Is My Boyfriend Being a Jerk by Demanding I Pay His Mortgage?

Dear Penny,

My boyfriend asked to move in together after eight months of dating. I was honored. Then after I didn’t renew my lease, we talked finances. I am aware the timing was poor.

He is expecting we split everything 50/50, which would mean me paying $500 per month more than I do now. He makes twice as much, so his lifestyle is more extravagant.

I had no expectations of contributing to his mortgage when I agreed. I would not receive a lease and am not an owner of the home he purchased before me. If we dated long term, I’d be paying down his mortgage with no equity to show.

I asked if we could split according to our lifestyles and income. He strongly objected and felt taken advantage of, as a partnership is 50/50 in his words. I am not comfortable contributing to his mortgage and would gladly pay a split toward keeping up on groceries, bills, dates, etc. I should add that my car would be our only vehicle, which I pay for in full monthly in addition to maintenance and repairs.

I’ve also cut his grocery bill in half by doing the shopping and couponing while we’ve been dating. I assume that will continue. I feel we should each pay for what we own and split expenses according to income.


Dear A.,

A 50/50 partnership isn’t about going Dutch for every expense. Rarely do you find a partner whose finances are identical to yours, unless you’re both equally broke. That’s why compromise is so important. It’s about investing equally in building a life together, not going tit-for-tat on every expense.

The problem with the 50/50 partnership your boyfriend proposes is that it requires zero compromises on his part. Your costs go up. His costs go down. He gets to live the lifestyle he wants with no regard to whether you can afford it.

That said, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for your boyfriend to want you to pay something toward the mortgage. The fact that your payment helps him build equity doesn’t absolve…

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