New readers, welcome to Dear Wendy, a relationship advice blog. Read some of the most popular Dear Wendy posts here. If you don’t find the info you need in this column, please visit the Dear Wendy archives or the forums (you can even start your own thread), do a search in the search bar, or submit a question for advice at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.
Since I pointed out to him that his nudeness was out of the ordinary, he has quizzed his friends about whether they wore clothes at home and was astounded to find that all of them did. He finally asked his family whether they felt uncomfortable seeing him nude and they admitted that “they wished he would wear more clothes.” I told him that I agreed with them. I’m not prudish. I love seeing my boyfriend naked, but it’s really unsexy knowing that he’s naked in front of his family all the time. It makes him seem like a little boy who doesn’t recognize his sexual maturity.
I know I would never prance around nude or even in my underwear in front of my dad. But more than that, I feel bad for his elderly mom and his adult sister who have to deal with seeing him in his see-through boxers all the time. I told him that I would respect my family’s wishes if I were making them uncomfortable. He got mad at me for expressing all of this and told me that I made him seem like a pervert who was forcing himself on his family.
Am I in the wrong? Am I body policing him? — Not a Prude, But
You’re not in the wrong for having an opinion, no. You’re not even in the wrong for expressing your opinion. Where you *are* wrong, though, is in not taking ownership of your opinion and not assertively expressing your feelings as your own. Instead of saying that YOU are uncomfortable with your boyfriend parading around naked or semi-naked in his family home, in front of his parents and his sister, you are projecting your discomfort onto them.
You are telling him that his behavior is “odd” and not what other people do. That may very well be the truth, but that’s not the real issue here, is it? The real issue here is not what his friends or what other people may or may not do; after all, I imagine if he polled his friends and they all said that they, too, walk around their family homes naked, you’d still be uncomfortable with your boyfriend doing it. And THAT is the real issue here – YOUR discomfort and the reasons for your discomfort.
One of the best things you can do for yourself as a 22-year-old young woman is learn how to assertively express yourself, to take ownership of your feelings and to express them confidently not just when you know other people share your thoughts and feelings but even when they don’t. YOU don’t like your boyfriend parading around his family home naked because it makes you see him as sexually immature and childish. That’s valid, and you need to tell him this. It is a sexual turn-off. It makes you think of your boyfriend as immature. And you should tell him this.
It isn’t “body policing” if you are sharing your feelings as opposed to forcing your feelings on him. You wouldn’t be telling him he HAS to wear clothes at home or for his Zoom classes; you would be sharing how it makes you feel when he doesn’t. The choice is his to change his behavior or not, based on knowing how you feel about said behavior. And the choice is yours as to whether to continue dating someone who strikes you as immature if he disregards your feelings and the feelings of the people he lives with and continues running around his family home in the nude.
He said that he’s not ready for us to move in together right now. I told him that that’s completely fine. I’m in no rush, but when I asked if he eventually wants to move in together, he said he doesn’t know. He says he doesn’t know if we have a future together. That broke my heart. He says he wants to move in with his friends first.
I know we are young, so should I not be worrying about these questions yet? I’m not rushing anything between us — I just wanted to know if we had a future. He tells me not to worry about the future and just live in the present. We have always had an amazing relationship and we were so happy together until all this all came up. And now I’ve been skeptical. He has always put his friends before me, and it’s hurting our relationship. I’m contemplating breaking up with him. Should I? — Not Trying to Rush Anything
It sounds like you’re lacking a lot of clarity about your relationship. You say you’ve “always talked about moving in together,” and then say that when you first brought it up,he thought it was a good idea but then a week later said that he doesn’t think it’s a good idea. So… you discussed it for about a week? That’s not “always talking about moving in together.”
You also say you’ve always had “an amazing relationship” and were “so happy together” until all this came up, but then immediately say he always puts his friends before you. Is it really an amazing relationship if your boyfriend always puts his friends before you? And why would you want to move in with someone who never prioritizes you?
It really sounds to me like you ARE rushing the moving in together and talks about the future, however much you protest that you aren’t, because you want some clarity about where you stand with your boyfriend. You hope that if he agrees to move in with you, then that means you ARE important to him. His actions are telling you that his friends are more important. His words are telling you that his friends are more important.
If this isn’t satisfactory for you, break up with him and move on. But don’t keep pushing talks about a future together in hopes of fixing or getting clarity on the present. Things are already pretty clear: he’s perfectly happy with how things are between you right now and has zero interest in taking steps toward more commitment. If you’re not happy with where things are between you, move on already. It really is that simple.