Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend Won’t Move Out of His Parents’ Home”

I am a 25-year-old woman who has been dating my 25-year-old boyfriend for a little over two years. Since the moment I laid eyes on him, I have been completely in love. Although I do not technically live with him, I consume more than a drawer or two for my belongings in his room, and sleepovers span more than an average night. I still have my own bedroom in the basement at my mother’s home and I probably would spend more time there if her house were closer to my work. (“Allen” lives five minutes away from my job as opposed to my being more than thirty minutes away at my mother’s.) I also love being with my boyfriend, so I truly don’t mind the sleepovers (DUH!). What is even better about my relationship with Allen is that I am best friends with his mother. She and I couldn’t be more alike and, when we bring my mother into the mix, you can never tear us apart! The problem is Allen still lives with his parents.

I am well aware that nowadays, many “kids” to stay with their parents longer than what was the norm in past generations. Allen was never the college type and went straight to work right after school. Seven years working for a huge construction company provides him with just as much (if not more!) than the average college degree salary. There was a year he was making more than his own mother! I, on the other hand, do not make as much as he does, but I still make enough for me to pay my bills and have a little money for play. Bottom line: Money is not the reason he still lives at home. At first I thought it was, but now, as I am fully aware of his expenses, I realize that this is more along the lines of a bird not wanting to leave his nest and his mother bird.

There is a saying that a man chooses a wife who resembles his mother, and we are not the exception. Allen is her baby and she tended to him more than to his brother. Then, once I practically moved in, I became the laundry-washer, I laid his clothes out, and I brought him a cool cocktail after his hard day at work. Maybe some women hate that, but I am all for being a working woman and a housewife. I absolutely love taking care of him. I just want to take care of him IN OUR OWN HOME!

I am at the point where I have become an annoying nag. His mother is elated that I have come around. Before me, all he paid for was his car payment and retirement funds. Now I have combined our car insurance that we split, I got him in the habit of paying his phone bill, and now he pays half the groceries. (Before, I was just handing his mother money to compensate for my stays).

Bottom line: I have nagged, pleaded, whined, and done everything I could to show him that I am ready to move on with our lives. His parents put their house up for sale, which gave me hope (and his parents hope too!) that he would finally get that it’s time to move on. He instead makes excuses on everything and bounces back, like crazy, from renting to buying. He also states that maybe we should move with his parents until we figure things out. No. That’s where I draw the line.

I love him. I want to marry this man, but even that is another thing I feel he pushes back on. My family tells me that he just does not want to go to the next step with me. I think he’s scared. How do I fix this situation? Should I give him an ultimatum? I would hate to consider this a deal breaker considering this is our only bump. But this is a bump that we need to pass in order to move on with our lives! — Done With Sleepovers at Boyfriend’s Parents’ House

You’re making the same mistake Allen’s parents are: You are enabling him to take advantage of you. It’s great that you love taking care of him and you love sleeping over at his place and spending time with him and his family, but you doing all those things is keeping you from achieving what you want: sharing your own space with your boyfriend. As long as you — and his parents — make it easy for him to live rent-free somewhere where both his mother and his girlfriend cater to all his needs (and also get along well), why would he want to leave? There’s absolutely no incentive for him to move on and move forward.

If you’re ready to live in your own place, find an apartment, sign a lease, and move in. Tell your boyfriend that you won’t be spending the night at his parents’ place anymore and that, if he wants to see you, he’ll have to come to your place, or better yet, he can move in with you. Then, if he starts sleeping over at your place, let him know that if he wants to continue sleeping over regularly, you’d like for him to be an official resident, with his name on the lease and an agreement to pay half the rent.

You don’t need an ultimatum. You simply move forward. Allen can either decide to move forward with you, or stay with his parents where he’ll likely continue to be coddled and catered to. If he chooses the latter, then he isn’t really “husband material,” and, frankly, you should not be acting like a “housewife” before you’ve even moved in together.

***************

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

62 comments… add one
  • avatar

    jlyfsh April 13, 2015, 8:12 am

    WWS also the problem is you both still live with your parents. Not just Allen. If you want to move forward like Wendy said do it. You’re 25 why are you still living at home? If you can’t afford to do it on your own, then you can’t really complain about Allen’s choice to still live at home. And if you can’t afford to do it on your own, then get a roommate.

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    • Ika

      Ika April 13, 2015, 8:25 am

      yes yes yes!!!!!
      Why is it fine for LW but not her BF????

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom April 13, 2015, 10:27 am

        I’m glad your back!

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      • Ika

        Ika April 13, 2015, 10:39 am

        <3
        I missed you sky!!!!

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom April 13, 2015, 10:44 am

        I love to read your opinions because they are solidly based on real life experience.

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      • Ika

        Ika April 13, 2015, 11:46 am

        🙂

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom April 13, 2015, 10:41 am

        Sorry that was so grammatically incorrect.

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    • Raccoon eyes

      Raccoon eyes April 13, 2015, 8:36 am

      Agreed. I get an underlying MUST GET MARRIED/BUY HOUSE/BE A HOUSEWIFE/BABIES BABIES BABIES undercurrent here. Like, the line about loving him from the first moment she saw him, and making him a cool beverage and lying out his clothes. Sure, if you want to be a good little housewife, then all the power to you. But, it is tough to be a good little housewife in his bedroom of his parent’s home. Ick, I just shuddered thinking about that. LW, if moving out and being an adult (with or without you) does not interest him, no amount of nagging and whining is going to get what you want. (Also, whining and nagging? NOT GOOD in a relationship in my humble opinion.)

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom April 13, 2015, 8:44 am

        And why does she need him along in order to maintain her own home. She can be the housewife of her own home and take care of it and make it what she wants. If she was busy doing that she would have much less time to make him a cool beverage and lay out his clothes. She’s treating him like a toddler or preschooler by laying out his clothes. What grown man needs someone to choose his clothes for him. My kids were choosing their own clothes in Kindergarten and started sometime in the preschool years. It’s icky that she is treating him like he is two or three and then complaining that he won’t move into a place together. She can’t have it both ways, he’s either a little child needing a mommy to pick his clothes or he’s a grown man who can care for himself.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki April 13, 2015, 11:38 am

        I’m pretty sure my husband would have me committed if I started laying out his clothes for him.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom April 13, 2015, 8:13 am

    So he lives with his parents and you live with your mom or with his parents and you’re complaining that he isn’t ready to move in together. You are not independent in your own life and I have no sense you ever have been. Why aren’t you worried about getting your own life together and then consider moving in with a boyfriend. If you need a boyfriend for your own independence then you aren’t independent. Quit catering to his every whim at his parents place and get your own place. Live an independent life for at least one year and then see whether this guy is someone you still want to live with and marry. You shouldn’t need him in order to leave your mom’s house.

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    • Classic

      Classic April 13, 2015, 6:09 pm

      WSbS
      Get your own place, LW.

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      • avatar

        steven kies December 24, 2016, 10:15 pm

        Well, you know, when I was 25, women did NOT want me because I live at home with my mother! Now, you say you want to take care of him? He needs to take care of himself! If a guy can take care of himself, then he can be called a “man”! No offense, but, unfortunately certain women don’t know what a man is! Women never wanted to take care of me! Trust me on this, have him take care of himself before you guys take care of each other! A woman sure as he’ll wouldn’t want to take care of me if I can’t take care of myself! So, what do love about this guy? What does he have that no one else has? You want to take care of him but lives with his mother and won’t move out!!! So, what do you see in him? If he’s not man enough to stand up to his mother and tell her that he wants to move out and move in with his girlfriend, then maybe it’s time to find another man who has the balls to move in with you! You need a MAN!!!! Again, no offense, if you feel you are having to take care of him when he can’t take care of himself, apparently, he’s not a man!

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  • Lyra

    Lyra April 13, 2015, 8:17 am

    I am unconvinced that this guy will ever be the guy you seem to want him to be. My spidey senses are telling me that he has gotten so used to being taken care of that he will likely have issues taking initiative in a household that you might create together. You’re pulling teeth now, being so ready to move on with your lives, but the key here is that *he* does not seem ready. Say he does move in with you and gets engaged to you. Will it be pulling teeth setting a wedding date? Will it be pulling teeth trying to get him to do chores around the house? Will it be pulling teeth to eventually wanting to have a baby? You are so focused on becoming his wife because YOU are ready, but at the same time I don’t think you’re seeing the full picture in front of you. He is making excuses for NOT moving on with his life with you. What does that tell you about how he views your relationship? Be honest with yourself.
    .
    Whenever you are in “nagging” territory — which it sounds like you have been for a while now — it’s time to seriously consider if this is the right guy for you. By all means move on with your life, but don’t be surprised if he doesn’t choose to follow you.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom April 13, 2015, 8:28 am

      You’re right that he doesn’t seem at all interested in moving forward in this relationship. He should be as happy and as excited to move in together as she is. If all of the enthusiasm is coming from one partner then they probably shouldn’t be together.

      At the same time I don’t think she is ready to move in with any boyfriend. She needs to learn to be independent in her own right before she lives with a boyfriend.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra April 13, 2015, 8:30 am

        Definitely agree that she’s not ready to move in with any boyfriend. The fact that he was digging his heels in was what stood out to me.

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      • Raccoon eyes

        Raccoon eyes April 13, 2015, 8:41 am

        YES. “He also states that maybe we should move with his parents until we figure things out. No. That’s where I draw the line.” Ummm, face? Meet palm!
        *
        Goodness, Im so bothered by this letter. I think Im just worked up over finishing my taxes right now….and that this girl seems to think her only option in life is this guy and living together with him. And being his surrogate mommy…

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom April 13, 2015, 8:48 am

        Surrogate mommy pretty much sums it up except she’ll be the mommy to a man who can financially support her. I think in her scenario he gives her the money and she pays the bills, and tells him what to do and dresses him. No wonder he isn’t very interested. It looks a lot like he’s going to be used for his income.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 April 13, 2015, 8:56 am

    This just makes no sense to me, because like everyne says you live with your mom. What has prevented you from moving out this whole time? You should try getting a place of your own first, and see how that goes. I have a feeling you can’t afford that though, so you need your boyfriend to help you out. You getting your own place might really help though.

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  • avatar

    Essie April 13, 2015, 9:15 am

    LW, it’s as clear as day: he likes things the way they are. He likes your relationship the way it is. He likes his life the way it is. He wants what he has now more than he wants the responsibility that goes with being a homeowner and a husband and possibly a father.
    .
    Honestly, it’s hard to blame him. He’s got mommy and daddy dealing with all the grown up homeowner/financial stuff, and he’s got you and mommy doing the cooking and cleaning and laundry and generally waiting on him hand and foot. Who would want to give that up? It’s sure as hell more attractive than having to be independent.
    .
    What can you do to change his mind? Not a single thing. You can’t make people want the thing you want. You just can’t. Oh, sure, you might be able to nag him into marrying you, or give him an ultimatum that makes him do it. Or, since his mom and dad like you so much, they might pressure him to do it. But you can’t make him WANT the life you want.
    .
    Wouldn’t you rather be with someone who does want the same things you do? Who wants to share his life with you so much that he doesn’t need to be nagged into proposing? Who can’t wait to start your life together?
    .
    I know I would.

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    • avatar

      pebblesntrix April 13, 2015, 4:18 pm

      Completely agree.

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  • Crochet.Ninja

    Crochet.Ninja April 13, 2015, 9:30 am

    it’s possible he doesn’t want to move in with you. if he did want to truly start his life with you, he’d move out. he’s either not ready for that step, or not ready for you.

    and you are in no place to judge, you still live with your mom!

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. April 13, 2015, 9:36 am

    There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a housewife and take care of your man, but he’s got to do his share, too. Would he bring you a nice, cool drink after a hard day if you needed it? It sounds like this guy isn’t really bringing anything to the table. You “got him in the habit of paying his phone bill”? What does that mean? He should be paying his own bills. He needs to know how much things cost. Will you have to “get him in the habit” of paying rent/mortgage, too? My parents had me paying the bills when I was 15 years old, so I’d know how. He needs to grow up and be a responsible adult or he’s not going to be good husband material for anybody. If you had kids with him, you wouldn’t have a husband and kids, you’d have just…kids.

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B. April 13, 2015, 9:38 am

      By the way, I’ll bet mom likes having you around, too, if you’re doing all the washing. I’ll bet she’s “elated”.

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    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover April 13, 2015, 12:52 pm

      I think there *is* something wrong with “being a working woman and a housewife”, as she puts it. Anyone who does that is going to automatically shift the balance of work. The woman is going to be working a hell of a lot harder in that scenario. There needs to be balance in a couple. If both are working, both need to do the housework too. It’s messed up to be working AND babying your husband by laying out his clothes and bringing him drinks at the end of the day.

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  • kmtthat

    kmentothat April 13, 2015, 9:48 am

    You can’t force someone to mature, and more importantly, you shouldn’t have to.
    .
    That being said, it’s REALLY hard to be with someone who isn’t on the same page as you for the big things (and honey, not wanting to be financially independent from your parents is not a bump, it’s a BIG THING). I’ve been in the position where I wanted to live together and my boyfriend did not (wasn’t sure if he wanted to live with anyone ever, really). I never gave my boyfriend an ultimatum, but I did make it clear what my expectations were and in what timeline, and if they weren’t met it was likely we weren’t a good match and that we’d have to go our separate ways. But not because I was pushing a certain outcome, but because I really do think we each deserve to be with the right people and if we weren’t the right people for each other, that was ok. Then I let it go and gave him time to come to his own conclusions, because nothing is worse that being with someone who feels they were manipulated into being with you.
    .
    Tell him, very clearly, that: you would like to move out with him by X; that moving into together is something you see as the next step towards marriage/another level of intimacy/important to your commitment to each other/or whatever it may be; and that you love him but don’t think it’s fair for either of you to be in a relationship where you don’t agree on something as integral as finances and living situations, so if you can’t come to an agreement by X, that’s ok and you understand, but it will mean X. And if you do decide to live together, talk extensively about how finances, chores, time alone, etc. will be dealt with. Talk, talk, talk , talk.
    .
    Lastly, love is not enough. Having the same values, goals, respect, and communication matter. Work on those things because this guy sounds like a taker, and I can only imagine what having a child with him would be like…I guess be prepared to be one of those women who burns out? It’s fine to be the woman that takes care of her man, but how does he take care of you? Relationships go both ways. Things like this make me so sad: https://thinkprogress.org/even-today-women-still-do-most-of-the-housework-and-childcare-ea8b11e7aee1?gi=eb54edfd0b38. Just please…never ever ever ever do a man’s laundry if you aren’t even living together. He’s an adult. He can do his own laundry. Being a “super girlfriend” will probably not make him love you more, but likely respect you less. And you say you have ” nagged, pleaded, and whined” to get your way here, which really should not be part of a healthy, adult relationship. I agree with others: move out on your own, with roommates if need be. Living alone and being independent of anyone before you go from your parent’s house to your (maybe?) future husband’s house is so important. Be the type of person you are asking him to be. Stop sleeping over at him mom’s house. Stop enabling him. And for god’s sake, STOP DOING HIS LAUNDRY.
    .
    Also suuuuper side bar, but I bought this necklace and want everyone to own it too. It’s seriously something I feel like I never want to take off: https://thinkprogress.org/even-today-women-still-do-most-of-the-housework-and-childcare-ea8b11e7aee1?gi=eb54edfd0b38. Just thought I’d share!

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  • avatar

    Marcie April 13, 2015, 9:50 am

    Everyone is right that you and his mom have made things very easy for him. Why would he want to move out? You give him everything that he would have if he moved out of his mom’s house and in with you.

    Completely move out of his mom’s house. Stop washing his clothes, stop bringing him a drink after a long day. Don’t be there when he gets home. Stop doing all the things you’re doing at his mom’s house. Then he may see an advantage of moving out of his mom’s house and in with you.

    In the meantime, move into your own place if you can. If not, keep living with your mom and saving up money for a place. I can’t tell you how rewarding it was when I bought my own place while all of my friends were getting married. Even though I love my life with my husband, I still miss my little townhouse and living by myself sometimes.

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  • mrmidtwenties

    mrmidtwenties April 13, 2015, 9:51 am

    Man, this guy has the life. Go to work, then come home to a cold drink and his mom and his girlfriend waiting on him hand and foot and almost zero financial obligations. Now LW, he probably does want to move in with you, but he’s waiting for his parents to save up for a down payment for him, and his mother isn’t finished training you on all the household duties that will be required of you. You’ve mastered laundry and drinks, but what about cooking? cleaning? cutting his finger nails?

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom April 13, 2015, 10:25 am

    “Bottom line: I have nagged, pleaded, whined, and done everything I could to show him that I am ready to move on with our lives. His parents put their house up for sale, which gave me hope (and his parents hope too!) that he would finally get that it’s time to move on. He instead makes excuses on everything and bounces back, like crazy, from renting to buying. He also states that maybe we should move with his parents until we figure things out. No. That’s where I draw the line.”
    .
    This is almost all about what you want. The only thing you mention about what he wants is that he would rather move with his parents until you figure things out about whether to rent or buy. It doesn’t sound like you’ve had an adult conversation where the two of you discuss what each of you want. You can’t decide for him what he wants, he gets to do that for himself. You have to talk to him about his wants, his goals, his dreams and when he wants them. You have to be able to tell him the same for yourself and you have to see if the two of you match. You have to be able to talk about finances, more than just you telling him he has to pay his mom more. You have to talk about what his financial priorities are, what does he consider essential and what is nonessential. You have to talk about saving money, do you each save money, why, what are the savings for? You need to talk about values and priorities. You have a vision of your life together without much input from him about his own vision. Does he want a life with you? Have you asked? What about your relationship makes him hesitant? If I had someone nagging me and telling me how to spend my money and acting like my boss/parent rather than my equal partner I wouldn’t want to live with them either. You treat him like he isn’t capable of being a partner. If that is true and he isn’t capable of being a partner, without you determining what he should do and how he should do it, you need to find someone more mature. You need to step back and let him be an adult. If he can’t be an adult then you know you should move on. If he can be an adult then you need to treat him like an equal partner, not like a child like you do now. Then see if he wants to be with you.
    .
    Regardless of all the above, you need to become an independent adult in your own right. You currently have no room to complain. Neither of you are independent but he does out earn you. Maybe you should focus on how to improve your skills so that you can earn enough money to be independent without needing a boyfriend. Then you can enter a relationship as an equal. Right now he has the means to be independent but not the desire. You have the desire to be independent but not the means. Things would look a lot different if you had a greater income.
    .
    I understand that you love him but love doesn’t eliminate huge hurdles. Love doesn’t fix incompatibility. Love doesn’t mean you have the same goals or wants or needs. Love doesn’t turn someone into an independent adult.

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  • avatar

    tbrucemom April 13, 2015, 10:25 am

    Was anyone else waiting for the last paragraph to include something about being pregnant, lol?

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    • Raccoon eyes

      Raccoon eyes April 13, 2015, 12:41 pm

      Hahq, yeah! “Oh, and I just fell pregnant,” or whatever keeps coming up as almost an afterthought in these letters recently. 😉

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph April 13, 2015, 10:32 am

    I actually think moving from his parents house to a place with you would be the worst thing for everyone. I am married now, but am SO grateful for the years I spent living alone… and even more for the years my husband spent living alone. He knows how to do laundry, use a vacuum cleaner, cook his own food… really basic stuff that I bet your boyfriend has no idea how to do.

    You like taking care of him, which is fine… but now imagine this: you are married/living together and by some freak accident you suddenly have 2 broken legs. You cannot stand, walk, do anything without help. Can this guy hold down the fort? Are you eating takeout every night because he can’t cook? Is his mom coming over to do the laundry because he can’t? It’s nice to have a man who can do basic chores now and then.

    Get your own apartment (close to work, so you don’t have extra excuses to stay with him). Stop nagging him, and stop pressuring to move the relationship forward. Once his parents sell their house, I recommend you tell him to get his own apartment for a year before you will move in with him. He needs to learn to take care of himself… and then he’ll respect you and his mom more.

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    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover April 13, 2015, 1:05 pm

      And what about when you have kids? Jesus. If you have to do everything, you’re going to have a pretty hard time of it, that’s for sure.

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    • avatar

      Ange April 13, 2015, 8:01 pm

      Oh man I’m having flashbacks to the mother of an ex of mine telling me that since I wouldn’t do his laundry for him he’d have to bring it home. She did NOT appreciate me saying ‘or he could learn to do it himself?”

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  • avatar

    Marcie April 13, 2015, 10:34 am

    Maybe the only thing they’re doing right?

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    • avatar

      Marcie April 13, 2015, 5:03 pm

      This was supposed to be a reply to the not being pregnant comments.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom April 13, 2015, 10:39 am

    Years ago I saw part of a talk show where they were interviewing women who wanted to marry wealthy men. Woman after woman was talking about how she would care for the man. She would cook for him and clean his house and make everything perfect for him. One of the men said that he could hire a maid to do all of that, what he was looking for was a partner. He wanted someone to share his goals with, someone to hope and dream with, someone to share his worries with and his difficulties. This LW reminds me of these women. She wants him to provide the money and in return she wants to wash his clothes, cook and make him drinks. She doesn’t see him as a partner. She panders to him in the hope that he will see her as indispensable to his life. To be fair, she fell in love with him without knowing he had more income than her but it comes down to the same thing.

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    • Ika

      Ika April 13, 2015, 10:47 am

      The whole letter had a very 50s housewife vibe t me. It reminded me of a coworker I had at one point, she asked me what I wore around the house. When I sad sweats she freaked out,that men need ther women to keep some mystery in the relationship, that I should dress up more, wear makeup, and take him a drink when he got home. I nearly died laughing haha.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom April 13, 2015, 12:08 pm

        If you dressed up more and always met him with a drink would that be mysterious or just another routine?

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      • Ika

        Ika April 13, 2015, 12:12 pm

        good point!

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    • avatar

      booknerd April 13, 2015, 11:19 am

      This times a million!

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy April 13, 2015, 10:47 am

    From the LW:

    “Your reply was spot on, as it usually is! I have only been able to read a couple of comments from your readers, but I must say I am very grateful for their insight as well. It’s funny how sometimes you are very one sided on a situation! This was exactly the reason I wrote and I have always been more than open to constructive criticism 🙂 I will continue to read everyone’s comments and will definitely update you in a few months! Looks like Allen isn’t the only one who needs to grow up!”

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph April 13, 2015, 12:15 pm

      Hooray, a rational letter writer!

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    • avatar

      ktfran April 13, 2015, 12:53 pm

      Wow. That is awesome that the LW sent that.

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  • Stonegypsy

    Stonegypsy April 13, 2015, 11:03 am

    I can see how this would be frustrating, LW. Here you’ve been spending sooo much time trying to prove to your boyfriend what a good housewife you’ll be so that he’ll move in with you, and he’s just not coming around! I have a couple thoughts
    1) everyone should live by themselves for *at least* a year before moving in with a partner. Be your own housewife for awhile, and stop playing the role for your boyfriend.
    2) You shouldn’t have to prove that you can take care of someone’s every need and want before they move in with you. Or after they move in with you. Or ever. Dude needs to learn how to take care of himself, or this will never ever be an equal partnership. What happens if you get married and you get sick and can’t do anything for a couple weeks? Does he move back in with his mother until you’re back on your feet and able to lay out his clothes again?
    3) You can’t make him want what you want. Get your own place, take care of your own needs, set a timeline in your own head for how long you’re willing to wait for a bigger commitment from him, and stick to it. If he’s not ready, then move on.
    4) You can’t love someone from the moment you lay eyes on them. You can sense chemistry, you can lust, you can be attracted. It seems like you have a really naive, romance-movie view of love. It’s important to remember that love does not overcome all problems in real life. It’s not enough. You have to want the same things, be able to communicate effectively, and also be your own individual people apart from the relationship. Codependency does not make for solid relationships.

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    • avatar

      booknerd April 13, 2015, 11:19 am

      Yes!

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom April 13, 2015, 2:52 pm

      She’s trying to prove that she’s a good housewife but we have no idea whether her boyfriend is looking for or interested in a housewife partner. We have no idea what his relationship wants are other than he doesn’t currently want to live with the LW.

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      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy April 13, 2015, 3:29 pm

        Oh I totally agree. But the vibe I got from the letter is “I’m taking care of him the same way his mom does, why doesn’t he want to live with me?”

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet April 13, 2015, 11:51 am

    When I was in my early-twenties I hung out with a lot of 25/26 year old guys that were a part of my social group. They were smart, attractive men with Real World jobs, and yet none of them lived alone without roommates. 5 or 6 years later, most of them are now married and settled down, but they just weren’t ready back then. Allen sounds like a pretty typical 25 year old guy to me, except that he lives with his parents instead of a few roommates. And why would he not? He has a great setup right now. My guess is that he’s just not ready to give it up.
    .
    I hope LW takes Wendy’s advice and starts looking for a place on her own if she’s truly ready to move out. She can’t force her boyfriend to catch up to her, and she shouldn’t stall her own life waiting around for him. She’s still young and shouldn’t be in a huge rush to get married, but she should definitely start having serious talks with her boyfriend about their future. Where does he see himself in 5 years? What about 2 years? They may find out that they have the same goals for their future together, but that it’s simply on a different timeline. Or maybe they’ll realize the timing just isn’t right altogether and that they need to move on. Regardless, if the LW has her own place and is moving forward in her personal life, I think it will be easier for her to come to an honest conclusion about the fate of her relationship.

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  • avatar

    L April 13, 2015, 1:13 pm

    Long time lurker – had to comment on the “but I love taking care of him” comment. A good friend of mine divorced several years ago when she realized that if they were to ever have a baby she would be responsible for everything. And she told me it was her fault. She realized she had set a pattern into motion – she would clean his plate from the table and years later was frustrated that he sat while she cleaned up. There were other reasons for the divorce – it wasn’t just about dishes but the nugget was that she had, to a degree, infantalized him, and was tired of being mother and wife to a grown man.

    If you want a partner – follow Wendy’s advice and walk an adult path and hope that he takes your lead and walks with you.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph April 13, 2015, 4:57 pm

      Semi-related tangent…
      When I was a kid, I went through a phase where I was super concerned with gender equality in my immediate surroundings (I mean I still am, but I’ve also realized that the issue is bigger than this and probably would choose not to pick this particular battle now that I’m older and wiser). So we’re at family holiday dinner at my grandparents house and dinner is over and my grandmother and mother and aunt get up to start cleaning. My siblings and cousins and I (2 boys and 3 girls) are still sitting at the kids table talking, and my grandfather is like “Girls, why don’t you go see if grandma needs help in the kitchen.”
      At about 11 years old, I told my grandfather that if she needed help, he should go help her and why should only the girls have to help while my brother and male cousin and him all sat at the table relaxing? It did not go over well.
      Anyways, yeah, one of my longtime pet peeves is the idea that the women are the ones who should clean up after dinner (a dinner that they also probably made) while the men sit and chat and drink scotch or something.
      Fast forward 15 years to the first time my husband and I hosted a holiday: he washed dishes while I dried. Because I picked a winner. Unlike this LW’s boyfriend.

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      • avatar

        MsMisery April 14, 2015, 11:33 am

        Sounds like every family holiday I’ve ever been to as well. I think *we’re* the generation that’s going to have to change that.

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  • Diablo

    Diablo April 13, 2015, 2:44 pm

    This is why we have the term “manchild.”

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark April 13, 2015, 2:48 pm

    Glad to hear from another LW who is no way needy, clingy, or desperate.

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  • avatar

    McLovin April 13, 2015, 5:07 pm

    Pisses me off that I have to get my own beer out of the refrigerator and use the bottle opener for myself when I get home at night.

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    • Classic

      Classic April 13, 2015, 6:04 pm

      Me too.

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  • avatar

    sarolabelle April 13, 2015, 8:17 pm

    It is so liberating to live by yourself. You can decorate the way you want, collect some awesome furniture and accent pieces. Get a dog or a cat and nothing and nobody has any say so about it except you.

    I dated a guy like this at the same age. And we eventually broke up because he pretty much said the same thing your boyfriend said. Only his was worse. He had no job and he pretty much said “my parents are so rich I don’t have to worry for the rest of my life” and I was like “so you are just going to be a bum?” and he was like “I’m going to live a good life”….yeah, from then on my #1 criteria for a man was INDEPENDENT. I am now married to a man who does his own laundry and helps me clean the house every night.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph April 14, 2015, 8:30 am

      Hah, so true on living alone and decorating by yourself. I have a REALLY purple dining room to testify to the years I spent in my house alone making whatever decorating choices I pleased. I told my husband when we move, we can paint the next dining room blue as payment for the years he’s had to live in a purple house.

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  • avatar

    Savvygirl011 May 29, 2017, 12:30 pm

    I can understand how the girl can nag at him and still live at home herself. Their situation is like mine. I want to move out, but my man doesn’t. I have a full-time job this summee that would allow me to pay for it all, but come fall I have to cut down to part time to focus on college. Which is free for me, so no worries there. So I can only pay half rent and the only utility payment and buy groceries. My man has a full time job making enough to pay half rent and his truck payment and still save 400-500 dollars a month. He says he isn’t ready, but I have a rough home life and am more than ready. He is 22 and I am 18, so I am confused as to why I am more of an adult than he is right now.

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