.

    • theattack March 8, 2012, 10:46 am

      I disagree that she’s too young for it. Nineteen is usually too young for forever relationships, and yes, she might learn that in a few years. But it’s not too young for learning by experience.

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    • Anna March 8, 2012, 11:11 am

      I disagree. I had just turned 20 when my boyfriend and I moved in together…best roommate I could ever ask for. We are now 28 and 29 and still going strong.

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      • HmC March 8, 2012, 6:11 pm

        Anna, I thought you had decided pretty clearly that you regretted moving in with him at that age, that you wouldn’t do it over again if you could, and that you don’t plan on moving in prior to marriage if that issue ever comes up with anyone else? I am not trying to come across judgmental at all (full disclosure- I’m waiting until I’m married for that myself, which is maybe why I remember the opinions that you shared on the subject). I only bring it up because I’m curious whether you’ve had a change of heart? It’s an interesting subject for me, given what I’ve decided for myself. And to be totally honest, I think that there are smarter ways to go about moving in than others, assuming that moving in before marriage is an option.

        Anyway, no pressure to share, and no intention of being snarky etc. I was just curious!

      • Addie Pray March 8, 2012, 6:14 pm

        I thought I remembered seeing that comment too.

      • HmC March 8, 2012, 6:15 pm

        p.s. And when I say “smarter”, I’m not referring to you or the LW or any specific person. I just meant that I think there are smarter and less smart ways to go about it, depending on what your ultimate goal is and what your values are, if that makes sense.

      • Lili March 8, 2012, 6:25 pm

        I’m with you HmC! Although i did briefly live with my then bf while i was job hunting in our new city, I don’t think I want to live with someone before a wedding date, and then I bet I’ll get all nostalgic for my ‘secret single behaviors’ and not move in until the wedding.

      • Anna March 8, 2012, 10:51 pm

        I don’t regret moving in with him at that age, not a bit. What I regret is not setting the expectation for marriage someday. And for a bit there, I was thinking irrationally due to emotion. When I really think about it, I couldn’t ask for a better roommate or partner and if I could take back the last 8 years, I wouldn’t. He really makes me happy and has given me a great life that I wouldn’t trade for the world. So, lately, I’ve taken a great big step back from my emotions and chosen to just live in every wonderful moment instead of continually stressing about the future. My doing that has improved our relationship even more because he doesn’t feel as stressed and hurried about it…and he has said that I changed his mind about marriage and it is coming.

    • slamy March 8, 2012, 4:12 pm

      i lived with a boyfriend from the ages of 18 to 21. we broke up when i was 21, but i sure dont regret it. it was financially smarter for me at the time (supporting yourself when you are that young is HARD!!!) and i turned out just fine. I’m 24, so i (think i) am a lot smarter than I was when I was 18, but I don’t regret living with that boyfriend. It was actually a really good learning experience. I totally prefer having my own room now and I won’t live with a boyfriend again unless things are serious.

      Anyway, I don’t think it’s a bad idea, honestly. You can always move out if you break up.

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  • ktfran March 8, 2012, 9:36 am

    As usual, great advice Wendy.

    LW – don’t rush to grow up and be independant of your parents. I wish I didn’t have student loans, but I do. They suck. Debt in general sucks. If your parents are willing to help out, let them. I undertand how much it sucks to have controlling parents. But Wendy is right, there is a trade off. You’ll be on your own soon enough. Take this time to learn and grow and ready yourself for after college, when you won’t always have that cushion to fall back on. And I don’t know if this will make you feel better about the situation, but you are hundreds of miles away from them. You don’t have to answer to them on a daily basis. You are what college kids are supposed to be, partly independant and partly tied to your parents. You can live in a house and have a girl roommate, or live in a dorm, and still see your boyfriend as much as you want.

    Oh, and Kerrycontrary is right. There were a few years I was lacking girlfriends. It’s not fun. They offer a different kind of support than any guy can give. Have girlfriends.

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  • Iwannatalktosampson March 8, 2012, 9:40 am

    Why are you moving in with your boyfriend when you’re at most 20? Financial reasons is a terrible reason.

    Also – if your parents would like to buy me a house – they can control me all they want. But really – you are extremely blessed to have parents that can and are willing to finance your life. Some things you mentioned make me believe you have no idea what the real world is like. If you want to call their bluff go for it – but if they really do cut you off you will have a whole other pile of problems.

    So my advice is live in the dorms – assuming they’re still paying for them. Or take the house and convince them to let you live in it solo. That way your boyfriend can still spend the majority of his time there are you two can be alone – but you’re not upsetting your parents by having him actually live there. And dogs are awesome – just make sure you find a good doggy day care near by if you’re going to be gone too much any given day.

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    • summerkitten26 March 8, 2012, 3:34 pm

      I like what you’ve said a lot, I just want to point out that there’s a difference between “can and willing to finance” and using finances as a manipulative tool. I wouldn’t be surprised, based on what the LW has told us, if the parents threaten giving away the dog…but she can keep it if she agrees to “buy” the house.

      absolutely be grateful for what you’ve got, but make sure you’re seeing it for what it truly is, LW. If you’re looking to go down the path of being independent from your parents, the first step is to have an honest conversation with them. Perhaps they think they’re working in your best interest. You need to tell them what your (previously and well thought out) plans are and show that you have the responsibility and maturity to go through them. Don’t throw a tantrum, just rationally explain your course of action. Rationally point out how their behavior has made you feel manipulated, and that taking on a house will make you feel even more manipulated. You’re in college; who knows if you’ll find a job that will enable you to make mortgage payments once you graduate? If they try to shut you down or pull any manipulative behavior, like Wendy said, go with your plan. Best wishes.

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  • sarolabelle March 8, 2012, 9:45 am

    LW, if you think that you are living with your boyfriend now by sleeping over at his place a few times a week, well you aren’t. Living with someone is a whole lot different. I can’t quite explain it because I myself am spending the night at my fiance’s house every weekend. But wow, I think life will change when we actually start moving my house full of furniture into his house that is full of furniture. And what am I going to do when I just want to be alone and away from him for the night? I don’t know….

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    • evanscr05 March 8, 2012, 9:59 am

      This is true. BASICALLY living with someone is NOT the same as ACTUALLY living with someone. I basically lived with my husband for several months when we first started dating. It was a whole different ball game when we actually started living together. I love him more than anything, and overall, he’s actually a pretty clean guy, but sometimes, boys are just gross.

      LW, don’t live with your boyfriend. I know you think you’re ready for that, but you’re not. I in no way condemn living with someone (for me, I could not have married my husband without living with him first), but you’re WAY too young for that. Have you thought about the repercussions of living with him completely, and then what if you break up and you have NO WHERE to move to because you don’t have a dorm? You’re so so so young. I know you think you’re grown up and ready for the world, but trust me, you’re not there yet. You’ll get there, so don’t rush it. ENJOY these years of blissful “not a kid but not quite an adult yet”. You will miss it so much when it’s gone. I do, sometimes. Besides, living in a dorm can be way fun! I have so many fond memories of my time in college housing. I met my BFF and several other very good friends that way.

      Also, you’re right to tell your parents not to buy you a house. It is a HUGE commitment, especially if it’s a fixer upper. We just bought a BRAND NEW house and sometimes there are things to deal with. I love it, but I’m also 28, married, and established in my career. I want, and am ready, to be “settling down”. I wasn’t at 19, and even if I thought I was ready, I’m so glad I got to just be a college kid.

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      • theattack March 8, 2012, 10:51 am

        I don’t think we can say whether or not she’s ready for living with him. Being young doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Moving in isn’t a marriage license.

      • Britannia March 8, 2012, 3:24 pm

        But moving in while you’re still freshly into college (or only half-way through) can make it harder to focus on school and get things done. There is inevitable drama when you move in with an SO for the first time, or you develop a case of dungeon love. It’s not a wise move because she should be focusing on her degree.

      • theattack March 8, 2012, 4:24 pm

        Ehh, I disagree. I think living with an SO means that you get to multi-task with the time you spend together. ie: You eat dinner together, and that’s your couple-time instead of eating dinner and then going to his place for couple-time. After a certain point in a relationship, it’s easy to do homework together. It IS distracting to have friends as roommates though. If I lived with my girl friends, we would be gossiping and baking and drinking and acting crazy all the time.

    • lets_be_honest March 8, 2012, 10:00 am

      LW, listen to all these wise women. Please!
      sleeping at his place a lot does not equal what it’ll be like living together;
      have girlfriends;
      be 19, not an adult;
      and everything else the commenters and Wendy are saying.
      I wish I could go back and experience what you are so quick to want to move on from.

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  • pamplemousse March 8, 2012, 9:51 am

    And this is why I severed all financial ties with my parents the moment I moved out. Tell them no, and if they pull back their money, then go on like most poor college students do and get loans, another job, etc.

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  • silver_dragon_girl March 8, 2012, 9:52 am

    Ok. I’m trying really hard not to start ranting, but I WISH I had your problems.

    I totally understand not wanting to be “controlled” by your parents, and I really do respect that. I was very independent through college, but I saw plenty of my friends still calling their parents every day to ask what to do, or doing whatever their parents told them to do just “because.” I think college is the time when you definitely SHOULD be cutting those apron- and purse-strings.

    BUT. Why take on student loans when you don’t have to? Why pay rent every month when you don’t have to? I mean, really. Save that money so after you graduate you can spend 6 months travelling, or fly all over the country for job interviews, or buy a car, or something.

    I say if your parents want to buy a house, let them. Live in it for free, but make it clear that there are limits to the amount of “fixing up” you’d want to do…for instance, you could set a number of hours per week you’d do house work as your “rent” or something.

    Seriously, I would try to look at this as an opportunity. Just think about how amazing your savings account could be after just a year of living rent-free someplace. You can travel! Study abroad! Go shopping! Buy a car! Have a great nest-egg for grad school or even buying a house one day!

    Math: In college, I paid $490/month for a studio apartment (approximately) plus about $150 in utilities/cable/etc. So $640×12=$7680. Plus, you’d be in a HOUSE, not a tiny studio apartment with a barely-functioning heater and a moldy smell when it rains.

    I know you want to be an adult, and independent, but sometimes being an adult means taking advantage of really awesome opportunities that come your way. I think this is one of those.

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    • IDreamofElectricSheep March 8, 2012, 10:12 am

      I really think it depends on how controlling her parents can be and how her relationship with them is. Plus her brother (per my post). This happened to my sister and me and it ended up creating ALL SORTS of drama that continues to this day. LOOOONG story (geez, I have a lot of them). Basically for us, it became the gifts from hell.

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      • silver_dragon_girl March 8, 2012, 10:20 am

        Maybe so, but I don’t know…free housing all through college, whether in a house or a dorm….that’s pretty hard for me to turn down. Probably because I’m poor and have always been poor. And she’s 1000 miles away from her parents…how controlling can they really be? I think as long as they set FIRM ground rules in advance (what’s expected of her, what’s expected of them), and stick to them, it would be fine.

      • IDreamofElectricSheep March 8, 2012, 10:46 am

        The LW is getting a lot of flak about being a brat. This is why I hate bringing up some of my stuff with people and sometimes never do, because some people just say, “Oh, wah, poor little rich girl”. All I’m saying is that we don’t know how controlling her parents actually are. From what I’ve read, not so much. Actually hardly at all. But I’ve been in that situation with a pretty controlling mother and it becomes a bitter, tough slog through self-doubt and guilt. And firm ground rules change over time, especially when it comes to real estate. What happens when she graduates? Is it hers? Can she live there? Will it be completely in her name? How would her brother feel if it is? What if she wants to move but can’t because she can’t sell the house? Do the parents assume that they have some rights to it (as in possibly living there in the future or being given any proceeds from a sale)? Accepting real estate comes with it longterm implications that change with the market, even with firm ground rules set at the beginning.

        And if have to ask how controlling parents who pay for tution can be from 1,000 miles away, count youself lucky because you obviously don’t have very controlling parents. Which is a wonderful thing and something I wish I could say was true for me.

      • silver_dragon_girl March 8, 2012, 10:55 am

        Well, to me, from the information we’ve been given, they don’t sound controlling at all. In fact, they sound like they keep trying to be controlling, and then caving when she does what she wants anyway. Like, I gather they wanted her to stay close to home for school and told her they wouldn’t pay for it, and then they ended up paying for it anyway.

        But the things you mentioned are all things that can be discussed by the whole family before a decision is made.

        I just see no big red flags here that her parents are going to suddenly start trying to run her entire life just because she lives in their house.

      • IDreamofElectricSheep March 8, 2012, 11:19 am

        I don’t think they’ll do that and I said that I don’t think they’re very controlling. But I think it’s easier to say no and avoid potential issues and have more fun living in the dorms anyway. I loved dorm life.

      • Fabelle March 8, 2012, 11:26 am

        My reaction before I read the letter was kind of similiar, like “Oh..boo-hoo” but it does sort of seem like her parents are trying to control her. From what she’s saying, it already seems as if they’re using financial things as leverage to guilt-trip and potentially punish.

      • lets_be_honest March 8, 2012, 11:30 am

        I’m just not seeing it. They really do not seem controlling to me. They are being parents. Generous ones at that.

      • silver_dragon_girl March 8, 2012, 11:37 am

        Same here. I see them as trying to help her out. Yeah, they probably want to keep her from living with her boyfriend, and maybe they’d feel better about her being so far away if they know she’s in a “safe”house in a good neighborhood…but other than that I really don’t see the controlling behavior here. Now, if she writes back in a year about how she lives in her parents’ house and they are constantly demanding she do repairs and yard work and advertise for roommates and they randomly drop in for surprise two-week visits once a month, then yeah, I’ll call them controlling. But right now? I just don’t see it.

      • Fabelle March 8, 2012, 12:20 pm

        I don’t know, maybe it’s because I had a friend in this situation when we were both in college– they paid for her to live in a house with several other girls near her school. I was pretty envious because I wanted to live off-campus as well, but after a while it was like they ended every phone call with a threat to take away the house.

        I’m not saying it’s a good idea for this LW to go into debt to avoid this situation, though, I think Wendy’s solution was well-reasoned and good.

      • bagge72 March 8, 2012, 11:39 am

        Me neither! They have paid her way no strings attached so far, that sounds like awesome to me.

      • bagge72 March 8, 2012, 11:40 am

        Like totally, that like is not suppose to be there.

      • CatsMeow March 8, 2012, 5:59 pm

        I’m not sure. I sense that they don’t want her to live with her boyfriend (which, come on, isn’t the *best* idea) BUT – I also think it just makes more financial sense to them. If they’re already going to be paying for her living costs, it makes more sense for them to put their money into something that could potentially be an investment. Maybe they’re actually just looking out for their OWN best interests.

    • Elle March 8, 2012, 2:32 pm

      SDG, when you put it this way, it sounds really good. LW, think of all the parties you can throw and invite everyone! All your friends will live in dorms and studios, your house will be party central!

      When I was in undergrad, my parents did have money to buy me a place in the new town, but they never brought it up because they wanted me to have the college experience. And they were right. I had a lot of fun and many fond memories after living in a dorm for 4 years. There were a few people who were living off-campus – I remember we barely ever socialized with them, because I always had the people from the dorm to go out with and party with (maybe I should mention this was before cell-phones and internet and PCs. Yes, I am that old!).

      My take on this – if you plan do move in with your boyfriend anyway, let the parents buy you a house. Your bf can help with work around the house instead of rent (work which you won’t have to do!), and if you guys ever break up, he’ll have to move out, not you. Win-win!

      But seriously though, you’re in such a rush to grow up! Slow down and smell the roses. I can’t believe you want to play house at 19. I started at 23, and I still think it was too early. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders (I also think your parents trust you a lot – a house is a big responsibility), so I know you’ll read all the advice here and make the right decision for you. Best of luck to you!

      Reply Link
    • Jiggs March 8, 2012, 4:18 pm

      Really, I think it’s up to the LW to decide whether the mental cost is worth the money cost. I am hesitant to say “oh just put up with it, you’ll be so rich!” because everyone’s situation is different. I have seen a lot of people say her parents probably aren’t Super Evil Overlords, and I agree, but I don’t think you have to be Super Evil Overlords to deserve your kids cutting the apron strings.

      I moved away from home when I was 17. I was poor for many years, yes. But to me, the independence of being on my own was worth any sacrifice, including debt and not having nice things, living in crappy apartments etc. My parents were not abusive assholes or intensely controlling. They were pretty overbearing though and I had a poor relationship with my dad. Since moving out (8 years ago now) my relationship with them has improved a thousandfold. I do sometimes wish I’d had the stupid years of partying and making bad decisions and whatnot, but I wouldn’t trade my life now for that. So it really depends on your personality. Some people really chafe against having any manner of restriction once they are young adults. Others can happily accept rules and limitations as long as the payoff is good.

      I would advise the LW not to move in with the boyfriend though, just because at that age you become pretty financial dependent on the other person, and if things go south it can leave you very vulnerable to disaster. I moved in with a boyfriend at 17 after living briefly with roommates. When we broke up I really struggled to pay the rent on my own. At the time there was a boom in my province that kept housing costs sky-high, so I had very few options. I ate one Ramen a day for a couple months. It forced (well not forced, but certainly firmly shoved) me into moving in with my next boyfriend after just four months of dating. Now, that relationship worked out (we’re married), but there are so many variables on that situation it makes me ill to consider them. A lot of ways that, if not for luck, that could have turned out horribly. Or forced me to move home, my ultimate OHSHIT situation! It doesn’t even have to be a breakup, what if he gets a job in another state and you can’t join him right away or something like that. Wait until you’re a little more financially stable with a few full rent checks in the bank and a job that could pay the rent plus food by yourself. Future you will thank you.

      Reply Link
  • bagge72 March 8, 2012, 9:56 am

    I have this all worked out for you LW! Let you parents buy the house, and rent it out to two of your friends, then take half of that rent, and send it to your parents, and keep the other half, and get a pet friendly apartment for you, and your boyfriend. Then tell you parents that you are living in their house, and when ever they come visit, just move in while they are there! Oh man I’m so smart. Amiright

    But I also really like everyone else’s advice, you are still really young, and don’t waste all of this time on your boyfriend, there are so many fun things to do at that age in college with your friends. I mean when I was 19 we put detergent all down the hallway, and emptied all of the foam fire extinguishers on them, and had a slip & slide! I bet your boyfriend wont let you do that! Also realize that your boyfriend might be a slob too, and if that really bothers you, you might be looking for a new place to stay sooner than you think.

    Reply Link
    • silver_dragon_girl March 8, 2012, 10:12 am

      Can we start a thread called, “stupid/fun things we did when we were 19?” Can someone write a legal disclaimer for it?

      Reply Link
      • bagge72 March 8, 2012, 10:24 am

        Haha we definitely should, and but I want people to promise not to judge for what I did when I was 19!!

      • bagge72 March 8, 2012, 10:32 am

        Sorry typed that way to quickly, because I got a phone call at work!

      • Addie Pray March 8, 2012, 10:45 am

        Great idea! Feeling threatened by your parents’ “control” 1,000 miles away and opting for loans so you can live with your boyfriend when you could just live in a house for free and have your boyfriend over all day and all night long definitely goes at the top of the list. As does eating dessert with every meal just because it’s there in the dining hall. I’m still trying to lose my Freshman 25.

      • silver_dragon_girl March 8, 2012, 10:50 am

        Took me about two years to lose mine. It was bad…Our cafeteria had GOOD food. Like, amazing meatballs and a huge salad bar. So I’d have a giant salad drowning in ranch dressing and cheese and croutons like every night. And then usually cookies. Or chinese food. OMG I’m hungry now.

      • Addie Pray March 8, 2012, 10:57 am

        Soon after my freshman year I discovered running and got really into marathons. (Lost weight.) Then I got really into having multiple knee surgeries. (Gained weight.) Then I stressed out in law school. (Lost weight.) Then I started practicing law and drinking my emotions. (Gained weight.) Recently discovered Bikram. (Lost weight.) Yesterday my loving boss commented that I’ve lost weight – then he said, and I kid you not, “you’re like a yoyo.” I love how honest he is with me and how completely clueless he is about what not to say to women. I had to bite my tongue to not say “your mom’s a yoyo.”

      • Addie Pray March 8, 2012, 10:59 am

        @ ALL MEN: never tell a woman her weight is like a yoyo. It’s just not appreciated. “You look great” will suffice.

      • bagge72 March 8, 2012, 11:37 am

        What if you hate the girl? There is this girl at my work that makes so many bullshit stories up, about how she can run 5 minute miles, and went to the gym for 5 hours the other day, and she also comes by and comments on what you are eating for lunch, but she is also still pretty fat. I remember when I boss was on leave for having her son, and when she brought the little guy in to meet everyone, the first thing this girl said to my boss, was “look how good I look, I just lost weight” that was the first thing she said to my boss, who just had a baby!

      • JK March 8, 2012, 12:38 pm

        This totally reminded me of Amanda from that episode of Friends.


        At around the 2:30 mark

      • Caris March 8, 2012, 3:31 pm


      • CatsMeow March 8, 2012, 6:02 pm

        Yeah. I’m totally getting the sense that this is less about establishing independence from the parents and more about wanting to get her way about living with the boyfriend. But I could be wrong.

      • katiebird March 8, 2012, 5:12 pm

        I am 19 right now and because the weather was so gorgeous today, my boyfriends fraternity brought all the furniture from the living room outside onto the porch (its a big porch) and we sat there all day playing music and playing catch with a football from the porch to the sidewalk across the street. does that count as stupid/fun things we do at 19? 🙂

      • lets_be_honest March 8, 2012, 5:16 pm

        My 19 y/o self is beyond jealous. I was stuck in the office on this beautiful day. I did listen to Sublime on my way to pick up lunch though. The little things…

      • CatsMeow March 8, 2012, 6:00 pm

        Seriously. 19 was THE year to do stupid/fun things.

    • Moneypenny March 8, 2012, 12:32 pm

      Oh man, I’d make that slip & slide today as a 27 year old! That sounds awesome.

      Reply Link
      • bagge72 March 8, 2012, 2:14 pm

        It was, but I’m just glad that nobody broke their neck crashing into a wall or something!

      • Budj March 8, 2012, 2:27 pm

        I’d be most worried about my nipples chafing.

      • CatsMeow March 8, 2012, 6:03 pm


      • Moneypenny March 8, 2012, 5:03 pm

        That is true… safety first…….

      • Moneypenny March 8, 2012, 5:23 pm

        Oh, one more thing. (I’m totally slow at work and am getting distracted.) I really want to turn my hallway in my apt building into a bowling alley (it’s pretty wide and narrows at one end, and it’s really long, and the ceiling is painted a yellow-orange so it *glows*). And my building has these large open spaces inside by each staircase that would be perfect for a mini golf course. Or obstacle course. I’d get in so much trouble if I attempted any of this (like, fined). I already ride my bike down the hallways and that’s against the rules…
        Ok, I’m done now.

  • vizslalvr March 8, 2012, 9:57 am

    It seems to me incredibly silly and irresponsible to take on thousands of dollars of debt because you want to live with your boyfriend, which is basically what this seems to come down to.

    Stay in the dorm. Continue to have sleepovers with your boyfriend. Maybe your parents will cut the apron strings a little bit more in another year or two and be more amenable to you living with your boyfriend. I mean, have they met him? How long have you been together?

    I really urge you to reconsider taking on a ton of debt just because your parents don’t want to pay for you to live in an apartment with your boyfriend, which is what it seems to come down to.

    Reply Link
    • lets_be_honest March 8, 2012, 10:04 am

      “incredibly silly and irresponsible to take on thousands of dollars of debt because you want to live with your boyfriend”
      LW-this is how we have proof you are 19.
      Please please please go do fun things, study, travel, party too much, make a homemade slip and slide like bagge. You will have all the time in the world to be a grown up soon enough. Stay in the dorms, keep sleeping at your boyfriends a couple nights a week. You will never get this time back.

      Reply Link
    • Moneypenny March 8, 2012, 12:38 pm

      Yes, this.
      There is plenty of time to take on debt. Don’t do it if you don’t have to. I learned this lesson when I was on college and lived with my parents to save money and went to a private school, so I needed all the help I could get. Older friends of mine told me, after I would lament my situation, that I was smart to stay at home and to not move out just for the sake of being able to go out and party. I realize now they were right. It stinks at the time, but her situation *will* change.

      Reply Link
  • IDreamofElectricSheep March 8, 2012, 10:05 am

    My mother has done this and continues to do so. She thinks money = love, but to her, love = us listening to her, so actually the equation becomes money = control. Not so much now because we have families of our own, but it still happens often. What I learned very early on was that my education, cash gifts, etc. came with strings. Here’s my advice:

    1) Make it VERY clear that you are turning down this offer because you currently do not want the responsibility of home ownership/maintenance at this time in your life. Please do NOT turn it down flat with words like, “You’re just using it to control me, you’re so controlling, I hate it, etc.” See item #3.

    2) Think about the implications of this down the road. Something that happens with my sister and me is that my sister accepts everything from my mother and ends us with these “strings attached” issues. That’s her choice. My choice has mainly always been not to accept anything. It can get tough, when I’m seeing how my mother gives my sister money, cars, a house, and so forth. It can produce a “why does she get everything” feeling. Of course, my sister is a drama queen and has had a hard life (of her own making), so it’s not as if she couldn’t use some financial support. But, still. Think hard about it.

    What if, when your brother goes to college, he gets a house? And since he’s a boy, he may not get as much pressure about not having his girl/boyfriend be his roomie? Say he stays there after he graduates and lives there with his family and ends up not having to pay mortgage, etc. so has a bigger start on life (financially)? Will you be able to stop your feelings of resentment? This may happen for a long, long time (still does to me!), so think about how you would react once your brother enters the picture. You have to be able to stay strong to your own reasons for accepting/rejecting these gifts in the face of what happens with him.

    3) If you tackle each gift separately and don’t lump it under a “you are using x to control me”, it helps because who knows? Down the road, you may want the house and would be willing to take the consequences of this “gift”. They would be more willing to extend this type of offer again, instead of saying, “I thought you didn’t want this. I thought you said we were controlling. So we’re only controlling when it doesn’t benefit you, but nice when it does. Is that what you’re saying?”

    4) Not financially related, but similar to what others have said. Please reconsider moving in with your boyfriend. This is the easiest time in your life for you to make friends with other people. It won’t get much easier than this. Trust me. Once you graduate, it gets harder and harder to make genuine friends and forge relationships that last years. It’ll be easy to meet “let’s go out and hit the bars” friends, but not those who will weather those tough times with you.

    Good luck!

    Reply Link
    • bagge72 March 8, 2012, 10:22 am

      To me her parents don’t sound that controlling. I mean the most controlling thing they are doing right now is paying for her room and board at school, that they let her go to 1000 miles away from home. It actually sounds like she has pretty awesome parents who let her have freedom to do thing a lot of college kids can’t do, because they are working two or three jobs to pay for it. I think the real reason they want to get this house is, because they are afraid to tell her that she can’t move in with her boyfriend, so this was an easy way to try to prevent it. It doesn’t sound like they are buying her a house to live in the rest of her life, and a ferrari, to drive around campus in, while taking her friends out on shopping sprees. The house will actually be theirs, and they will be making money off it in a couple of years when she moves out.

      Reply Link
      • Iwannatalktosampson March 8, 2012, 10:34 am

        Yeah I actually had a really good friend whose parents did this. I guess they got a little control, but not much, and I think the LW’s parents will have a lot LESS control from 1,000 miles away. And does the LW think her relationship with her boyfriend won’t work out if they don’t live together? Because if that’s the case they’ll break up either way. I guess I just don’t see what bad can come from accepting their offer. They’re 1,000 miles away – it’s not like they’re telling her he can’t spend the night.

      • bagge72 March 8, 2012, 10:39 am

        Plus think of all the awesome boy/girl mixers, and sock hops they can have, with out having to deal with RA’s, and unruly landlords!

      • IDreamofElectricSheep March 8, 2012, 11:14 am

        I agree that they don’t sound very controlling, hardly at all. My mother was the master. Actually, not really…I knew someone at my uiversity where the parents rented out an apartment and the girl lived with her mother through all four years. The family was from another state and her family stayed home, but the mother moved to live with the daughter and impose curfew, etc.

      • lets_be_honest March 8, 2012, 11:24 am

        I am so going to try and get my daughter to do that when she wants to go to college. I am already dreading the day…and she’s still in grade school. (I’m kidding…sorta)
        I knew a girl whose mother offered her a brand new car if she agreed to going to a very nearby college just because she was going to miss her too much. Its gonna hurt to cut those strings 🙁

      • bagge72 March 8, 2012, 11:47 am

        I think theattack might be this person from your university!

      • theattack March 8, 2012, 12:04 pm

        haha, thank GOD my mom didn’t come live with me. But she did badger me to transfer to a school two hours away from her and commute from home every day so that we could spend time together. (That did not happen, of course)

      • IDreamofElectricSheep March 8, 2012, 2:05 pm

        My mother did the next best thing. I lived with my older sister, who attended the same university. She enforced curfew, monitored my activities, checked up on me, etc. People say that it’s insane, but that comes from being raised in a closed environment with a mother who did things like 1) lock me in my room when I was 9 and not feed me until I could draw a map of the world, with all country boundaries, starting on a blank sheet of paper from memory, 2) made my sister wear too-tight shoes to bed every night for months when she was 10 because her feet were “too big” so my sister ended up bone deformities. Okay. Maybe my mother wasn’t so much controlling as abusive (yes, I am in therapy).

      • IDreamofElectricSheep March 8, 2012, 2:09 pm

        I meant my sister was the one who enforced the curfew, etc. It took both of us years to try to break free from a perspective that it was the norm (we were expatriates, so didn’t grow up here and don’t really have any extended family).

      • kalipso March 8, 2012, 6:14 pm


    • kittyk March 8, 2012, 4:10 pm

      Just had to chime in to agree with your last sentence- ” It’ll be easy to meet “let’s go out and hit the bars” friends, but not those who will weather those tough times with you.”

      SO SO SO true! Those genuine friendships are hard to come by and the younger you develop them the better!

      Reply Link
  • savannah March 8, 2012, 10:07 am

    I think this all comes down to perspectives about money, control and freedom. To one person its having your parents support you while to others and the LW it’s about having your parents control you through money. While I never had an issue with my parents buying me things in high school some of my friends got great satisfaction from getting jobs, and paying for things with their own money I feeling I can’t really relate to even now post college and with a job. Money with my parents was never about control, there was no threatening or real strings attached to the allowance I received up until my senior year of college. We made financial choices together post high school and both my sister and I went to the University my mothers works at so we would not have to pay tuition, we really felt that no student loans outweighed the “i gotta get away from where I grew up urges” which I never really understood. We both studied abroad and went away to different graduate schools which we financed ourselves. Neither of us have any debt now 2 years in and I’m grateful for my parents support in the past. For the LW I think it’s the money environment that she must have grown up in to cause these issues between her parents and herself, and it’s unhealthy and she’s wise to try to extricate herself out of it. I don’t think she’s snubbing help I think she’s recognizing that to herself she needs this mental and financial break from them before she can become a ‘real adult’.

    Reply Link
  • Addie Pray March 8, 2012, 10:08 am

    LW, I see why you are frustrated. We leave home at 18 and want to be independent and an adult and that’s that. I remember being so annoyed at EVERYTHING my parents said and did when I left home for college because I felt that they still viewed me as an 18 year old high school senior, when, hellooo, I was a big 19 year old college freshman now! (“Big” in a couple of senses – I definitely gained the Freshman 15. Fine, 20. 25 but screw everyone – the food at our dining halls was amazing!). I remember going home over break, and as I sat down for some cereal, my mom said, “here’s the orange juice.” And it really pissed me off because didn’t she know that I was 19 and I could decide if I wanted orange juice or not and that I can make my own decisions and that her attempt to control me is killing me and oh mon dieu I cannot wait to get back to school!” But you know what? She was just offering me some fucking orange juice. I soon learned to say “no thanks” and then she’d put the orange juice back in the fridge and that was that. And voila, a more adult-like relationship with my parents began and all that really changed was an attitude adjustment on my end.

    So, pretend your parents *aren’t* trying to control you. Pretend instead that they are offering you what is actually a pretty amazing deal that makes financial sense and dayum you will appreciate not having to pay back loans later. It’s a great deal, but you’re not ready for that responsibility. So say, “Wow, that’s a great off, but eh at 19 I don’t think I’m ready for yard work and the responsibility that comes with house and being away from campus so I think I’ll just stay in the dorms or get a small apartment nearby. If I move out of the dorms I’d like to live with my boyfriend, and I think we’d both be more comfortable getting an apartment.” Just as casual as can be. But if you go all “stop controlling me!” on them, I swear to go that projection only causes parents to want to control you more.

    You know what? I had dessert after *each* meal my Freshman year because it was there – a whole counter full of brownies and cookies and cake and, sure, there was fruit, but eh. They invited me to gain weight.

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  • katiebird March 8, 2012, 10:08 am

    stay in the dorms! I’m 19 too, and i can tell by your letter that you are not ready to have the responsibilities of a house. also, living with you boyfriend might sound awesome, but think of it this way: if you two are really together for the long haul, what does waiting 1 or 2 more years to live together matter if you’re going to spend the rest of your lives together? there is never any harm in waiting.

    Reply Link
    • CatsMeow March 8, 2012, 6:07 pm

      THAT’s something I always say! If you KNOW you want to be with someone “forever” (or for the long haul, as you say), then WHY rush it?

      Reply Link
  • EricaSwagger March 8, 2012, 10:14 am

    Uhm, at the risk of being hated… Does anyone else feel like this LW is being a huge brat? Her parents are paying for her school 100% and offering to buy her a house to live in rent-free. I don’t see an problem here. When I was 19 I would have gone insane for a set up like this, roommate or not. I understand they’re trying to manipulate her but they’re still 1000 miles away and being without any financial stress is well worth having a roommate.

    LW: Even if you have a female roommate, you’ll still have your own ROOM (and you’ll get to pick the good one since it’s YOUR house). She’ll, I’m sure, be aware that she’s living in a room in YOUR house, meaning she gets her room, can use the kitchen and bathroom, etc… but essentially, it’s your house and she’ll probably respect that. If she doesn’t, your parents don’t have to re-up her lease.

    You mentioned bringing up the issue of living with your BF (not the best idea at 19 but hey it’s your choice) and your parents ignored you. So… BRING IT UP AGAIN!? Insist that you want to live with him, and if they’re getting the rent, who cares who’s paying it? On the other hand, your parents are 1000 miles away. So get that roommate who will probably stay in her room since most of the house is officially yours. And you and your boyfriend can still live together, who says he can’t live with you if you have another roommate?

    Reply Link
    • silver_dragon_girl March 8, 2012, 10:18 am

      I’m with you.

      Reply Link
    • savannah March 8, 2012, 10:36 am

      It really depends on what kind of string are attached to that money and support her parents are giving her. Maybe she has to trade in financial stress for a whole other slew of stressors, overbearing parents can make you wish you never said yes to even the smallest of offers.

      Reply Link
  • Muffy March 8, 2012, 10:18 am

    you say you’re a clean freak and that’s why you don’t want a roomate? What do you call a bf you split rent with then? He’s your roomate and if he’s not clean it’s not going to matter if he’s a boyfriend or a girl roomate – it will still drive you up the wall.

    Personally I think it’s wonderful that your parents are willing to help you out – debt is awful and the longer you can put off accumulating it the better. You said you see your bf almost every night anyways so why not just move into your own place and continue to see him the way you currently are. Besides, when you have a house you can have him over – it’s a totally different situation sharing a house with a roomate then sharing a small bedroom with a roomate. At least that way you will have a space you can get away from the guy if you need some alone time. And your dog!

    Reply Link
    • lets_be_honest March 8, 2012, 10:25 am

      Good points.
      Also, you say you will be saving $ by living with him. You (obviously) will be saving a lot more by living in a free house with free college. Mom & Dad are 1000 miles away. If they are being controlling, get off the phone. Its really that easy.

      Reply Link
  • Lindsay March 8, 2012, 10:27 am

    You’re 19, how many crappy roommates could you possibly have had? I don’t mean this in an offensive way, but your letter makes you sound very, very young. Not the incredibly wise and responsible 19-year-old that you’re trying to come across as.

    There’s a reason that most people your age don’t get their own houses or move in with their boyfriends. Many reasons, in fact. And they have nothing to do with their parents being pushy. Besides the fact that you clearly aren’t ready, I want to warn you against turning your college career into a fixation on your living situation or your boyfriend. There are a lot of fun things you can do in college and friends you can make when you aren’t trying to keep a yard looking nice or sequestering yourself up with your boyfriend. Not to mention that there are a lot of other things you’re going to want to do with that money later on (moving expenses, grad school, anything).

    If you and your boyfriend break up down the road, you’re going to regret missing out on your college experience. And if you don’t, and you get married one day, then why the rush? You’ll have your whole lives.

    Reply Link
    • kerrycontrary March 8, 2012, 10:37 am

      Yeh thats what I don’t get. By the time I was 19 I had a total of 2 roomates, 3 if we are counting by the time I was 20. I went through some crazyyyy situations but it made me learn to deal with people who were different from me! and face conflict! and be more easy going!

      Reply Link
      • theattack March 8, 2012, 10:42 am

        Well, I don’t know what your crazy situations were, but some roommate situations are downright scary or unhealthy. When I had to scrub poop off of my walls, it didn’t make me learn how to deal with different people. It was just unbelievable. There are some things you shouldn’t put up with for the sake of personal growth. I completely understand not wanting roommates, for any number of reasons, but that’s because I’ve had some of the worst myself.

      • lets_be_honest March 8, 2012, 10:51 am

        Been there, done that. And my roommate was only a year old. 😉

      • theattack March 8, 2012, 11:10 am

        haha, Unfortunately my roommates were about 23. I can’t even begin to describe all the ridiculous things they do. Like the gigantic turkey-sized pot of clam chowder that sat in our sink for over a month. Or the dogs they didn’t bother to feed or take out EVER so I intended up buying food and completely taking care of them. Or having sketchy guy friends come stay from out of town and having them sneak into my room at night.

        Yeah, those situations were not about overcoming differences in personality.

      • theattack March 8, 2012, 11:20 am

        *I ended up buying food. I cannot write today.

      • kerrycontrary March 8, 2012, 11:28 am

        well I’ve had holes poked in my condoms by an angry roomate and woke up to some guy peeing on me stuff to begin with… But I now can confront people when necessary…so it’s a trade off.

      • theattack March 8, 2012, 11:31 am

        Yiikes, that sounds awful! I’ve always been confrontational, so my experiences didn’t help me grow like that. They just pissed me off.

    • bagge72 March 8, 2012, 10:49 am

      Maybe she is counting her parents, and siblings aswell!

      Reply Link
  • theattack March 8, 2012, 10:37 am

    If your parents buy a house, don’t move into it. And if they ask you to sign something about it, don’t sign it. You’re too young to have to deal with the responsibilities of a house, and you’re better off without the control from your parents. You don’t want them dictating who can be in there when, and you don’t want them popping in whenever they feel like it. HOWEVER, you’ve got plenty of time ahead of you to live with your boyfriend. If your sole reason for not living in the house is because you want to live with your boyfriend, it’s probably a poor decision. If you can get the apartment with your boyfriend, great! But be prepared to pay for everything yourself now if your parents don’t like it. And if you didn’t do FAFSA at the beginning of the year, you won’t be able to get loans and financial aid this fall. Living in a dorm for another year is not THAT bad compared to paying out way too much money and struggling for groceries and electricity. Assert yourself, but don’t be stupid.

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    • Iwannatalktosampson March 8, 2012, 10:45 am

      I think you missed the part where they’re 1,000 miles away. They can’t just pop in whenever. And they can’t tell her who can and cannot come over. And if they do she can just not listen because well – they’re 1,000 miles away.

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      • theattack March 8, 2012, 10:59 am

        No, I didn’t miss that part. I just know what it’s like to have controlling parents. Even at 1,000 miles away, they can still decide to make a surprise visit. They can decide that this house is their new vacation home, insisting to come stay with her for weeks at a time. And if they own the house, they certainly can say who is and isn’t allowed over! They might not know about it most of the time, but they can still make the rules. And if her parents are as controlling as mine are, they WILL find out who’s over there. My parents have been known to do shady things in order to keep track of me from hundreds of miles away, like enlisting other people to spy on me and collaborating with other people’s parents to figure out what we’re doing.

      • theattack March 8, 2012, 11:20 am

        And it’s not as easy as just “not listening” when they have tools to manipulate you with. She’ll have to listen to them so that they don’t pull the rug out from under her feet while she’s in school. She’ll likely be planning her semesters like she doesn’t have to work full time, so if they threaten to stop supporting her, she won’t have time to do anything but obey.

      • lets_be_honest March 8, 2012, 11:28 am

        You sorta make it sound like her parents are just out to get her/destroy her life. Most parents (most) are not like this. I don’t think she conveyed her parents in a way that requires such a warning.

      • theattack March 8, 2012, 11:40 am

        She said they were controlling, and she’s obviously concerned about being controlled in the house. I’m just going off of how the LW’s interpreting the risk, since she’s the only one who knows her parents.

        I don’t mean that they’re out to get her, but some parents (like mine) are SO concerned that you’re not doing anything you’re not supposed to that they’ll do crazy things because they care about you. It’s not always about destroying someone’s life. It’s usually about preserving it the way the parents want it.

        My mom used to do things like call and ask me simple things like what I had for dinner, or what I got at the store, or whether or not I decided to ride the bus home that night (no big deal at all). Then a few days or a week later, she would remember what I told her and use it against me to try to catch me in a lie doing things she didn’t want me to do. Several of my friends had parents like this too.

      • lets_be_honest March 8, 2012, 11:46 am

        A 19 year old saying her parents are controlling when they aren’t really controlling is like…well, you get my point I think.
        Those things your mom probably didn’t want you doing were probably things that you shouldn’t have been doing. Probably nothing that will kill you, but not the BEST things.
        Hey, I could be totally wrong and her parents could be crazy, I am just not seeing anything crazy here. Just caring parents who want the best for their child.

      • theattack March 8, 2012, 11:58 am

        I just think caring can go too far. A 19 year old needs to be living and making friends and going out. My mom didn’t want me doing things like staying out past 12:30 or hanging out with certain people she didn’t like (because she called around to everyone and checked into the history of all of my friends). I think parents should have a laissez-faire approach to their college-age kids. Let them figure it out themselves, and don’t control them to keep them from making mistakes. Now, if I’m totally off on the LW’s parents here, then fine. But if she said they were controlling, I’m going to believe her until she comments that she’s pissed because they call her once a week or something dumb.

      • JK March 8, 2012, 12:18 pm

        I donpt know. I think if parents are financing their kids in anyway then they do have the right to know what their kid is getting up to.
        I´m not in the US, and here the uni experience is totally different, (and free in lots of cases), but if I was paying lots of money to have my daughters study far away from home you can bet I would want to know what they get up to, that they´re not wasting their time.

      • JK March 8, 2012, 12:20 pm

        Ugh, am I ever going to get used to the p being where the ´ was on my old computer??? Or at least get used to reading over what I write?

      • bagge72 March 8, 2012, 3:41 pm

        Sounds leek a computer geek, who had sex change! Um doc, I just can’t get use to this P being were my ‘ was on my old computer! Think there is anyway we clear my cache, and start over? Maybe delete my cookies while your in there?

      • bagge72 March 8, 2012, 3:50 pm

        *You’re, and every other mistake I made! I suck at this today.

      • theattack March 8, 2012, 1:53 pm

        Would you just want to know that they weren’t wasting their time? Or would you want to micromanage social and life decisions, like keeping her from hanging out with smokers, or telling her which garage to park in, or who she’s allowed to go to the movies with? Making sure your kid is progressing in school is one thing. Controlling other aspects of their lives is another.

      • Budj March 8, 2012, 3:49 pm

        The only thing I would say to that is that I’m sure a lot of late teens have an excellent and unbiased perspective of the angle their parents are coming from.

      • lets_be_honest March 8, 2012, 5:10 pm

        great reply

  • sparky629 March 8, 2012, 10:50 am

    I’m probably going to get flamed for this but…IDK, this kind of seems like a ‘first world problem’ to me. I couldn’t even finish reading the letter because it just seemed so god awful whiny. Seriously, you are a 1,000 miles AWAY from your parents there is absolutely no way they can control you.

    If you don’t want the house-say NO. If you want the house, then pay your own fricking mortgage and then you can move whomever you want in there. If you can’t afford the mortgage then don’t accept the house. It’s that easy.

    What are your parents going to say?!?! What can they do?!

    When I moved into my first apartment at 20, my mother (whom I loved dearly) had an opinion on EVERYTHING. I simply said one day (cause my mom and I are no frills kinda people and I have a smart mouth)…’You may want to check the mailbox to see who’s name is on the bills!’

    That meant as long as I paid the bills at my apartment then pretty much I’m the only one who could dictate what went on there. Seriously, take a stand and draw boundaries for your parents. Nothing more-nothing less.

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  • lets_be_honest March 8, 2012, 10:56 am

    This would be more interesting if all the commenters wrote their ages as a preface to their comment. I’d venture to guess I already know who is younger v. older.

    Plus, I sound like such a grownup with the whole ‘you will never get this time back’ stuff 🙁

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    • Britannia March 8, 2012, 3:28 pm

      I’m not sure that’s always the case. There are 30-year-olds out there who have never lived with an SO… there are 22 year olds who have already lived with 4 different SO’s (I’m the 22-year-old)… there are 25 year olds who have never had to pay a single bill in their lives… there are 19-year-olds who have already had a child and been divorced (my poor girlfriend…).

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      • lets_be_honest March 8, 2012, 3:42 pm

        While I agree with you that there are always exceptions to everything, I’m not sure what you are disagreeing with…I said I was curious of people’s ages. That’s not really something you can disagree with. ?

      • Britannia March 8, 2012, 11:09 pm

        I’m saying that posting everyone’s ages before a comment, would just lead to people judging and/or dismissing their points based on their demographic. I think DW commenters are a unique cross-section of society, and that age really shouldn’t be a consideration in how valuable or applicable their comments and advice are.

      • Addie Pray March 8, 2012, 11:21 pm

        I disagree that you were curious about people’s ages. You were curious about my green yoga bag. Well, don’t fret. You can read about it at Facebook.com/GreenYogaBag.

  • MsK March 8, 2012, 11:13 am

    LW, you have great parents. Your mother paid for college, so she knows what it’s like to work and study full time and be in debt. It sucks. If you think that being in debt makes you more of a grown up – please take a look at the employment numbers around you. Let’s say you decide to move in with your boyfriend, take on loans and can’t find a job but still have to pay them off? What if you guys break up and now you’re single and stuck with loans? How will you feel then? You have a very short term perspective on things but you need to develop a longer term view and think about consequences down the line if you want to start acting like a grown up.

    And yes, parents are overbearing. I’m 28 and my mom still calls me every day asking me if I had dinner and whether I’m doing my laundry. Most parents’ with daughters that I know are like this. Dealing with them is as easy as “Yes mom.. gotta go mom.. love you mom.” I just feel like you need perspective.. read the letter to Wendy from the girl who’s parents opened a business in her name and then failed to pay taxes on that business. Now that’s bad parenting; bad parenting is not wanting you to live debt free and have more options later on in life.

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  • Anna March 8, 2012, 11:20 am

    I can relate to your letter on so many levels, LW. Everyone here is saying it’s a bad idea to move in with your boyfriend so young, but I think it depends on your relationship and if you are both adult enough to handle it. I met my boyfriend when I was 19 and we moved in together a few months after I turned 20. I’m now 28 and still with the same wonderful guy/best friend/awesome roommate.

    Yes, your parents are trying to control you. I definitely wouldn’t take on the responsibility of a fixer-upper house when you are in college and working, and I completely understand not wanting some random roommate that they approve of just because she doesn’t have a penis. It’s time to stand up for yourself and be an adult. Be prepared for the possibility that they may actually cut you off; it happened to me. Guess what? I graduated from college anyway and lived my life the way I wanted to during that time…plus, it’s an added bit of pride that I completed it on my own without their help.

    I know some people want to spend college living with random people, playing the field, and being free of commitment but not everyone is like that. I wanted to commit to my boyfriend at that age and move our relationship to the next level…I was ready and to this day I do not regret my decisions. I don’t regret never living in a shitty dorm room with a stranger or sleeping around with random frat guys, not for a minute. Choose your life and live it already!!

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    • Anna March 8, 2012, 11:25 am

      Only thing I would add to the moving in situation is that if you intend for the living situation to someday lead to marriage, have that talk with him before officially moving in. That’s the only mistake I made.

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  • jellybean March 8, 2012, 11:36 am

    first world problems.
    i’m a 20 y/o junior and would kill for “controlling” parents to buy me a house or help with tuition.
    stop complaining and accept the help. working full time to completely support yourself through college isn’t as fun as you think it will be.

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  • MiMi March 8, 2012, 11:42 am

    Go to Financial Aid and find out your independent school funding options so you’ll know where you stand re: college tuition in the fall if you decide to do it your way and the parentials pull the plug.
    Find a temporary or permanent home for your pet rather than allowing yourself to be manipulated on another front (what’s up with your bro anyway – isn’t he on your side?) Let them all know they do not have permission to ditch your dog in the meantime.
    In your case, it sounds like you’ll have to seize the reigns of control over your own life, since they seem bent on trying to gallop you just as they want.

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  • sobriquet March 8, 2012, 12:00 pm

    If you really don’t want your parents to control you, stop taking their money. It really is as simple as that. Sigh, I get that this is a problem… I do… but I can’t help thinking about all the rich kids I knew when I was 19. They each had their “own” credit cards, yet bitched and moaned that their parents had the gall to look at what they purchased. If they wanted to move into a nice apartment with their best friends, their parents had to approve first. They didn’t have the freedom to do whatever they wanted. It’s the cost they paid for not having to stress about money. And let me tell you, stressing about money is a kind of evil I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

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    • Moneypenny March 8, 2012, 1:01 pm

      Yes! This is exactly what I was thinking.
      If you don’t want them to have some sort of control over you, then cut the apron strings. There are pros and cons to both sides of this coin, but in the long run, if they are offering to help you out with school, that’s a huge blessing. I would decline the offer of a house though; that’s a lot to take on at 19…

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  • Magnolia March 8, 2012, 12:46 pm

    Look, LW, I totally get having parents who try to control you through money. However, you are still in college…Do you realize how hard it is to pay for college and support yourself at the same time? The smart thing to do would be to stay in the dorms/get a studio and keep letting your parents support you until you graduate. It may feel like the wrong thing to do, but it is the pragmatic choice. I have to disagree with a lot of people who are like “don’t waste all your time with your boyfriend” or “19 is too young to move in.” Different strokes for different folks. Yeah, 19 is pretty young to be moving in with a boyfriend but everybody is different. I do think it would be better to ease into it though…Maybe spend more than a night or two over at his house before you fully commit to moving in together. I think you would better off moving into a tiny studio or living in the dorms (you can always try for a single). You just need to tell your parents that you are can’t hand the responsibility of caring for a house, having a job, and going to school at the same time…

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    • Magnolia March 8, 2012, 12:50 pm

      Forgot to add, it is not like living in a dorm/apartment will really hinder your relationship with your boyfriend. Hell, one of my old roommates was almost never there and was always staying at her boyfriend’s place. Yes, it may seem like a waste of money but if your parents are willing to pay for the dorm and you are hellbent on being with your boyfriend you can “officially” live in the dorm but spend most of your week with your bf. By the time your senior year roles around, your parents would probably be amenable to you moving with your bf anyway.

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  • anon March 8, 2012, 12:53 pm

    I completely understand the feeling of parents controlling through money. My parents were very generous my entire life with school, extracurriculars, etc., but by the middle of high I started paying for some things myself. In college I was lucky to have an academic scholarship but my parents paid for my room and board and I paid for books and spending money myself. It became pretty obvious that the things my parents still paid for provided a way for my mom to be involved in my decisions. We were close so I would have asked her advice anyway, but I always had this feeling that I couldn’t go against her because she was footing the bill and it would be disrespectful to not listen to her. Then when I went to law school I financed everything myself, and my dad did not have a say in anything. Where I lived, who I hung out with, anything. It felt great to be on my own and even though I have loans to pay back, I don’t regret it.

    My boyfriend still lets his parents pay for some things for him (they’re offering to pay for him to go to grad school and give him money towards a down payment on a house). Because of this “help” he can’t pursue the kind of grad program he wants because they’ll only pay for a certain program, and I’m sure the house will become an issue. I share this because some commenters are saying that LW’s parents don’t sound controlling. My boyfriend’s parents don’t sound controlling either at first but a year plus into the relationship I’m like, whoa, it would be great to not have to worry about a down payment but I do not want to feel indebted to this family.

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  • jaybro March 8, 2012, 1:10 pm

    Let’s say you’re going on a shopping trip to a big city with a friend. And you’ve planned this all yourself and know exactly what you want to do and where to go. You’ve even been saving money just for this occasion. Right before you leave, your parents pull out $300. They want to just give you the money, so long as you make sure that you swing by your mom’s favorite store and exchange a pair of shoes for her, so long as you buy your dad that nice sweater he saw but didn’t buy last time he was in town. Oh, yeah, and by the way, they’re gonna be out of town themselves next weekend, so they’d love if you came and watch the dog while they were gone.

    You grumble because this is messing up with all of your plans. Now you’re not gonna have time to hit up the store you really wanted to go to. And you don’t want to watch the dog next weekend, it’s your friend’s birthday, and you were gonna spend all weekend at her house.

    But wait! That’s $300! 3 Ben Franklins just smirkin’ at you, because they know what’s up! So you take the money, don’t spend any of your own, still have a great time with your friend, and do nearly everything you wanted. Your parents are thankful that they got their shoes and sweater, and next weekend your dog is so freakin’ pumped up to see you.

    Take what they’re giving, LW, because I don’t think the situation is as bad as you think. There are decent roommates out there. And any money of your own that you’re saving up right now can go into a retirement fund or a money market account (or other things that I don’t know the proper terms for). Think of the leg up you’ll have later in life!!! An insane leg!

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  • AndreaMarie March 8, 2012, 1:10 pm

    Ok there are a few big issues to address here:

    In regards to your orginal question, yes by living in the home your parents’ purchase they will have complete control over your life in that house. They can drop by whenever they want, they can dictate who stays over, etc etc. It’s their home.

    I think you are not quite understanding the burden the addition of student loans and living expenses will have on your life both present and future. Im assuming that a big factor into that lack of perspective is that your parents have paid for mostly everything in your life. You have no idea what paying back student loans is like! I would commit crimes to go back in time and be loan free. When you first start out you aren’t going to be taking home a huge paycheck, but student loans don’t care…your monthly payment stands. I pay $400 a month in loans. Do you even understand how much that really is? How about when you are only making aeound $1500 every 2 weeks. Then factor in your rent cost, let’s say $600. Then your utilities, let’s say $100. Now factor in car insuance if you have it, food, additional living expenses and you are left with mere pennies. I understand where you are coming from. My parents took care of most of my finances when I was younger so it was a rude awakening once I hit the financial real world. Trust me, you don’t truly understand the value of $100 bucks, it can be the difference between making it or not on for the month.

    Use the money you are making now, and are hoping to use for rent, and save it! To walk out of college with a serious cushion will allow you to take your time to find the right job and start your independant life off on the right foot…especially if you want to be free of your overly controlling parents. So long as you are running back to Mom and Dad to throw you some bucks each month the longer it takes for you to be fully “an adult”. Trust me Ive lived it.

    Also, like other posters have said, staying over your guy’s dorm and actually living together or 2 different things.

    Your best bet is to stay in the dorms, free of charge, save all your money up so you can truly be free of your parents once you are done with school. There’s nothing wrong with continuing to play house in your BFs dorm. If its meant to be, you guys can move in together once you are finished with school.

    ….just to put opinions in perspective, I’m 27.

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    • honeybeenicki March 8, 2012, 3:49 pm

      When you figure out which crimes to commit to go back in time to not have loans, could you please let me know so I can join you in that? I gave up a full tuition scholarship (only had to pay room and board) to a great private school because I didn’t like it there. I was miserable, but wouldn’t be up to my nose in loans (ok, yeah I would because of grad school, but it would be less)!

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  • Britannia March 8, 2012, 1:19 pm

    LW, honestly, your reasons for not wanting the house don’t really hold water. Your parents live quite a long ways away – my grandparents live a little less far away than that, and they are extremely controlling, but the most I have to do is call my grandma once every 2 weeks or so to check in on them, and then cater to them a bit when they come into town. My boyfriend basically lives with me, so he just packs up his stuff and doesn’t sleep over whenever my family is in town. My grandparents may bitch a bit about the upkeep of the house, but really, that’s small potatoes. I’d much rather have a nice, big, 1100 sq foot roof over my head at the age of 22 and listen to a little criticism of my cleaning skills than have to deal with landlords, shitty neighbors, the inability to decorate as I please, and constant moving.

    The whole thing about wanting to be financially independent? You have your WHOLE LIFE to be financially independent. Enjoy this last bit of hand-holding while it’s still available! You’ll never again have it so easy.

    As for your boyfriend moving in and being a roommate… to be perfectly frank, it just sounds like you’re itching to play house. That’s not something you need to be doing right now, believe me – I’m someone who has had a bad habit of playing house with just about anyone who will do it with me (I moved in at age 17 into an apartment with a boy because I wanted to be independent, just like you do now) and trust me, you do NOT need that complication and 100% inevitable drama that comes from cohabitating with an SO during college. Your first priority should be SCHOOL, and it will be hard to do that if you have a boyfriend living with you.

    Take the house. Be really fucking grateful that you have such a supportive family. Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up. You have 60-70 years of adulthood in comparison to what? 25-30 years of partial adulthood? Enjoy it while you still can.

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    • Britannia March 8, 2012, 2:01 pm

      I also understand why your parents just shut down when you bring up living with your boyfriend. For one, LW, would you really be this gung-ho about refusing to take the house if you didn’t have your boyfriend’s presence in your life influencing your decision? From your letter, it sounds like the main reason you’re truly at odds with them is that they don’t want you living with your boyfriend. And why shouldn’t they? From their perspective, it probably sounds like you are trying so hard to shun their assistance and “grow up” because you want to move in with your boyfriend and give him the milk for free. That would make me really dislike my daughter’s boyfriend, too. Just a thought.

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  • ktfran March 8, 2012, 1:24 pm

    Ooh, just got an idea. Take the house LW. Have a roommate if you wish, but make sure it’s a good friend of yours. Your boyfriend can also move in. When the parents come and visit, the boyfriend can just stay with a friend for the weekend. Because realistically, how many visits will the parents make? You’re at a school hundres of miles away and plane tickets aren’t cheap.

    My dad does not agree with two people living together before marriage. It’s just a thing. In college, I met a boy while working in Yellowstone for the summer. We both went to different colleges. Me in the Midwest, him in the South. One summer, I wanted to spend it with him, so I moved to TN. He even found a job for me. Of course, I had to tell my dad that I was staying in a spare bedroom. My then bf lived in a house with 3 other guys. Anyway, my dad probably knew I was staying in the same room. But since we told him otherwise, he chose it ignore it. And really, what they don’t know can’t hurt them. Oh, and my mom knew. You can do something similar.

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  • quixoticbeatnik March 8, 2012, 1:26 pm

    Man, LW. You are so lucky that your parents will pay for anything. I know it doesn’t seem like it now. I can’t really relate because I’m lucky – my parents pay for my college, most of my stuff, and I live at home, but they aren’t controlling. I do feel bad that my parents pay for so much, so that’s why I live at home and why I have a part-time job, just so I don’t feel like an entitled brat. Though I probably am, but I won’t have any debt when I graduate and that is awesome. I’m already planning for my future – I want to pay for grad school by myself, and that means I’m looking at in-state public universities because I’ll get free tuition for being deaf. Hopefully I’ll be able to save up enough to have a good cushion by the time I go to grad school and be able to pay for most of it myself.

    I don’t know your parents, so I can’t say whether or not they are controlling, but like other commenters said above, if you REALLY want to move in with your boyfriend, you need to be prepared for your parents to cut the purse strings. They can do that, it is their money after all. Maybe you should wait until you can at least file a FAFSA to get scholarship money or other financial aid, unless you have enough savings to help you out. Just really think of all of the consequences of each decision that you could make – taking the house, moving in with your boyfriend, living in the dorms another year…..it might seem easy to move in with your boyfriend but there are consequences that you might not realize.

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  • Heather March 8, 2012, 1:51 pm

    LW, there’s a lot of different opinions here. I will absolutely respect that everyone else’s aren’t the same as mine, and yours isn’t necessarily the same either. Here’s the jist. I think living with someone before marriage is a great thing to do. I recommend it. But depending on how long you and your man have been together, and given your age, PLEASE consider not doing so yet.

    I moved in with my ex when him and I were your age. It did not work out. We broke up only a few months into our lease. And let me tell you, if you break up with someone you live with (we also had 2 cats together) things get messy. Things get difficult. Regardless of whether or not you have a back up plan, it will be hard. I wish I had waited. Like someone else had said, I know you think you’re ready to play house with your boyfriend (sorry that comes across kind of mean). And you know what? You might be. But if I had to bet, I would say that you aren’t really. I don’t mean that as demeaning. I’m just telling you what people had told me before I moved in with him and I didn’t listen. I wish I had. Why do you feel the need to live with him at this age? What’s the rush? Seriously, consider giving it some time.

    As for the advice that you initially wrote in about, what Wendy said. Your parents are being overbearing, absolutely. You need to be honest with them, but do be prepared for the repercussions. Good luck LW.

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  • Rachel March 8, 2012, 1:57 pm

    I don’t really have a lot to add because I think everyone else has covered it. I just want to say that, while everyone’s situation is obviously different, I REALLY wish I had lived in the dorms longer in college. I only stayed in the dorms my freshman year and then moved in with my boyfriend. From the beginning we had problems with money, which caused me to take on credit card debt that has screwed me over royally. It didn’t help that my ex was totally irresponsible with money. If I had stayed in the dorms, I’d still have student loan debt, but I would have had my housing and lots of meals paid for right off the bat by the loans and not have the chance to screw it up. I only now, at 27, feel sort-of-responsible with money, and I’m still digging out of debt.

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  • Budj March 8, 2012, 2:25 pm

    I read most of the comments, but not all…sorry for repeating if this was said:

    Let me get this straight…your parents want to buy you a “fixer upper” to live in for free and be able to get money from a female roommate…? What is the issue there?

    You see controlling….I see them trying to set you up with the living situation you want without being financially tied down to a guy that you are romantically involved with at 19…because quite frankly it IS a bad idea…sorry all the nay sayers…but statistically speaking it is a terrible idea. Everyone wants to believe they are the exception to this; few are, most aren’t…and they are willing to let you reap the financial benefits on this…sounds like another c-word to me…compromise…and your bf can still sleep over as much as you want…and they even tried to throw your dog in to the mix to sweeten the deal. Not to mention if you don’t live there when you graduate your parents will have allowed you to potentially invest thousands into it when they sell it by fixing it up…which is money I’m assuming they would give to you based on their generosity thus far…

    Instead you would rather throw that all away to struggle living with your boy friend who (again statistically speaking) you will break up with well before you graduate anyways while also wasting a lot of money in a situation where breaking up is MUCH harder due to your living situation which could result in your emotional unhappiness and a feeling of being “stuck”.

    Take it from a guy with school loans…if you don’t want the house stay in the dorms.

    Yea it does seem like underhandedness, but if they were more direct about their motives it might come across as looking out for you while trying to make you happy rather than controlling you.

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    • Budj March 8, 2012, 2:37 pm

      For the record I’m not saying you WILL break up…but you should make sure you can stay as independent as possible until you are financially independent yourself.

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    • caitie_didnt March 8, 2012, 3:07 pm

      I don’t understand how everything things that her parents buying her the house is such a great idea- home ownership for someone who’s not ready to own a home is a gigantic, expensive ball and chain.

      I get that real estate is a good investment. But- who’s going to own the house? Will it be her parents? They live 1000 miles away- who’s going to do the “landlord”-y type things like collecting rent from roommates? Who’s going to interview and background check roommates for the house? Who’s going to do the fixing up, the supervising of contractors, the negotiating, the lawn and garden care, the snow removal (if applicable)? Who’s going to be on the hook if the furnace breaks in February, or the fridge is suddenly vomiting water everywhere? will it be the LW, or will it be the parents who are 1000 miles away? If it’s the LW, that is a LOT of responsibility for someone who has no interest in taking care of a house.

      I wouldn’t do it. Stay in the dorms, LW. Tell your parents that they can buy a house if they’d like, but you won’t be moving into it.

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      • Budj March 8, 2012, 3:13 pm

        I was putting a positive spin on it…thanks for ruining my parade.

        In all seriousness though it is a hassle to own a house…but if she wanted it she would figure it out. I also told her to stay in the dorms if she doesn’t want it.

      • caitie_didnt March 8, 2012, 3:41 pm

        I know student loans suck balls (oh believe me, do I know) BUT….sometimes that’s the price you pay for having control over your own life. It’s the price I payed, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made for myself.

      • Over It March 9, 2012, 12:49 am

        I don’t think she was trying to ruin your parade, it’s just reality.

  • lets_be_honest March 8, 2012, 2:39 pm

    Threadjack–Wendy are you loving this weather or what?!?! Hope you have time for a nice walk.

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    • Addie Pray March 8, 2012, 4:28 pm

      Threadjack-jack: lbh, you’re in NYC too, right? Why haven’t you organized a meet up? I bet Wendy would come. Hell, I’d come. Do when I’m unemployed. I’ll keep you posted about that.

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  • summerkitten26 March 8, 2012, 4:11 pm

    like everyone else, i’m of mixed feeling, LW. I do understand where you’re coming from (mostly, I think), but I have some disagreements as well.

    1) your parents aren’t paying your tuition to control you. your mother suffered through loan payments and they don’t want that for you. them paying, I think, is coming from a place of love and wanting to protect you. let them do that, not just because um, you’re not paying for school, but because this is an expression of their love, especially because you’re going to a school of your choice far away from home. I know people whose parents could have paid for their schooling and didn’t out of spite because their school wasn’t the parents’ choice. *that’s* controlling, and there’s a whole lot of emotional manipulative history behind that sort of thing. And trust me, as someone who had to pay for all of college on loans without any aid because of my family’s financial situation at the time (thanks, housing market), student loan payments hurt. badly. they mess with your head. Two years out of college, on my salary, I could have easily had a down payment for a house by now. Instead, I pay $2,000 a month in student loans, and even though I don’t blame my parents, it irritates me to hear my sister complain about the stuff my parents “won’t let her do” (such as spend $500 of their money in two weeks on shopping sprees), when they’re bankrolling her way through state college and med school in the future. Be grateful for what you do have, and try to look at all the perspectives.

    2) I definitely understand where your parents are coming from not wanting you to live with your boyfriend. heck, my mother called me a few weeks ago asking me to talk to my 18yo sister because she wanted to room with her gay best guy friend. Look at it from their perspective, they grew up in a different time and that is all stigmatizing/bad/whatever. But like I told my sister (I’m 23 btw), you go to school far away. Have your parents ever MET your bf? Do they have any reason to like him, respect him, or do they just know of him as the guy who’s potentially boinking their daughter? It’s your responsibility to get their comfort level with him up. Arrange dinners when they visit. Skype with them and him so they can talk. Let them know that within reason, if something is wrong with you, that he is the person who can call them and let them know how you are (i’m talking if you end up in the hospital or something, not daily check ups). Who knows, maybe next year, they’d be willing to hear about you living in a dorm room with him.

    3) your issues with your parents seem to manifest in this talk of buying a house, but you’re going to have to deal with the real issues if you want to get out of this situation. Approach your parents and rationally explain that while you appreciate what they’re trying to do for you, you feel manipulated. only you (and your brother) know what your parents are really like, so if they attempt to control you in other areas of life, explain how everything as a whole has made you feel. Explain why you don’t want a roommate, explain why you don’t want any part of the house, but do it in a way that isn’t ranting or throwing a tantrum, because appearing to be the immature child they think you are isn’t going to help your cause. Be sure to come up with compromises they might be okay with (living in a dorm in a single room sounds like a win/win), but explain that having your name tied to a house could damage your credit (because who knows if you’ll be able to afford mortgage payments once you graduate?), stress you out (houses require massive upkeep!), make you depressed and lonely (you’re only a sophomore, you do miss out a lot living in a house off campus unless that’s how the majority of the student body lives). Your parents are there to help, but college is where you are supposed to learn about yourself through socialization with others (something you won’t do living with your boyfriend off campus).

    HOWEVER, if your parents are more controlling than you’ve described for us, then definitely have your plan in place. You need to take a stand and say that if they buy the house, you will not live in it and take on any responsibility for it they might push off onto you. If they’re the kind of people who would pull tuition if you didn’t obey them (and I’m not sure from what you wrote), you need to know that you could get loans if you’d need them. Talk extensively to a financial aid officer to make sure you make the best choice, if you need to. I hope this is not your situation, because like I said, student loans suck. Wishing you the best.

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  • delilahgem March 8, 2012, 4:56 pm

    Grr. reminds me of my parents. Being “nice” and “helpful” only to maintain control of a situation. They did this so much when I was younger it really makes me wonder what they want when they try to do nice things now. I agree with Wendy totally.

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  • L March 8, 2012, 5:04 pm

    Agreed with many people on here that you shouldn’t live with your boyfriend. It’s just growing up too fast. I have two 19-year-olds that I know that I firmly believe are trying to grow up waaaaayyy too fast.

    Exhibit A: My cousin’s fiancee. They are getting married next week. She is currently in her sophomore year of college, finishing up a bunch of tests before her spring break (which is next week, when they’re getting married), and not even close to the point where she will have a full time job. My cousin is a junior (I think), so he’s closer to graduation…BUT…why tie yourself down so young?? When I was 19, I thought I was incredibly mature at the time. And for my age, I think I was. But I’ve grown up SO much since then because I didn’t try to grow up too fast and just sat back and enjoyed the ride.

    Exhibit B: My 19-year-old friend who just bought a townhouse with her boyfriend. They’ve been dating for 5 months. They started looking for houses at 2 months. We’re talking a MORTGAGE that they have to pay back. And if (when?) they break up? Yikes.

    LW, I’m not trying to tell you that you’re not mature enough to take this type of step. What I am saying is to not rush through things. Enjoy dorm life! Enjoy not having to cook your own food all the time! Enjoy having your own space! This is a time where you want to focus on YOU. You want to discover who YOU are by yourself before you jump into a lease with your boyfriend.

    I wish you the best of luck!

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  • katie March 8, 2012, 8:36 pm

    It’s interesting to see the disconnect in the comments… I think that I can confidently say that the ones who think this is a sweet deal have a good relationship with their parents and were allowed to make their own decisions about their life, and the ones who are more cautious understand how money really can be a tool of manipulation… I also love how people are calling this a first world problem, which it may be, but still a legitimate and LIFE ALTERING problem.

    Lw, definitely don’t take the house. Whatever you do, don’t get wrapped up in that.

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  • acastil5 March 8, 2012, 10:02 pm

    After reading some of the other comments, I agree that staying in the dorm may be the best option for you. It avoids the problem of the house, AND, did it ever occur to you that you will still need your parents help in getting an apartment? I doubt you have the credit established to rent on your own. Perhaps your boyfriend’s parents would be willing to cosign, but you cannot count on that, since basically you are asking them to be liable for the rent if you don’t pay, and many people are comfortable doing that only for their own children.

    Plus, you are 19. You have plenty of time to move in with boyfriends, you only have this chance to experience dorm life and be relatively carefree. You got that part of your letter right. It is special, more than you realize now. You need time to grow and get to know yourself outside of your boyfriend, and hopefully cultivate those friendships you turn to years from now. Yes, I remember living in the dorms had its drawbacks (communal showers!) but there is no other time in your life when you will be able to easily make friends, laugh at one in the morning with your neighbor, and have crazy adventures. The real world comes and you need Google calendar to coordinate everyone’s schedule. So savor that.

    Finally, moving in with someone is serious business. People just do it and make it look easy, but its not. I know friends of mine that have had to move out in the middle of the semester and bunk with friends for months until they can get a place of their own when the relationship fizzled. It’s a pain in the ass when you break up, and something you should put off until you’ve really put down roots and can rely solely on your own financial footing. Because really, your main worry is your parents controlling you, right? Well, imagine what a bind you’d be in if your bf kicks you out and how easy your parents could manipulate you then.

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  • Temperance March 8, 2012, 11:04 pm

    I do not think that a 19-year-old should live with her boyfriend. LW, you do not know how lucky you are that your parents are funding your education. Suck it up, follow their rules, and do what you want later, when you aren’t in college.

    Sorry to sound so negative, but I would have loved to have ANY help with my education. My parents even claimed me on their taxes, so I didn’t get that cash back.

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  • Lynn March 8, 2012, 11:48 pm

    Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way… but a “fixer-upper” in a college town is an awesome investment. I recently graduated, and while I didn’t own a house in college, quite a few of my friends did (their parents purchased it and put it in their name or in my friend’s name) and it’s already obvious they’ll be making a bit money since a.) college kids don’t really care what the house looks like as long as things work (esp. guys) b.) most students want to live in a house rather than an apartment. c.) if your school is like my alma mater 30,000+ and planning on growing much larger… there is a huge demand for student housing.

    I understand you don’t want your parents to control your life, but they are making things significantly easier for you financially speaking. Living with your boyfriend at 19 is a terrible idea. I’m about to turn 22, and I already know if I had lived with the boyfriend I had at 19… that would have been the biggest mistake ever.

    Also, living with other people isn’t that bad. It teaches you how to tolerate and understand different people and their behaviors. Besides, it’s not like you’d be sharing a room. And if you really wanted to, you could get a three bedroom house for you, your boyfriend and a roommate. Aside from the kitchen and living area, you wouldn’t even have to see the person. I lived with three other girls, who are my best friends, and there were times when I’d go days without seeing them because we were all so busy with our own things during the week.

    Think about the house, like really think about it. Personally, at the age you are now, I’m thinking it wouldn’t be that bad of an idea.

    And I noticed someone who mentioned the “disconnect” in comments… I am one of those people who has an awesome relationship with my parents, and if they had wanted to buy me a house (it was toyed with), I would have jumped at the opportunity in an instant. I guess I can’t really relate to the LW as far as the controlling parents issue goes… :/ But LW, please, please, please don’t move in with your BF unless another person lives there too. It’s one thing to sleep over a lot, but sleeping over and living together are two totally separate ballgames.

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  • cyan March 9, 2012, 12:49 am

    I just wanted to provide some added insight on some of the difficulties that can arise from parents using their money to control their children. As a disclaimer, I don’t actually think this is the LW’s case (as nothing she wrote implies this), but since so many people mentioned how it doesn’t possible that parents can be all that controlling from 1,000 miles away, I thought I would provide some examples that highlight the significant impact that parents can have.

    I think issues can vary immensely among different cultures. There’s a lot of variation even within cultures, so by no means am I speaking for anyone other than myself & the people I know. As a child of Asian immigrants, I had my college tuition & living expenses paid for my parents (though I had a scholarship that covered most of tuition), and I have many peers who had the same occur. However, this $ usually came with a lot of control over what major/future career path we would have, i.e. usually had to choose engineering or pre-med (practical, well-respected, well-paying fields that the parents approved of). From the parents perspective, this was out of love / concern for their kid’s well-being, since they didn’t want them to make a naive/foolish decision where they’d be “suffering” down the road due to picking an impractical career. And, their parents would be deemed has having raised successful children & thus would be viewed as successful parents (think “Tiger Mom”). This could be incredibly hard on their kids though, especially if they didn’t fit the mold of what was expected & were utterly miserable/not very successful in that major. Beyond the finances, there can be a lot of parent-supplied guilt-trips & a lot of fear of being a disappointment / being a failure / being unloved & worthless because you can’t perform according to expectations. If parents are paying tuition, they’ll often leverage this to exert control over decisions. Parents may see disobedience as rejection of all the sacrifices they’ve made, bringing shame upon the family, and their failure as parents. In most cases, parents/kids may come to some sort of middle ground if things really aren’t working out. However, there are some more extreme cases that go way beyond pure finances too.
    (1) Guy who had been “pre-med from birth” (dad was a physician). He decided during junior year that he was meant to pursue non-profit work (& utterly not meant for medicine). Parents cut him off financially & disowned him (no communication with him, didn’t attend his wedding, wasn’t there when his kids were born, etc).
    (2) Guy who went to Harvard and rather than seeking a prestigious job afterwards, decided to enter into ministry. Mother threatened to commit suicide to try to pressure him into changing his mind.
    (3) Guy who went to med school (not wanting to disappoint his parents, despite knowing he wouldn’t be happy in the field). Hated med school, started residency, was even more miserable (crazy hours/no sleep/work that he didn’t feel he chose for himself). Couldn’t see quitting as an option (how would he pay back the $300k that had been spent on his tuition if he wasn’t an MD?) and got no support from his parents in terms of not being a physician. Heavily depressed, he ended up committing suicide.

    These are all extreme cases. Perhaps people would think, if they’re adults, why can’t they just make their own decisions and not succumb to the pressure? That’s not as easy as it seems if someone never really had close friends growing up (uncool immigrant kid) & feels like only their parents love them (yet feels like/are told that they’ll be a worthless failure if they don’t perform to expectations). Taking on loans can seem frightening too if instead of seeming like a normal thing that many students do, it’s portrayed as making you live in poverty for decades afterward.

    The money is just a side aspect of the massive problems in the parent-child relationship. But, the money complicates things. They pay tuition = they say what you study. They pay for a house = they expect to move in with you after they retire & expect you to take care of them.

    Sorry for being tangential to the original post. The LW probably is just immature & trying to figure out how to live with her boyfriend. But, I just wanted to shed light on how extreme parental control & paying for things like tuition or houses could be. It may seem like an utterly frivolous first world problem that everyone should love to have, but in a few cases, the strings that are attached to $ can be strangulating.

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  • Louis September 24, 2017, 5:51 am

    Firstly, your relationship is your business. If you think he’s right for you then embrace that. Randoms have no right to postulate on that. Now, for what you actually asked. I found your post mature and we’ll reasoned and I understand your sentiments. My advise is this… What your parents are doing is sweet and probably done with good intentions. However, you will lose some or perhaps a lot of your freedom. I had total freedom during my 20s and in retrospect that was very important. I would ask them to stay away. You do it on your own. You should trust in yourself and so should your parents.

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