I want to move to a cheaper city but my girlfriend wants to stay in NYC

I came to New York with the singular though that I'd stay in IB as an A2A then move to a cheaper city like Chicago or LA when I made associate to save money. Now the time has come; however, I met a girl I really love here, and we've been together since I was an An1. We recently moved in together. She's always known that I wanted to go to a cheaper city, and now my bank is letting me transfer to our Chicago office. I have a few months to decide since it's not an urgent headcount matter. I told my GF and we're at an impasse. 

I don't mean to sound like a dick or anything, but she doesn't earn well (pub school teacher), but I understand that she has friends and memories here in NYC

Idk what to do. On one hand, I could have a fucking baller condo in Chicago, but I also really love her and can't imagine leaving without her. I was planning on moving since college, and now it just feels like my plans were derailed and idk what to do now. I like my NYC team, but if my gf and I ever went all the way, I couldn't imagine raising a family with the CoL of this city. I need advice. Sorry super crossfaded right now. 

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Comments (87)

Jan 15, 2022 - 10:49pm
Mr Incredible, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Nobody factors meeting someone they love into their plans when they're young.

Jan 15, 2022 - 11:03pm
kellycriterion, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I can't answer this completely for you because it depends on what you prefer and want. Here's the facts you've laid out:

1. You love your GF. You love being with her.

2. You're fine with your NYC team, but have been offered the opportunity to move inside your firm to CHI.

3. You have a gripe with NYC over COL. Your GF has a gripe with leaving NYC over friends, culture.

On balance, this strikes me as a situation where you're both fairly satisfied where you are and you're wanting something new because you presume you'd like it better. But do you know you'd like it better? How much experience do you have with CHI? Would you have an opportunity to travel there to feel it out? Would taking your GF there help make it seem more familiar or palatable? With the COL spread between the two cities, does it make sense to use some of that savings for a bigger travel budget to go back to NYC regularly? It's not all NYC or all CHI; there's lots of arrangements. You just have to find them. 

Jan 16, 2022 - 10:55am
Malta, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Seconding this as real advice. Go on a quick weekend trip if you can. I've done this when considering moving places. 

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
Jan 16, 2022 - 4:22pm
ThrowawayBBBANKER, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sorry, I forgot to say this, but I grew up in Wilmette, IL, which is a suburb of Chicago, so I'd visit all the time as a kid. Chicago is familiar to me. I ended up moving to VA for high school and have always dreamt of moving back. Though reading these comments made me realize how I've gotten my way my whole life because of the sacrifices my immigrant parents made to ensure I had a good life, and I'd be a lil bitch to not make sacrifices for the woman I love.

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Jan 15, 2022 - 11:41pm
Smoke Frog, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If she is super hot, stay.

If not, what's the hold up?

You make all the money and if she loves you she comes to Chicago. So tell her you have to move and see if she really loves you.

Jan 16, 2022 - 7:06pm
Fjsjrjdns, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Frankly, if she moves for you, it should be with the intention to marry her and propose in the near-term (~1yr). If this is understood between you two, and she still won't go, then it's probably for the best as she's going to bleed you dry as you both get older and she clearly is irrational. She should understand that you make the money and will take on the responsibility to provide long-term because she can't, but that she has to compromise too.

Jan 16, 2022 - 9:09pm
Teller in Branch - Personal Loans, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Are there guys that are a couple years ahead in life stage that are in NYC and have achieved what you would find compelling from overall life arrangement perspective? Maybe they've advanced in career sufficiently to keep up with COL/wife's spending? My MD once told me to do things in this order 1) find the person you love 2) figure out where you both want to live and then 3) pursue the career of your choice in that context. Tier 2 (possibly 3) city and he still became MD & Head of a sector - long shot but doable. Not trying to convince you either way but sounds like there could be a good brainstorming session to be had when you guys are both ready.

VP
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Jan 16, 2022 - 12:59am
Pizz, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If she's the total package and you have a great relationship with her and she's hot/cute, do not break up with her under any circumstances 

Jan 16, 2022 - 7:09pm
Fjsjrjdns, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Such a simp mindset. She probably loves that he makes money and can provide a nice life, because she surely can't/doesn't as a teacher, but also doesn't want to compromise. This is a major red flag if they're considering marriage and a family in the future.

Jan 16, 2022 - 1:36am
zeroebitda, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Your girlfriend should respect your priorities and importance of your career for your future family and want to follow/support you wherever you want to move especially if you've made it clear to her that this was happening. Put your foot down and don't settle. 

Controversial
Jan 16, 2022 - 1:51am
Hölder, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you make basically 100% of the money then you also get to make basically 100% of the decisions. I'd say follow through with your plans. I wouldn't be surprised if those 'memories' and 'friends' are the guys she fucks on the side. Don't let her make the decisions only for you to find this out 5 years later. 

Jan 16, 2022 - 3:31pm
dutchduke, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Hölder

If you make basically 100% of the money then you also get to make basically 100% of the decisions. I'd say follow through with your plans. I wouldn't be surprised if those 'memories' and 'friends' are the guys she fucks on the side. Don't let her make the decisions only for you to find this out 5 years later. 

Damn dawg you ain't gotta do him like that 

Jan 16, 2022 - 10:50pm
user38459295, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Don't be a twat. We (you) know nothing about his girlfriend/him, apart from he grew up in IL then VA. On what planet does having friends + memories in a city meaning fucking guys on the side? Get a life man…

Jan 17, 2022 - 10:48am
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Why the MS? This is 100% correct and what I was going to say. Her job isn't helping at all with the COL, so OP gets the full say here. OP needs to start acting like a man. 

Array

Jan 16, 2022 - 4:33am
snarf42, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I would tell you to make the move just because you're so young. I don't think it has to come from a place of giving your gf the middle finger because she makes less or wants to stay behind. Part of being in a relationship with someone you love is managing separate life goals - you won't always be perfectly aligned. Right now it's about where to move, in a few years it could very well be disagreements over getting married, having kids, sharing finances - you get the picture. As someone who went through something similar, I say go for the move. You two are both pretty young and can get a lot of benefit out of growing on your own while apart (or even doing long distance) that you personally won't get just staying in NYC. Although it'll suck to leave behind the girl you love, you'll grow more as a person through moving. Either you realize it wasn't worth it and you can come back or this actually will be a huge net positive. Either way you learn a lot about yourself and your relationship and grow along the way.

Jan 16, 2022 - 5:13am
Drumpfy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

NYC is too expensive for an investment banker to have kids?  Good lord.  I hope Mayor Adams plans on building more affordable housing.

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Jan 16, 2022 - 8:00pm
Anonymous Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's because they most likely live above their means. OP, you can live literally across the water if you're willing to compromise. I personally would go to Charlotte over Chicago though. 

Jan 17, 2022 - 10:48am
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hope you realize that affordable housing is income-restricted. If you think $100k base/year is under the ceiling for income restricted...you've spent a bit too much time on this forum.

Array

Jan 16, 2022 - 10:05am
PrivateTechquity 🚀GME🚀, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Dump her and relocate like you've wanted to. She's using you as a meal ticket to stay in a city she has no business being able to live in. Relationships come and go, this is something you have planned for, have worked towards, and that she has been aware of. Now that you have the opportunity in front of you it would be stupid to throw it aside for a public school teacher you've been dating for a few years. Your emotions are not helpful for rational decision-making, and you're not accounting for the fact that the past 2+ years have been absolutely insane thanks to Covid. Ask yourself, if NYC has been completely normal and you had had the opportunity to go around and freely meet other people over the past couple of years, would you still feel this way? Don't succumb to one-itus, there are many potential women out there who you will fall head over heels for over the coming years. You do not want to stay in NYC, so do not stay in NYC. As you've said you're the money maker here so you should be the one making the decisions with how your resources are going to be spent. You aren't married so she doesn't get a voice here. Give her the option to come with if you really want to, but at the end of the day her staying or going should have no bearing on whether or not you do. 

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Jan 16, 2022 - 11:05am
Drumpfy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

"Someone who is a public school teacher has no business living in NYC"

Good fucking lord.  

"Your emotions are not helpful for rational decision-making"

He is weighing a relationship vs being able to hoard more of his income in a low cost-of-living city.  A relationship is, in the end of the day, an emotional matter.  You could go adopt some random kids but they wouldn't be the same as kids you have raised, in the same way that random girls in a club are not your girlfriend.

Jan 16, 2022 - 3:10pm
PrivateTechquity 🚀GME🚀, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Drumpfy

"Someone who is a public school teacher has no business living in NYC"

Good fucking lord.  

"Your emotions are not helpful for rational decision-making"

He is weighing a relationship vs being able to hoard more of his income in a low cost-of-living city.  A relationship is, in the end of the day, an emotional matter.  You could go adopt some random kids but they wouldn't be the same as kids you have raised, in the same way that random girls in a club are not your girlfriend.

I get the sense that the covid-obsessed grad school student whose self-admitted only romantic partner is some Russian chick he's helped get a green card for isn't a reliable source of information on relationships. Just a thought. 

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Jan 16, 2022 - 11:01pm
user38459295, what's your opinion? Comment below:

"She's using you as a meal ticket to live in a city she has no business belonging in"

Bro. WTF, Seriously? Do you know how arrogant you sound?

Just because my girlfriend gets paid less than me, doesn't mean she objectively has "no business" living in this city? Hell, this guy's GF is a public school teacher! If anything she has more "business" living in the city based off the fact she's conducting a vocational service to its people.

Come on man. Money doesn't determine everything in life, contrary to what people in this thread are saying…

Jan 17, 2022 - 10:48am
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

plot twist... you're OP's gf

Array

Most Helpful
Jan 16, 2022 - 10:52am
JSmithRE2010, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Given the number of incels on this forum, my advice is to take none of the advice on this thread. Go talk to friends and family who actually know you and the gf.

I mean one guy jumped straight to the conclusion that she's fucking other guys because she won't move with you LMAO

Also "you make 100% of the money so you get to make 100% of the decisions" is such a silly take. Someone who makes 65k as a teacher has no autonomy over her life just because her BF makes $250k? Plz go get laid my guy

A lot of the guys on this forum need to go outside and touch some grass 

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Jan 16, 2022 - 8:43pm
iercurenc, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Someone who makes 65k as a teacher has no autonomy over her life just because her BF makes $250k?

Of course she has autonomy over her life. But her decision is keeping OP behind in a city where he doesn't want to live, spending money he doesn't want to spend. Of course it's easy to love the "friends and memories" you had in New York when someone else was paying for it. It's totally reasonable to suggest that OP should have more of a say in this relationship, or at least be prepared to leave her if he really wants to save money and go to Chicago.

Jan 16, 2022 - 11:57pm
JSmithRE2010, what's your opinion? Comment below:

1) You're making the assumption that he is funding her lifestyle. They just moved in together and for all we know they're splitting rent. Let me know if I'm missing a comment where he says he's funding her lifestyle (srsly, it's a long thread lol)

2) Yes, I agree they both have autonomy. It sounds like she's not ready to commit to a move. OP is asking his girlfriend to make a huge commitment to him (drop her entire life and move with him) and OP has made zero commitments to her (what if they move to Chicago and she dumps him for a 22 yo UW Madison Smoke?). Keep in mind this big move is not for a huge career opportunity, it's the exact same job except he saves a little bit extra $

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Jan 16, 2022 - 11:15am
Lester Diamond, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Listen man…everyone is different but not everything is about money. Do you want to be alone in your baller CHI condo?

Jan 16, 2022 - 11:43am
Lester Freamon, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you're actually in love with her and this isn't a "first serious girlfriend, so she has to be the one type of deal", I'd recommend you stay with her instead of optimizing for money/"a baller condo". I kind of did this in my 20s and regret it tremendously, although I'm also not anywhere near an investment banker, so money necessarily had to factor into my calculus much more than most on this site. Seeing your bank account go up is nice, but it gets old really quickly if you don't have a vibrant social life/people to share experiences with.

You're an associate at an investment bank, not PwC. I'm sure you'll be able to live and save enough money in NYC for a few more years as DINK, even if it's not as much as Chicago. If you two really do go all the way, you'll have also presumably advanced further in your career and her priorities will probably also change/she'll likely prioritize savings over access to "authentic cuisines" or whatever the fuck else reason people live in NYC for. Just stick it out for now and see how things go if you actually are in love. You can always transfer to Chicago somehow down the road if things don't work out and you still want out.

Jan 16, 2022 - 11:50am
ConfusedGuru, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Let me guess, you pay for the majority of stuff? Rent? Groceries? Going out? It's cute that she has "memories and friends", but if she wants to stay in New York, maybe she should get a better paying job. Then suddenly, all the butterflies and rainbows disappear. Go to Chicago

Jan 16, 2022 - 12:30pm
teddythebear, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I've been lived in three different major cities with my wife. I understand theres memories and friends in the city, but honestly you can create this in any environment. Chicago is a great city with plenty to do and plenty of people you'll find with similar interest. Its not like your asking her to move to Arkansas.

I respect teachers especially those in the public school system. God bless them for what they do, but honestly she cant afford the COL in the city. Its a fact and not trying to be rude about it. You seem like a sensible guy because you love someone and I am sure you want kids. I can tell you right now that having kids and living in NYC is going to be difficult with your income situation. She also needs to wisen up. I suggest you do a trip to Chicago with her and show her around.

Here is my thinking, your looking for a partner that is eventually marriage material. Marriage is about compromise and sacrifice. Its also about thinking about the future of your children and how they will be raised. If she cares more about her friends than what you want, you may want to keep your options for dating open.

Here is a though to consider. Your considering staying in NYC because you love her, but she doesn't want to move no matter what? What is she willing to sacrifice for you? Does she have that same level of love for you that she would compromise for you?

Memories will always be around. My wife and I will always cherish the memories we had in other cities. Those friends will still be friends and we make attempts to meet them, but you will make new friends and new memories. This is the best part of life.

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Jan 16, 2022 - 1:01pm
falconeagle, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Would 100% echo the guy above (SB'd) ie has this been a lengthy discussion or has she simply given OP a flat no? As the above poster says, relationships and marriage are all about compromise. Obviously OP I don't know you or her or your relationship - but if she shuts you down straight away now, would she do the same other for future life decisions eg how many kids to have? (just an example).

As I've said I don't know your relationship so certainly not flat out advocating you to break up with her. Having said that, I think you have to consider 2 main things:

1. Why your gf is so keen to stay. I get that change is hard and her friends are here - but ultimately when/if she becomes your wife, it will be the two of you + any kids as the family unit which matter the most and should be the priority. Also it's not unlikely in a few years that many of her friends may themselves have settled down and moved out of NYC to different cities/the suburbs, which would ultimately result in a similar outcome to you guys moving to Chicago (albeit a few years sooner).

On the other hand, if for instance she has elderly/frail parents she wants to be close to - that seems a considerably more substantial reason (at least IMHO). Equally even that wouldn't be a reason not to move - again it would be a factor in your mutual discussions.

Finally on this point, I assume it's not the lifestyle change she's worried about - if you wanted to move to some super-rural location I could understand her hesitancy if she enjoys city life, but tbh I imagine Chicago will be substantially similar to NYC day to day (some aspects better some worse, but overall a wash generally).

2. If you stay how will you feel about it? This ties into #1 in that her reasons for staying will likely be a factor in this, but the main thing is - if you do stay, is there a danger you will feel bitter and resentful towards her for denying you the opportunity? (even subconsciously, especially as you are the main earner/provider)

If you do think there is a good chance of this, then breakup may well be the best way to go - as tbh it wouldn't be fair on either you or her for you to stay and become bitter and angry about it (good chance it would result in the demise of the relationship anyway further down the road). Only you can answer this however OP.

Good luck sir - sorry sounds like you are in a tough spot here.

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Jan 16, 2022 - 1:26pm
lucifermorningstar1999, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As someone who grew up in NYC, I never get the comments/posts about how it is impossible to raise a family here. Literally know scores of people whose overall parents incomes are in the 70-120k range combined and they grew up in hte UWS/UES. When you get older, your costs change. You won't be spending money going out each week nor will you be eating at restaurants nearly as often and that is what I found to be the bulk of the extra expenses I have now that can easily go away when you are older. Also some of these comments are just very distasteful saying that someone who has a public school teachers salary cannot afford to live here- once again know people who do. Go back to whatever suburbs you all are from. 

Jan 16, 2022 - 4:23pm
Sequoia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Dude the NYC of when you grew up 20-30yrs ago vs. NYC of today is vastly different. As of 2021, NYC became the most expensive city in the U.S. to live in exceeding SF (at the very least #2).

You are simply not going to be able to comfortably live in Manhattan / Brooklyn in the next 10-20yrs while providing your children with the best opportunities with a public school teacher salary. I'm sorry it's not 'PC enough' to hear but this is just not possible over time unless OP golden handcuffs himself into staying in a miserable LT career like IB (for most) to be able to afford it.

Jan 16, 2022 - 4:41pm
lucifermorningstar1999, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Lol I am literally 22 years old. Plenty of opportunities at superb schools in NYC on any salary. The 500k or so transplants live a very different life than the rest of us. 

Jan 16, 2022 - 4:08pm
jackdongalass921, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Personally I wouldn't let my girlfriend, wife, daughter, mother, etc live in Chicago (with all the crime/black folks and whatnot), and I totally understand why your girlfriend (presumably white) wouldn't want to go to Chicago.

However, I've yet to meet a white girl who doesn't like LA. Just get her addicted to the nouveau/obscene LA lifestyle and weather and you're set.

Also LOL'd at public school teacher, definitely can't afford NYC.

Jan 16, 2022 - 4:25pm
Sequoia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Crime is nearly all in the South Side which you're never going to visit (it's like going to the Bronx when you're living in Manhattan....just not going to happen). North Side is quite safe and if at some point OP wants to move out to the suburbs (as most do once they have kids), those are extremely safe with strong public education systems (Naperville / Palatine / Winnetka / Barrington / etc)

Jan 16, 2022 - 6:18pm
TheJoker'sAdvocate, what's your opinion? Comment below:

lmao... Damn this guy got some racism in him. 
I thought IB guys are wise and smarter than the average American... Guess not this dude. 

Jan 16, 2022 - 4:30pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Stay in NYC.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Jan 16, 2022 - 4:41pm
2rigged2fail, what's your opinion? Comment below:

go Chicago. if you back down from your dream she will not respect you. it's just a shit test. 

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Jan 17, 2022 - 10:48am
2rigged2fail, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Can the virgin cucks throwing monkey poo reveal themselves so I can judge whether your a) a neckbeard or b) a white knight RomCom enthusiast

Jan 16, 2022 - 5:14pm
ronwesley, what's your opinion? Comment below:

how does one think of becoming a public school teacher in new york without having insanely rich parents who pay for your rent and stuff? 200k is the minimum in ny esp if you want to go out and "experience" the city

khalistaniwarrior
Jan 16, 2022 - 5:28pm
Flounder, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Can't help you make this decision, but I will say I am lucky and my wife is ride or die together. We do what is best for our family. If your GF is potentially something more, break out a pro-con list with her and discuss it out. Listen to her and if neither of you can see the right move at the end it's going to be tough going forward. No matter the decision one of you will be unhappy. Also 100% agree with the weekend trip idea.

Jan 16, 2022 - 5:45pm
iercurenc, what's your opinion? Comment below:

How much of her lifestyle are you funding? What exactly are these cherished "friends and memories"? If you are paying for her expensive lifestyle in NYC, then I think it's inconsiderate of her to force you to stay when you (and your money) want to leave. I agree with a comment above. Visit Chicago first to see if you like it. If you do, then tell your girlfriend that you two are moving. Explain how you make more than her and how expensive if would be to raise a family.

Jan 16, 2022 - 6:15pm
TheJoker'sAdvocate, what's your opinion? Comment below:

God... The comments from some of the dudes on here are so toxic. 
Clearly some of the guys here watch youtube videos about how sigma males should have control over their women.... 
 

Some of y'all never had a sister or a loving mother and it shows... 
 

Disgusted. 

Jan 16, 2022 - 7:15pm
Fjsjrjdns, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Bro, she's a 25yo teacher who will never be able to afford a decent UMC+ life in NYC without a man who makes decent money. If she can't understand that now, she'll be even more irrational in the future regarding even bigger decisions. It's not a deal breaker, but certainly a red flag.

Jan 17, 2022 - 2:31am
JSmithRE2010, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Every man she dates will be able to provide the same thing as OP. You forget that an attractive, well-rounded woman has tons of options. If having an "UMC+" lifestyle is a priority, there is no reason she needs OP for that. There are so so so many men in nyc who can provide that. Why is everyone so hung up on OP's earnings? He's literally dime a dozen in NYC
 

If the GF's number one priority was money, she could go for a way richer guy. 

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Jan 16, 2022 - 9:44pm
greyarea23, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Looking forward to the sequel to this post in a year or two: "Guys I moved to a new city where I know nobody to save $2500 a year and left the love of my life and now she's banging one of my old friends in New York while I jerk off for the fourth time today. What do I do????"

Jan 17, 2022 - 10:48am
2rigged2fail, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jan 17, 2022 - 10:48am
2rigged2fail, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jan 17, 2022 - 10:48am
2rigged2fail, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jan 17, 2022 - 10:48am
NatRes, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Career Advancement Opportunities

May 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲03) 99.6%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (▲03) 99.2%
  • RBC Capital Markets (▲06) 98.7%
  • Lincoln International (▽02) 98.3%
  • Houlihan Lokey (▲07) 97.9%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

May 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲12) 99.6%
  • Rothschild (▲02) 99.1%
  • Truist Securities (+ +) 98.7%
  • Greenhill (▲06) 98.3%
  • Houlihan Lokey (▲07) 97.9%

Professional Growth Opportunities

May 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲04) 99.6%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (▲06) 99.2%
  • Lincoln International (▲03) 98.7%
  • RBC Capital Markets (▲08) 98.3%
  • Houlihan Lokey (▲06) 97.9%

Total Avg Compensation

May 2022 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $661
  • Vice President (36) $393
  • Associates (179) $247
  • 2nd Year Analyst (109) $161
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (17) $156
  • 1st Year Analyst (348) $148
  • Intern/Summer Associate (73) $146
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (272) $91