Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Mother-in-Law Takes Discipline Too Far

DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend and I want to move in together, and we both have been saving for a new apartment. We decided that we would save the first and last month's rent before we moved in. I have my portion ready, but he doesn’t. I don’t think he is taking moving in seriously because he has only half of the amount we agreed on. How can I encourage him to save more so we can move in sooner? -- Frustrated, Cincinnati

DEAR FRUSTRATED: Slow down. Moving in with anyone, including a boyfriend, is a huge commitment. Your boyfriend’s inability to have the financial resources required to move in could be a sign that he is not financially responsible or committed in the ways that you are. Consider this a red flag. Stop hounding him, and watch to see what he does. Yes, you want to take the next step in your life together, but you need to be on the same page. Being a quiet observer in this moment will allow you to witness how your boyfriend behaves when it’s time to make a decision.

You may want to give yourself a deadline after which you will speak up about the apartment again. If you need to move, you may also need to consider another roommate. What you should not do is let your boyfriend live with you rent-free. How you start your life together makes a huge difference as to how you design your life.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)