I’ve been dating a young man for a little over two years, living with him since August of 2010. We didn’t much discuss the moving-in — it sort of happened because his lease was up. Right now, I am finishing up my last three law school exams EVER. Let me preface the rest of this by saying that my brain does terrible things during finals, such as convincing me I had AIDS (bought a home test, negative) and that I was pregnant (twice, neither time was I actually pregnant.)
That said, I think that this is not the guy for me. I am 28, highly educated and come from a close – if screwed up – family. He too, is 28, but barely graduated high school, and is a line cook who drinks nearly every night and smokes pot regularly. I enjoy a drink, even a bender now and then but do not smoke pot — in fact, I hate pot (a personal preference). I have gotten him to not smoke it in the house, but it irritates me when he comes home (usually at midnight or one due to his job, although it was worse when he was a bartender and was coming in at 3-4-5 am) stoned out of his gourd and drunk. I had to get up at 6 for an externship all semester, and four hours of sleep doesn’t really cut it when you have to be on top of your game and utterly charming in hopes of scoring a job.
He doesn’t pay rent, cable (which he insisted that we get, with the HD package) or any other bills. He did one time, when I was in my home state on vacation and forgot my checkbook and had no way to get in touch with my landlords. He does not ever do dishes, although he does take out the trash now. I once let the dishes pile up for a month, to see what he would do, and he would do one dish — the dish he was using, and then complain to me about how it would be nice to have clean dishes. He does laundry, but usually just his unless mine’s mixed in. He will not get the mail, even if I ask him to. My mail actually got stopped once because of this.
My boyfriend hates my mother (the feeling is mutual), and my friends up here (I’m not from here, so he hasn’t met my really good friends that I’ve known forever) think he has a terrible attitude, and he doesn’t like them either because they tend to be law students. I can’t stand his friends, who, while I am sure they are decent people, do things like smoke pot around their children, get people pregnant and do not have cars or health insurance. I don’t hang out with his friends and he doesn’t hang out with my friends. I get to see them while he’s at work; if he’s not he gets pouty if I am not home with him. He hasn’t met my father. I cannot introduce a 28-year-old pothead line cook who graduated high school with a .9 GPA to my Ph.D. neuroscientist father. He would kill me. Or him. Probably him. I’d get a talking-to.
This morning he told me he had had a dream that we got married. I had one of those moments like in the movies, when the camera zooms in on someone’s face because something bad happens. I don’t know what to do. It’s not THAT bad, but I’m definitely not my best self (which, when I am, I am AWESOME) when I’m with him. The thing is, he’s funny, and we do have a good time together. He IS smart, just not ambitious about education. And a damn good cook, when he does it. He’s never hit me. I feel bad about wanting to leave, and I don’t want to hurt him. But I can’t talk to him about this because once, during a fight, he said “You’re just like all the others, you think I’m a loser.” We don’t fight very often – at all really – because I’ve learned to just keep my mouth shut for fear of putting him on the defensive, which is very unpleasant and easy to do. I do love him.
I guess what I’m asking, is “Is this enough to leave?” How do I kick someone out of MY apartment (I’m the one on the lease) when things aren’t really THAT bad? I feel so sick to my stomach I can barely eat. This is not helping me study, which I REALLY need to do. I’m nearly out of money, and with no job forthcoming yet, I may have to move home anyway, and I don’t think I want him to come with me. — Final(s) Freak-out
You wrote six paragraphs — one of the longest, if not the longest, letters I’ve ever published — outlining all the ways your boyfriend disappoints you and doesn’t live up to your expectations. Just about the only good thing you found to say about him is he doesn’t hit you. You’re so ashamed of the guy, you can’t even fathom the idea of introducing him to your brainy dad. And you want to know if that’s enough to dump him?! What else could you possibly be waiting for? You don’t seriously think a guy hitting you is sole justification for kicking him out, do you?
Come on, you’re a smart women. You’ve got your shit together for the most part. Why are you still hanging on to this boyfriend? What are you afraid is going to happen if you let him go? Is it the idea of loneliness that scares you? Hurting someone you’ve grown to care about? I assure you, neither of those things is as bad as what you feel right now, which is soul-sucking dread every time you bear the thought of spending one more day in the company of this guy who so thoroughly and deeply disappoints you.
So, kick him out. And don’t say you can’t kick him out because if you do he’s going to accuse you of thinking he’s a loser. You do think he’s a loser! Why are you so afraid of letting him knowing that? This guy has been taking advantage of you for months and it’s time for you to let the truth set you free! You think he’s a loser if for no other reason than he’s been shamelessly sponging off you since August, you aren’t in love with him, and this relationship has come to the end of its road. Move out. END OF DISCUSSION.
Once you free all that head space you’ve been using actively disliking your boyfriend, just think of all the things you’ll be able to do! Why, you might even find one of those elusive jobs if you really put your mind to it.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.