My boyfriend and I have been living together for a year.
He has two younger brothers, both in long-term relationships with the mothers of their children.
The six of us get together several times a week, along with my father and mother-in-law. We all get along great.
My brothers-in-law and their spouses have recently discussed purchasing a cottage together, along with us. But no one asked if we were on board.
They were already looking at properties, evaluating costs, etc., assuming that we’d equally contribute.
When I mentioned that we’d not necessarily buy the cottage with them, one sister-in-law got very defensive, saying that my boyfriend would absolutely agree (he won’t). We changed the subjects but didn't get to clear things up.
While we love spending time with them, we have no interest in holding property with them.
We feel it could drive a wedge between all of us and that it's simply a bad idea. Plus, this isn’t what we want to be investing in right now.
How do we get it across to them without hurting their feelings? We also feel badly since, without our income, they won't be able to buy a cottage as big as what they were looking into.
A delicate matter, since they were (wrongly) counting on you. Also delicate since, at some point, you may want to visit them at the place they ultimately buy… and it could be awkward, especially if there’s no extra room.
Also, it’ll likely mean having less opportunity to enjoy their company (certainly in the summer months) and you might even miss some important family celebrations that take place there.
That said, you two should not feel forced to invest with them if you wish to save your money for something else.
And you’re correct that joint ownership can become complicated as individual families grow, have different needs, tastes, incomes, etc.
However, since you’ve only been living together one year, and you don’t mention having children, your boyfriend can tell his brothers honestly that it just isn’t the right time for you two to make that financial commitment.
The others will still be disappointed, even put out somewhat, but it’s hard to argue against someone else’s financial decisions.
Avoid arguing about it, even with the defensive sister-in-law, wish them well with the purchase, and graciously buy them a cottage gift when they complete it.
Readers’ Commentary Regarding the girl, 18, dreaming of a career in theatre (May 11):
Reader – “When I was 18, I, too, was in love with the theatre, but didn’t pursue my passion. My parents, who were refugees, steered me towards a "practical" education.
“I didn’t have the courage or conviction to stand up to them.
“My life turned out to be a good one, but I've spent a lot of time wondering what might’ve been.
“I agree with Ellie that going to college is the best start. I’d then advise her to pursue her passion.
“Give it a time limit. If you haven't reached your goal by a particular time, then go ahead and pursue another career.
“She’s a lucky young woman, with several great advantages: she knows what she wants, has talent, supportive parents, and time’s on her side.”
Reader #2 – “She should look into Theatre and Drama Studies programs at a University (University of Toronto in Mississauga has a joint degree program) that includes acting classes, towards a Specialist Degree in Fine Arts.”
My friend likes to communicate by text only. She thinks it's cool and it's how people communicate now.
She appears to think that anyone who phones is out of it. However, it's difficult to have any dialogue via text. I find this very frustrating.
Like so many things considered “progress,” text does have some advantages that have made it so prevalent.
It’s become what most people consider “talking” to another, despite that it does inhibit dialogue that allows for “hearing” the other person’s tone and feelings.
It’s great advantage is instant response. Yet that also makes text so frustrating. People are expected to read and answer their texts constantly throughout the day (and night, too).
It’d be hard to dismiss text from your life if your friends and other contacts use it.
However, since he/she rejects phone use, I suggest insisting on an in-person meeting every few weeks if possible, IF you want the friendship to grow.
Tip of the day:
Don’t accept family pressure to jointly buy a cottage unless you’re fully committed to the plan.