Staying With Someone Awful Because It’s Too Expensive To Leave

Because not everyone has a “fuck-off fund.”

Have you ever kept living with someone you wanted away from because you couldn’t afford your independence? According to a new piece on Broadly, it’s a distressingly common scenario; and rent hikes in expensive cities, where so many of the available jobs are, often make matters worse.

A UK trade-in site, Ziffit, polled 2,040 people across the UK and found that 28 percent of surveyed participants currently in a relationship admitted that financial security was a key factor keeping them with their current partner.

Although most of the relationships described in the piece are romantic, they don’t have to be. Some people can’t afford to extricate themselves from living situations with cruel roommates, or toxic parents, or friend/employer situations that have turned sour. Remember the story of Katie Klabusich’s getting trapped as an unpaid, live-in nanny?

Freedom isn’t free. We like to think that we are the masters of our fates and the captains of our ships, that we make the choices that shape our lives. And sometimes we do! Other times even the most fundamental aspects of our days — in whose beds we wake up, who we have to tiptoe around, even who we have to pretend to be — is determined by whether we have enough money saved up to pay our own way.