DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend (of six years) and I have been living together for three years. He is great, and I love living with him. He works at a suit store as the manager, and he enjoys what he does. However, recently he has been talking to one of his buddies about joining his startup tech company. When my boyfriend talks about this company, you can see his face light up with excitement, and I can tell this is the type of thing he is interested in.
I want to be there for him if he decides to join this startup, but at the same time, there is a voice in the back of my head saying, “I’m going to have to work double.” Our income used to be about equal and we split everything, but if he joins this tech startup, his income will be significantly lower.
Should my boyfriend and I be discussing this type of thing before he accepts the offer, or will it seem like I am discouraging him from following his dream? -- Half-Income Couple, New Orleans
DEAR HALF-INCOME COUPLE: The two of you should sit down and map out a strategy. Life always presents risks and options. You must figure out together if this option is worth the risk. Figure out how much money your boyfriend and you have saved and if you have enough to serve as a cushion while he is working to build the new business. Research the particular field that this company is in to learn how viable other companies like it have been.
Evaluate your own job, and determine whether you could upgrade based on time spent there or if you were to entertain a move to another company. Exhaust all possibilities in your discussion and research so that ultimately you make an informed decision that you both stand by.