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My partner thinks my loan to him was more like a relationship investment, and he doesn’t want to repay it

I’m in my mid-20s and have been dating my boyfriend for a year and a half. Before I met him, I saved up $15,000 by living frugally. Now, I have about $2,500 left, and I don’t want to blame him entirely for my poor financial decisions in our relationship. In the time we’ve been together, I was laid off from two jobs, and I didn’t say “no” to eating out and other expenses. I currently work a low-wage job at $16/hour, and I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

We moved in together in his city a few months after we started dating, and I covered the first two months of rent and the security deposit since he quit his job. We never got that deposit back. A year later, we moved to a new city for his career, which is even more expensive. Again, I had to cover the first two months of rent and the security deposit until he found a job. In total, he owes me roughly $3,200 in rent, which he claims isn’t a loan.

Last night, I brought up my concerns about my finances and my low savings. I told him I’m no longer living above my means and need to return to my frugal lifestyle, which he disagrees with. He thinks we’ll be in a better financial situation once our careers take off, so he doesn’t want to scrimp and save now. When I brought up the money he “borrowed” from me, I asked him to sign a repayment agreement. He was offended and insisted that I wasn’t loaning him money; I was investing in our relationship. And just like an investment, I can’t expect it back all at once.

He’s thinking about proposing soon and wants to join finances. He says we’re in this together, so he doesn’t technically owe me anything. He’s also planning a few vacations with his friends and can’t make monthly payments to me because of that.

I’m feeling trapped because if we break up, I won’t be able to afford our $1,850/month apartment on my own, and there’s no way to get a roommate since it’s only one bedroom. I make around $2,300 a month, and I have eight months left on the lease. I’m worried that our financial and maturity levels aren’t compatible, and I’ll only build more resentment by staying with him.

I love him, and we’ve made so many wonderful memories, but I’m not sure if I can stay in this situation. I’m not sure if I should try to talk to the landlord about breaking the lease or stick it out for the next seven months.