Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Shortcuts: “My Live-In Girlfriend Has Two Kids. Should She Pay More Rent?”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

I just moved into my girlfriend’s house, but she and I are not sure how to split the rent. She has two kids, so the question is, would it be 50/50 or would she pay a lil more because of the children? What do you think? — One-Fourth of the Equation

 
I think you should have discussed this (and all these other topics) before moving in together, especially considering there are two kids involved. And since you didn’t, and you are asking me what the correct answer is, I’m guessing you want to pay less than half the rent and, knowing your girlfriend might not be happy with that set-up, you’re hoping a third party backs you up. I’m not going to be that third party. I think it’s shitty that you didn’t tell her before moving in with her and her two daughters that you didn’t want to be responsible for half the rent. (To be fair, I think it’s shitty of her as a mother to move some guy into her family home without ironing out important details like how to split the bills). Obviously, you need to talk about it ASAP, but don’t be surprised if she’s not thrilled with your idea of fair.

My boyfriend and I were dating for a year and three months, and, after two months of bickering and fighting, we decided to break things off. We never gave each other space and we were still hanging out with each other after the breakup. We have now been broken up for two months already, but every time we hang out we act like a couple and we talk to each other pretty much on daily basis. We don’t talk about the relationship – we just say that, if it’s meant to be, it will happen without us noticing it. We have feelings for each other and we are not interested in anyone else. My question is: Should I do something to make him want to label the relationship again? Or just go with how things are going and let it happen in its time? — Ready for Another Label

 
If you never had space and time away from each other, nothing about a relationship will be different than it was before. If you want the same problems you had (and I’m guessing those included communication issues), sure, ask if he’s ready to label your relationship. If you want to not have the same problems you had before, you need to not see or speak to him for a while (like a couple of months, at least) before actively discussing whether you’re ready to be in a relationship again. “Letting it happen” is a bullshit excuse for being lazy and giving yourself an easy way out when something better comes along.

I am a runner in great shape who has been dating a man for three years. When we have sex, he never looks at me or touches me — it’s always all about him. I have brought this to his attention many times and, although he says he will try to think of me more, he never does. In this last year I have noticed he really stares at very young girls, aged 12 to 16 (we are in our 40s), which makes me worry he may have a problem. I’m not one to get jealous, and I can’t say that’s what I am feeling — it’s more nervousness. I don’t want to marry him if there’s a problem there. I brought it to his attention once, and he said it’s normal for men to look at women. I agreed, but I said it’s not normal for men to look at little girls like he does. Help, I don’t know what to think! — Not a Little Girl

 
You’re right — it’s not normal for a grown man to check out young girls. It’s also not normal for a woman to stay with a man who doesn’t look at her or touch her. I can’t believe marriage with this loser is even anywhere near the realm of possibility for you. The guy is sick, but, even if he weren’t, he doesn’t pay attention to you. That’s reason enough to MOA.

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

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

21 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Laura Hope July 24, 2015, 8:30 am

    LW3 Face it, you’re just not his type. Problem is, if he did pursue his “type”, he’d be in jail.

    Reply Link
  • juliecatharine

    juliecatharine July 24, 2015, 8:34 am

    Dude, 3 years of crap sex AND he checks out young girls? Wendy is right, he’s a loser and a lousy lay. Throw your sneaks on and run! FWIW I had several fights with my older brother about checking out high school girls. It’s gross for a grown man to be looking at teenagers that way. I love my brother (and truly believe he would never ever do anything inappropriate) but it made me think less of him. As an early bloomer, I remember how scary it was to have men looking at me that way when I was a kid. I didn’t understand it then and don’t understand it now. A physically developed child is still a child!

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Cleopatra Jones July 24, 2015, 9:39 am

      Right, and so many of them still look like little kids in the face even though they have more mature bodies.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        ktfran July 24, 2015, 12:37 pm

        Dude, I’m an adult and I don’t even like it when men stare at me.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 July 24, 2015, 8:44 am

    LW1: Why are you moving in with somebody and their kids if you aren’t viewing this as a family situation where you split everything (unless maybe someboy makes a lot more and wants to pay more for nice things)it sounds like you treat your relationship as it is just with her, and the kids have nothing to do with it.

    LW2: You don’t get break ups. I mean seriously you don’t break up with somebody and then spend everyday with them.

    LW3: You’ll have no problem getting a new boyfriend

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Essie July 24, 2015, 8:55 am

    LW3, I hate to be gross, but the reason he’s not looking at you or touching you while you’re having sex is that he’s fantasizing he’s with a preteen girl.

    Run.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Ale July 24, 2015, 9:07 am

    LW3: Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww times a million.
    You should have moved on since the first time you noticed this and told him about it and he dien’t do anything to solve it.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    SpaceySteph July 24, 2015, 9:11 am

    Slightly off topic but I hate that LW3 feels the need to qualify that she expects her boyfriend to touch her during sex because she’s a runner and in great shape. Like if she were fat and ugly it would be ok that her boyfriend didn’t want to touch her?
    No. If you are a person, and you are in a sexual relationship then its reasonable to expect your partner to be interested in you sexually. If they aren’t, then it’s not the right relationship. If that means he doesn’t like you because you’re fat, or have a gap between your two front teeth, or because you’re not a 12 year old…whatever the reason, DTMFA and go find someone who does find you attractive.
    Sexual attraction is not solely the realm of fit, thin women.

    /steps off soap box.

    But really LW3, MOA

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Ale July 24, 2015, 9:33 am

      I thought the same thing. Why the need to clarify that she is in great shape? I think it reflects how three years of crappy sex and no attention from her boyfriend have made her insecure.

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      Anna July 24, 2015, 9:44 am

      Pretty sure it was coming from a place of “what’s wrong with me?” instead of “I’m society’s definition of hot.”

      And lets not delude ourselves about what your average male finds beautiful.

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      Sunshine Brite July 24, 2015, 10:16 am

      Well said! No one deserves that. And he’s a creeper anyway.

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      Anna July 24, 2015, 11:01 am

      Thank you for pointing that out! I noticed that too. Its really creepy that he’s checking out children when he should be appreciating the grown woman he’s with, so definitely MOA and find someone better but keep in mind that anyone decent will care about what’s inside more than what your body looks like (and that should be your priority as well). Looks fade, so when you’re old and don’t have such a “perfect body,” what inner substance will you have left to fall back on?

      Reply Link
    • Raccoon eyes

      Raccoon eyes July 24, 2015, 11:20 am

      I agree, the opening comment rubbed me wrong too. But there is NO excuse for accepting that all men look at women as the explanation for why your bf looks at teen/tween age girls. Just.Gross.
      *
      Also, how does sex with no touching…work?
      *
      Whatever, LW3, please run far far far away from this man. Yesterday.

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      kakattack July 24, 2015, 12:24 pm

      Not to mention, you can be a runner and be in great shape and not have what society thinks is a “perfect” body! Not all runners are thin for crying out loud!

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      ktfran July 24, 2015, 12:39 pm

      As an extremely thin woman, I took this differently. As in maybe he’s with her because she has a body more like a teenage girl. One friend actually said to me once that his friend would probably like me because of that fact. Fucking gross.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        SpaceySteph July 24, 2015, 12:44 pm

        But he doesn’t seem to like her that much… he doesn’t look at her during sex. If he purposely picked a thin woman so she’d look more, uh, his “type,” then he would be more into it.. I think? Idk, the whole thing is skeevy.

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      • avatar

        ktfran July 24, 2015, 12:59 pm

        That’s true too. Who knows. It is skeevy and I would run.
        .
        I really just wanted to offer a different opinion of how one might take her comment because I honestly wasn’t think of her saying I’m hot, he should want me.

        Link
      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom July 24, 2015, 9:24 pm

        I was thinking the same thing. She’s slim and the closest he can get to a girl’s body.

        Link
  • avatar

    jlyfsh July 24, 2015, 10:38 am

    LW1 you definitely made a mistake by not having this decided before you moved in. Is it her house as in she owns it? How are you splitting rent and utilities? Are you giving on lump sum to cover it all? There are so many factors that you both should decide together and it’s going to be awkward now that you’ve already moved in before you decided if you were on the same page. You say she has two kids, but how do you see fitting in to their lives and them in to yours. Do you see the four of you becoming a family unit of your own? It almost seem like they are separate from your relationship from her. Which they are not. Did she have a roommate before you and how did they work things out? I think there are so many details left out and like Wendy said it seems like you just want someone to say absolutely you should pay less.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    dinoceros July 24, 2015, 10:46 am

    LW1: Presumably, when you move in with someone, you’re both expressing a desire to have a future together. Generally, having a future with someone who has kids means becoming a family. In families, the adults share the cost of the children. This isn’t like moving in with a roommate and saying that they have the bigger room and thus should pay more. If you don’t want to be a family, then you shouldn’t have moved in with someone who has two kids. Especially in that situation, a person should not move in with a parent and children unless they see that in their future.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    j.walker July 25, 2015, 6:24 pm

    LW3 violated the cardinal rule of writing into DW: Never say that you’re attractive or in good shape.

    Reply Link

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