We have different financial priorities

We chat at 1 p.m. today.

Hey Meredith,

I'm a grad student in my 20s and from the Boston area. My boyfriend, who's in his late 20s, is from another part of the country. I'm pretty sure we're on different pages financially and in terms of life. I love to travel – frequently and to faraway places. He has issues with it because of the cost of the trips on top of my education. Meanwhile, he spends his money on more material things, as opposed to experiences or education, even though he'd like a better degree. I wouldn't mind how he spends money, but I'd like for him to have a plan.

He complains a lot about where he's living but refuses to do anything to change it (he says it'd be too expensive for him to move). Otherwise, everything is fine, but it's just frustrating between us because of where we are in life.

Am I being unreasonable or should I break up with him? Is there a way to compromise when it comes to our differences?

- confused


The big question is whether you'll ever be able to appreciate each other's priorities. Let's say he gets a better degree, and you make more money after finishing yours. At that point, would he be happy to jump on a plane with you to see the world? Would he get any joy out of that experience? If you think he'd still be critical and wouldn't understand the point of the expense, it's probably a deal-breaker.

Same goes for you. If you're going to roll your eyes every time he uses his extra income to buy nicer clothes or a car, you're probably with the wrong person.

Those conflicting priorities are a bigger red flag than his living situation and lack of plan. Sometimes it takes people years to make decisions about education and where to live. Those are big questions; he's allowed to take his time.

It's more productive for you to focus on whether you're working toward the same kind of life. That's all you need to know.

– Meredith

Readers? Break up?