IT’S THE BITCHES GET RICHES PODCAST SEASON FINALE!
That’s right, Bitch Nation. Our twelve-episode season has come to an end and we’re so grateful you’ve stuck with us for it all. And if you haven’t, then you’re dead to us. We value loyalty very highly. Don’t tell us you’re getting your dick jokes about money somewhere else.
This is the episode in which we become the dating advice column we’ve always wanted to be. Enough with this pErSoNaL fInAnCe nonsense! Bring on the marital strife and daytime talk show material! We have strong opinions and we are RIGHT!
Our discussion this week is packed with harrowing financial and relationship decisions. How do you know when you’re ready to move in with a significant other? And what if that means moving 900 miles to a whole different community? How do you start from scratch in a brand new place, with no one but your romantic partner for company?
This week’s question
Today’s letter comes to us from a Patreon donor who wished to remain anonymous. They ask:
Hi aunties! My partner and I have been long distance since we got together, and just recently they had to move back home because of COVID. The state they live in is Very cheap, and they’ll be there for 4 years getting a business degree, and they’ve made several offers for me to move in with them. But it’s over 900 miles away and they’re the only person I know there. How do I decide if I should move and when I should do it if I do?– A donor who is as brilliant as they are generous.
While we are of course Very comfortable talking out of our asses about a range of subjects, it’s also great to use our personal experience to help guide Bitch Nation. My partner and I were in a long distance relationship in college (though it was only 50 miles and we got to see each other almost every weekend). After college, we both moved 1,500 miles away to start a new life together in a brand new city. And look at us now: married homeowners steadfastly treating our spoiled dog like the human child we desperately do not want!
Kitty moved in with her partner barely two months after they started dating. And now they are married homeowners steadfastly spoiling five dogs like the human children they will never have!
The point is that we have some hands-on experience with the decision to move cross-country for a relationship. So join us as we don our Dear Prudence hats and give relationship advice to someone we’ve never met!
And in case that wasn’t enough pontificating on the virtues of moving in together, we’ve got this for you:
- A Guide to Sharing Finances with Someone Other Than a Romantic Partner
- Master the Logistics and Etiquette of Moving Out
- Season 4, Episode 2: “We’re Moving in Together but Don’t Plan To Get Married. How Can We Split Finances Fairly?”
This episode was brought to you by Mainvest, the crowdfunding investment platform connecting small business owners to investors who want to make a difference in local communities. Avoid Wall Street altogether by putting your money—$100 here, $100 there—into small businesses and earning returns on the investment. I started with Mainvest last year and I’m already getting money back from my small business investments! But more importantly, my bitchy little heart is filled with the do-gooder smugness that fuels my insufferable righteousness. Join me, smug do-gooders! Join me!
And as always, we have to thank our incredible Patreon donors for supporting everything we do here at Bitches Get Riches. We have no idea why they find us worthy. We don’t question it. We just try our best to please them and keep them entertained. So far it seems to be working out. You can become a Patreon donor too by clicking the shiny button below.
Transcript (click to reveal)
This episode, like all episodes, is brought to you by our beloved Patreon donors. This week we’d like to thank B.E., Roe, and Lee. And an extra special thanks this week to Sarah. Sarah is a signed first-edition copy of your favorite book with a beautiful handwritten message from the author themselves written right inside the dust jacket, found in a forgotten corner of an extremely charming used book store that only you know about.
I really love when you start out trying to do an accent and it just always inevitably leans into another one.
And it just changes.
And so I’m like, I’m doing British. Uh-oh, we’re leaning into pirate! Can’t get away.
Or it’s like [attempting an Irish accent] I’m gonna do an Irish accent y’all [normal voice] but it’s going to turn into [attempting a Jamaican accent] Jamaican, y’know man!
[attempting an accent in the neighborhood of Jamaican. possibly.] Oh like Kendra, Kendra the Vampire Slayer.
[attempting Kendra’s accent. apparently.] Kendra the—I’m Kendra, the Vampire Slayer.
The Irish Jamaican Pirate Vampire Slayer. That poor actor! No one should have—when she did her best to do a Jamaican accent—
They should have been like, that’s okay honey.
That producer should have said bless your heart. We love you and we cast you for your acting ability and for your look and you’re the total package minus this accent. Let’s just give up on the accent.
Listen, it’s Kendra the Vampire Slayer from Des Moines, okay? It can’t be—
[one more truly appalling attempt at the accent in question] Kendra the Vampire Slayer.
Kendra. [Midwestern accent] Kendra the Vampire Slayer from Des Moines, you know?
I’m so glad that this is still taking up this much real estate in our lives
Buffy will take up as much real estate in my brain as it needs to for as long as I live. You and I will be racing our wheelchairs down the hallways of the nursing home and talking about fruit punch mouth Master till the day we die.
100%. Why is it that season 4 has the worst overall arcyet the best individual episodes?
The best episodes.
None can say. None can say.
No one can say. No one can say. I needed a feel-good episode of TV a while back, ‘cause I was like working late into the night and I was like, I just need something on that’s gonna be really comforting to me and I turned on—
So you chose The Body, gotcha.
Fuck no! I chose Superstar from season 4.
That’s a good one. No, it’s a really good one.
That’s a really good one. Okay, now that all the non-Buffy fans have tuned out to go watch Buffy ‘cause they haven’t seen it yet and they want to get our references.
Thank you, we love your choices.
Yeah, well done, good job, come back to us—
You can be a Patreon donor or you can go watch Buffy. Pick!
Those are your only options
And if you do both, then you’re in the family.
Theme Song 2:45
If you need some dough
You don’t know where to go
In this patriarchal capitalist hellscape
Well here’s the ‘sitch
We’re gonna help you, sis
Because bitches get riches
Bitches get riches
Bitches get riches
Bitches get riches
And so can you
And we’re the bitches in Bitches Get Riches.
We are two romance novel heroines.
And we’re here to say we won’t settle for anything less than mutual respect, smoldering eye contact, and multiple orgasms.
That’s right, you better find that clit! But our time on this planet is limited.
So let’s get started.
Okay. Today’s letter comes to us from Patreon donor who wished to remain anonymous. So from our dear patron: Hi aunties! My partner and I have been long distance since we got together, and just recently they had to move back home because of Covid. The state they live in is Very cheap, capitalized the “v” in “very” so I’m thinking verrrry cheap.
So we’re talking Alabama…?
Probably. They will be there for 4 years getting a business degree, and they’ve made several offers for me to move in with them. But it’s over 900 miles away and they are the only person I know there. How do I decide if I should move and when I should do it?
This is such an interesting question for us because it has nothing to do with money.
I think this is a question fundamentally about luuurve.
Lurve, yes. Indeed.
But in addition to lurve, it is also about nerve and swerve, which I’m making a money gesture with my hands.
Nerve, swerve. Yes, she’s rubbing her fingers together like she wants to get that money.
We’re going to say that that’s what that means.
Sure. Yeah, no I think you’re right. I think this is the kind of big life commitment and financial commitment that you have to be sure that the emotional side of it is there, the lurve side if you will, before you’re going to make that big commitment. And I just, I love that somebody came to us and was just like, how do I know I’m in love with my partner enough to move 900 miles for them?
Yeah, seriously. That’s the best question. For strangers to be like, you seem like you might know the answer to this. Like sir, ma’am, or respected non-binary individual, I surely do not!
No, but I mean, I’ve done this, you’ve kind of done this, you know?
I was in a long-distance relationship in college. It was 50 miles, but it was long-distance. That long-distance relationship worked because we knew there was an end date to it. We knew that if we made it through college, like we can move in together after college if we were still together, if we still loved each other. Spoiler alert, I’ve been married to the man for 9 years. But that moment when we got through college and we graduated and we looked around and said, okay great, we can move in now. Where are we going to move in? And then we were like, well let’s move 1,500 miles away where we know nobody but each other. And obviously it worked out for us but that was a huuuge leap of faith. We found our community and it was not easy. So yeah, I definitely think it’s a big leap of faith and one you shouldn’t make lightly.
Yeah. So when you are thinking about making this long-distance move with your partner. What were some of the things that were to you signs that this was a good gamble rather than a bad gamble?
Well, for one thing, longevity. You know, we’d already been together for 4 years at this point. So, I’d say, you know, if you’ve only been dating someone for 6 months, and they’re asking you to move 900 miles for them, like you haven’t quite tested the product yet, y’know? Whereas if you’ve been together for 4 years, you’ve had time enough to fight with each other. You’ve had time enough to, you know, discover each other’s eccentricities and bad habits and decide if you can live with those or not. You’ve had your disagreements and worked through them and you’ve seen how each other has grown over time. Because no one’s the same from year to year. We’re always growing and changing. And so, if you’re still in love with somebody 4 years after the day you realized you were in love with them, like that’s a pretty good sign that maybe 4 years from now you’ll still be in love with them, enough to want to like, share a bedroom and a bathroom with them.
I like that. Yeah. And I think I’m so from my perspective, my partner and I committed to moving in together quite quickly relative to the age of our relationship. I think we’d been—
It was love at first sight!
Not at all.
Oh my gosh! I forgot, you guys knew each other for years before you started dating.
Well, exactly. So this is my point, is that my now husband and I had been friends for a couple of years at that point. Our friend group was very enmeshed. So like, we’d had a ton of time to hang out together. I hadn’t really had any conflicts with him but I’d seen how he managed conflicts because we were part of this friend group where, you know, I got a lot of time to observe who he was and what his values were, and we knew each other well. So I think, even like if you haven’t necessarily been dating for that long, I wanna say we were together for about a month and a half before we committed to moving in together, and it was because both of our leases were ending and we were poor!
Whaaat, are you suggesting that affordable housing is an issue that sometimes forces people to cohabitate who shouldn’t otherwise cohabitate together?
[scoffs] No, come on, I would never say something like that.
No? No? Oh okay, my mistake.
No, if you want to leave him, just leave. There’s absolutely no financial barriers to doing so. Obviously.
Dump him already. Yeah, exactly.
You just don’t want to leave him enough girl. Slash S. Slash S on all of this, obviously.
That’s how you denote sarcasm.
Oh right. Sorry when I’m not looking at it on a screen—
I know, I know, I know. I spoke it out loud. [laughter]
Ideally, this is a choice that you make because it’s what you want, not because it’s your only financial option. If it’s your only financial option, have fun in Arkansas—
—or wherever the hell you’re going.
Best of luck to ya. So in a situation like this right, obviously you hope that you go and you move in with your partner and you make friends really easily, you find a great job or great educational opportunity so that you can have your own interior life, keep moving forward, and that your whole life isn’t just like my partner period, end of sentence, end of book. Hopefully that’s what happens.
Yeah, make sure you find your own underwater basket weaving club, y’know. Apart from them.
Exactly. Very important. You don’t want your partner’s terrestrial basket weaving class. That’s no good.
Exactly, exactly. No bueno.
So think about like, what would I do if maybe we go and in week one we break up? Like, what is my plan? Or and that’s kind of worst case scenario. So you want to build out from there. Like if you have a plan for how you would react in that case, then it becomes easier to react to more likely scenarios such as: well, we’re together and we’re happy but then in two years we kind of realize that we want different things. Or my partner doesn’t love their school the way that they thought they would. Or we are very happy together and our lives are very affordable but we’re having a hard time building community and making friends. Like, you can pivot. So what’s the worst-case and figure out what you would do in that instance. For a lot of our readers, you know, we talk a lot and I think never quite enough about the realities of the potential for financial abuse. The biggest thing that I worry about with someone moving to a place where their significant other, especially a significant other who is really pushing for them to move in with them—that can be a completely neutral thing. It could also be a high control behavior that they’re kind of seeking to get you close and have you isolated and have you all to themselves where they can just run rampant on your ass. If you don’t have enough of an individual safety net that you could on a week’s notice find your own place or make a friend to crash on their couch, like those are really really—to me as a woman, I would consider those to be non-negotiable and I would even explain that to my partner and say like, I love you and I want to trust you and I want to think everything is going to go well. Out of respect for myself and for the relationship that we have, I also need to make sure that I have enough of an emergency fund that I could move out if this wasn’t working between us and I wouldn’t have to like lie to you about how I was feeling just because I couldn’t afford to move out. Like, no one—if you’re talk about it calmly and rationally, not In the heat of a moment or anything, I think that that is a completely normal thing for a partner to ask for.
Yeah. And your—I mean, your partner’s reaction is going to be a big sign of whether or not you should make that move.
[sing-song] It sure is.
‘Cause if they freak out and they’re like, well don’t you trust me to take care of you? Like don’t you want to be with me? Like that’s a bad sign ‘cause it’s like okay, they’re not listening to your very reasonable fears. And especially like, it sounds like this anonymous question asker, like, they don’t already live together. So, like this might be the first time they’re moving in together like, they don’t have experience of what it’s like to share a home with each other.
And that’s a steep learning curve.
It’s a very steep learning curve. Listen, my husband has a lustrous mountain man beard and he had to learn very quickly within our time cohabitating that tiny little beard hairs from when he trimmed it were not an acceptable gift to leave around the sink and—
They are pretty indistinguishable from pubes. So. It’s not my favorite thing, no.
Yeah, exactly. No, so that was a really steep learning curve for him. And now, like after—the bathroom is never cleaner than after he trims his beard. ‘Cause I’m like, I don’t want any little beard hairs. And I am, of course, a perfect partner to cohabitate with so I needed to make no changes when we moved in together. Zero.
You took the words right out of my mouth. As someone who’s lived with you, I think you’re perfect and and flawless and impeccable.
Thank you, thank you.
No, I think it’s true. When you live with someone the things that can come up—you know, I remember once being really, really—having an outsized reaction to my partner putting trash in our mudroom instead of taking it all the way out to the trash can and I was like, it’s 10 feet. What does it matter, it’s 10 feet! And he was looking at me like, oh no, something’s happening here and it doesn’t have anything to do with me.
Screech, screech, screech!
And I, in my head, there was a part of me that was like, so I’m going to let you do your thing, but then in about 2 minutes, I’m going to drop some insight into the situation. And of course, like as soon as I was done being like—really having this outsize reaction where I wasn’t yelling at him, but it was just like, tone it down. I was like, of course. My mother, who I have a very difficult relationship with, used to—
And who is a hoarder.
—is essentially a hoarder. And she would leave bags of trash hanging on every door knob to every room in the house. And if you would try to close or open a door, it was very likely that it would tip out and trash would spill everywhere and she would explain like why she was keeping this trash and I was like but it’s trash! And so of course, like 5 minutes later, I came to my partner and I was like that has nothing to do with you, that had everything to do with my mother. And I actually mentioned this story to my little brother and before I got like 10 seconds in he was like, oh, you got triggered because of Mom didn’t you? And I was like I did! Living together requires a level of willingness to cooperate with each other, much higher level of emotional maturity and good communication than dating, where you can just go like, that was a weird thing that you did but like—
Totally. It’s like, I’m going to go back to my place ‘cause you’re being annoying, yeah.
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Sounds like this question asker would be saving money, which is awesome, moving in with someone that they love, generally awesome. Although y’know, good to prepare a little bit. But the part about moving super far away and kind of only knowing one person, that is tricky. I think that one of the things that’s easy to underestimate, if you primarily made friends in grade school, then high school, then maybe college—
Hey, that’s where we met! Oh my gaaawd.
I know. Or like roommates, when you’re a young person. As you start to get older, spoiler alert, it gets harder to make new friends. People kind of have their set friend group and they’re not necessarily—if you’re not going to school or like joining an industry where you would have a lot of co-workers of a similar age and background and interests, it becomesharder to meet more people like you who are in a similar point in their lives, who are like ready to wholeheartedly embrace a new friendship. So once you are going somewhere brand new and you are a young adult who is out of school and what not, it’s going to be harder to make friends and you’re going to have to actually work at it. You can’t just like passively be yourself and end up hanging out with people and liking them a lot. You and I would never have been friends had we not live together and I think we both really enriched each other’s lives because we met and became friends. So it’s awesome, like meeting people, being open to that stuff, but you have to be more intentional about it when you’re older. And it actually takes work because you won’t just have a college say here, I selected someone for you and I’m just going to drop them into your lives.
Yeah. Here’s a dormitory floor of your peers. Select from among them which share your interests and values.
You are best friends now. Like, that doesn’t happen.
So question asker, are you willing to do that work? And start brainstorming now, like what is your strategy for how to meet people like you so that you’re not alone with just your partner? ‘Cause that is a big strain on a relationship too, I think.
And I do want to say, going back to my personal experience again, you know, my husband had been working for—my then-boyfriend had been working for a nonprofit in the city where we went to college and then that nonprofit had another branch in the city where we wanted to live. And so he was not the only one of his co-workers who managed to make that transfer. And so we came out and he had like 3 or 4 friends and a company already, whereas I didn’t. And it was—it could have been really toxic for us if you know, his friends just automatically became my friends and like, they had more of a loyalty to him than me. It didn’t work out that way, like I became very close with those folks and like our friendship circle broadened from there. But you know, you do have to watch out when your partner is your only link to the outside world. And to that—no, you go ahead.
Well I was just going to say, you made me think of a great point which I can’t believe we didn’t just like start with saying this: try before you buy!
Oh yeah, that was the point I was about to make too! Like go out for a fucking visit.
Have you actually gone to visit and like, make it long. Like stay for two weeks so that—I think sometimes if you go for like a weekend you can get that kind of whirlwind of fun good times. And then like—
Ah this was so fun, we did the touristy thing and yeah.
Yeah. But like a week or 2 at least would give you a sense of oh, what’s it like when I have mad periodcramps and I need to like veg out on the couch and not talk to anyone and eat Tylenol like it’s M&M’S?See how your partner reacts to that.
See how they react when like the 2 of you don’t have plans. Can you sit in the same room and be doing separate activities together without bugging the shit out of each other?
Listen, I knew Bear was the one when we were both sitting in his college apartment, reading our own books and just completely ignoring each other. I was like oh my god, I love him so much.
I have said to my husband many times, and I always make sure to stipulate that this is a compliment because it does not sound like one, I feel like I’m alone when I’m with him. Which is to say that I feel absolutely no urge whatsoever to hide who I am, to be on. You can be on for a weekend for a partner but for the rest of your life, you need to be able to turn off with them. And like, that’s the best part of a partner is, is finding someone who you can be off with all the time. And I think that that is a very, very easy to overlook, important part of compatibility is, you’re totally right, having no plans, doing nothing simultaneously, how does it feel. Yeah.
Exactly. Love it. Being okay with one of you waking up before the other and like that person not being like, well I guess I have to wait till they wake up so I’m entertained. It’s like no, start your own day. You know. Like pick your own breakfast and have a life independent together.
Man, we’re so good at relationships.
I think s—well I like mine.
Kitty & Piggy 22:46
Yeah, I’m a big fan of my marriage. I’m still in it, after all. And to go back to your original point like, you know, we did move 1,500 miles for each other and move in to a place where we essentially knew very few people besides each other, and it was our first time living together, aside from vacations and weekend trips. And it could have horribly backfired. And if that had happened, I needed to be okay with having started a life in a community 1,500 miles from my existing friends, my family, and you know, that could have been a very expensive problem in the end. And again, fortunately it worked out, but you have to go into it with your eyes wide open so that you don’t break up and then go oh shit, what do I do now? Or even worse, you find yourself stuck in a relationship that would have otherwise run its course.
Yeah. This is probably pretty obvious advice and something that I’m sure our Patreon donor has thought of, but I’ll say it for them and everyone else just in case they haven’t. Before you move in together, especially if it’s moving cross-country to be together, make sure you have had the conversations about what it is that you both want out of life. What it is that you value. If you have not yet asked this person important questions such as would you like to have children one day?
Good lord, yeah.
How important is religion or politics to you? How well do you share money and how aligned are you with your finances?
Are you vegan??
Yeah like, really! Like, these are questions that the answers to which really, really matter. And before you invest a portion of your life, and your time, and your money in moving cross-country to be with them, make sure that those sort of low-hanging fruits of like oh hey, well they want to have 2.5 children and raise them, you know, Episcopalian and that is not my deal. Well like, let that be a fair reason to go separate.
Yeah. Talk through the deal breakers before you move 900 miles for somebody.
They are very cliche things for couples to talk through, but they’re like cliche for an extraordinarily good reason. We love deconstructing bad traditional advice but some traditional advice should be traditional! It’s like a little black dress, it’s evergreen, like don’t touch it!
I mean, we both know people who have gotten divorced over some of those things, you know.
Yup. It happens. Chemistry is a hell of a drug is mostly what I realize, is that people can sometimes be so incredibly in love with each other because they have incredible chemistry together that it takes quite a while actually for the real life stuff of what they want out of this life kind of not fitting together like it should—it can take years for that to really force your hand. And better to just figure it out now. And if there’s any ambivalence, I would say, you’re young—I presume, you didn’t tell us your age, but I’m going to assume.
You’re young, you look—
You’re young, you’re a baby.
You’ve got such a dewy face. Oh my gawd.
Such a—oh, look at that skin! Oh my gawd.
So dewy. I can’t even see your pores.
They’re microscopic pores. No I mean, when you’re young, you’re absolutely right. And it makes it harder to get through those deal-breakers because you don’t know yourself yet. Not necessarily, anyway. Like you’re both still growing and figuring out who you are and like, gaining the life experience that will tell you like, ahh that’s a deal-breaker for me. So, you know, go into these conversations brutally honest but also, as we always talk about when we’re talking about having discussions with people you respect, with compassion and care for where they’re coming from and just, you know, don’t judge, don’t get upset. But like, have those conversations.
The last thing I want to throw out is, I want to steal a bit of wisdom from fellow podcaster Dan Savage. He likes to say that no relationship really fails. The benchmark to determining whether a relationship “succeeds” or “fails” in our culture is like, well does it end? Do you stay together until you’re dead? Which is a crazy benchmark! Rather, he really encourages people to think about the potential failure of a relationship as—it may be that you were not meant to be together for forever, but did you learn good lessons? Did you learn more about yourself and more about what you want and need from a partner from this relationship? Did you meet friends that you wouldn’t have met otherwise? Did you watch movies you never would have seen because it was something your partner was into? Like has your life gotten deeper and richer and do you understand more about who you and this other person are? If the answer is yes, then your relationship did not fail. And I think sometimes we feel like we have to “succeed” at that relationship in order to justify the investment that we’ve made in it. Like, I spent all this money to move cross-country and I just signed a year-long lease so like I need this shit to work. And guess what? You super don’t.
Yeah, don’t let the sunk cost fallacy trap you in a shitty relationship longer than necessary.
Just like, let go of that money. Let go of that time and experience. And say, you know what, I learned a valuable lesson and one part of that lesson was that this person is not for me. I’m moving 900 miles back. Or I’m moving somewhere completely new where I can do the, you know, Keri Russell as Felicity thing in a new city. Like, do your thing.
Exactly. I could not agree more.
Are you good with that?
I am good with that.
Listeners, if you want us to answer your question, go to BitchesGetRiches.com and click “Ask the Bitches.” Our goal here at Bitches Get Riches is to help people, but we want to make a living wage for ourselves and our assistant doing so without being like a total piece of shit sellout. So if you believe in that mission and you want to help us achieve it, the easiest way to do that is to go to patreon.com/bitchesgetriches. We also accept one time donations through paypal.com/paypalme/bitchesgetriches.And if you need more of our spicy, spicy wisdom, you can read our articles and follow us on social media, and you can do all that stuff at BitchesGetRiches.com.
Alright, is there anything else they should know?
Yes, I’m so glad you asked. My coworker is training her dog on one of those like button boards so that like, she pushes a button that says give me food, give me love, take me outside. And the dog has realized that it will get what it wants faster if it presses the buttons during a meeting. So of course, the post-COVID age, we’re all working from home on Zoom and we’ll just hear like, give me love, give me love, give me love from Pepper in the background.
Oh my god.
I would like that button board for me IRL.
Yeah. Yeah. Give me love. Give me food. Give me food.
Give me love. Give me love. Give me loooove.
Give me looooove!
Good to know.
Kitty & Piggy 30:27