DEAR ABBY: I am a female, 20 years old. I live in an apartment by myself, have a new car and heavy new car payments. I'm working two jobs in order to pay my bills. Work takes up so much of my time and energy that, quite frankly, I'm about ready to go crazy. Not only that, I don't have time to go to school, which is really terrible -- because I have career goals.
My boyfriend and I have dated almost three years. We were best friends for a year and a half before we started going out. He's a wonderful guy, and we've always gotten along great. He lives in a house with a roommate and things aren't going well there, so the idea of us living together came up. It's not like, "Oh, we need to take our relationship a step further." It's just that we'd both greatly benefit from it, and we get along great -- so why not? I know he'd be a good roommate.
My problem? If I didn't have financial problems, and could go back to school as things are now, I wouldn't live with him. I prefer living alone. I have thought this through, but there really are no other alternatives. There aren't any apartments that would cut my living expenses enough so I could quit my second job.
I'm afraid if we live together it would be for the wrong reasons. But if I don't, I won't be able to go back to school. Do you think it would be a mistake? If so, have you any suggestions? -- SCARED TO SHARE IN ARIZONA
DEAR SCARED: Yes. Do not move in with anyone unless you're 100 percent sure you want to live with that person. Sell the new car and drive something more economical, and put an ad in the paper for a female roommate to share expenses until you can live alone without causing yourself economic hardship. That way, you won't risk losing a boyfriend.