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My boyfriend’s habits are making me question our relationship

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  • #1103219 Reply


    Before I start, I want to say my boyfriend is lovely, giving and caring. But he can be an absolute slob. And it has been picked up on by his adoptive mum too. He’s good at keeping the community rooms tidy, but when it comes to his room, it really makes me question whether his own personal house would look the state his room is. He leaves mountains of clothes to build up and up and up until his adoptive mum asks if hes got any washing. Any ironed clothes are left on his chair and not put into his wardrobe, allowing them to get creased. He leaves it for a LONG time till he finally changes his bedding, even if the clean bedding has been washed, ironed and put in his room ready. Sometimes he waits to change it over before I come around, but then like yesterday, he left it that long that I ended up just doing it. He has mountains of shoes and empty shoe boxes just shoved in the corner of his room. AND FINALLY, what tips me over the edge, he could clean his room (wipe down dirty surfaces and hoover the carpet) probably once a month, if that… I could tell him something needs doing, like he needs to clean his room, and he gets on at me for going on at him about it and give me the silent treatment. Yet is this how he’s going to be when we get a house together?

    We tend to argue more than we did at the start of our so far 3+ year relationship, which I put down to us being out of the honeymoon phase. But he’s starting to show what he really is like. Even though he buys me a lot of things, what he isn’t doing is winning me over with his habits. He would much rather stay indoors and play on his PS5 than go out together, and he would rather spend his money than save up for driving lessons (which he said he would do, but then decides to buy things like a PS5 or computer parts, and has had his car stuck on his biological mums drive way for a few years now…).

    Its all the little things like that, and even when I try to calmly remind him, he says that I’m getting on at him about it. I’m at a loss.

    I have to admit, because all of this is getting to me, and because old sparks from back in the day have popped up to me and told me they regret not going on dates with me etc etc, i’ve been loving this new attention (obviously i havent entertained them, but part of me wish i could have done) part of me is questioning it all… What do you think?

    #1103222 Reply

    However the new attention is making you feel the honourable thing to do is deal with your boyfriend first without that influencing you.

    From what it sounds like he’s been massively coddled and spoiled and if you move in together all the housework and money management will fall to you, not to mention the emotional labour of pushing him to do the basics like his driving lessons.

    I imagine you’re pretty young still, it’s ok to want to experience more of life than sitting inside in front of a PS5 and changing someone else’s sheets. I’m not surprised your eyes have been opened now you have some options but if it were me I’d dump the dud and enjoy being single without worrying about men for a while.

    #1103225 Reply
    Avatar photoCopa

    It sounds like your relationship has run his course and it’s time to break up.

    I will say, if I didn’t live with a partner and they nagged me to clean my space or manage my money differently, that’d rub me the wrong way. Big time. It’s fine for you to take this all in and use these qualities as part of your overall judgment of whether this guys is right for you, but I don’t think it’s your place to tell him what to do, when to clean, what to clean, etc.

    I used to be messy, but I grew out of it. One of my childhood friends was also messy but did not grow out of it. Her bedroom growing up was always a wreck and once we were old enough to drive, her car always had garbage piling up in it. Even as of the last time I visited her, when we were in our late 20s, it wasn’t great. She’s married now, and while I don’t know her husband’s level of tidiness, I assume they’ve figured out how to manage it. I know couples who outsource cleaning so that it’s not a point of contention. I’d not be surprised if they are one.

    #1103226 Reply

    There’s a lot of contempt in your letter. This relationship is dead. I can’t tell if he’s that sloppy or if you’re too picky, but either way it’s over

    #1103230 Reply

    I think it’s ok for someone to ask that the sheets they’re going to be sleeping on or the room they’ll be spending time in be at least hygienic, it’s just courteous to clean up a space before someone enters it. I certainly never invited anyone into a stinkhole of a room, I’d clean it if I thought I’d have guests.

    But I can see why the nagging is happening, if they’ve been talking about the future (they shouldn’t be but it sounds like it’s been happening) it’s a bit more important to analyse cleaning and money managing habits because you’re thinking about merging them and how that would affect you both. As I’ve found over the years it’s 100% of the time a dead end, especially with young men, so I wouldn’t bother.

    #1103239 Reply

    He doesn’t have to do something terrible for you to break up. He can be a good person but not the right person for you.

    I know people who have gotten divorced when they realized that they were shouldering all of the emotional and physical care. They couldn’t stand having another argument because the partner finished the milk and didn’t think about stopping off at a convenience store or market on their way home from work. It wasn’t so much about the milk but about the lack of consideration for the other’s needs. She needed milk for morning coffee – he used the last of the milk, so he should make sure there is more before morning so she can have coffee before work. Or at least tell her so that she can stop on her way home.

    #1103243 Reply

    Six months is the honeymoon phase, not three years.

    I wouldn’t date a slob.

    #1103244 Reply

    It sounds like you two are not compatible long-term. Not if you want to share a home eventually. You have different standards of cleanliness, different ways of managing money, and different ideas of how to spend your free time. These are really important in a relationship and being incompatible on even one is hard.

    I spent a long time married to someone who was a total slob, who didn’t handle money well, and had different ideas about what’s fun. I stayed far too long because there were kids involved, but I’m SOOOOOOOO much happier now that I’m out of it.

    You can’t change him, no matter how much you nag. You’ll just end up frustrated and he will resent you. If you clean up for him, he’ll come to expect it and then you’ll be the resentful one. Resentment destroys relationships. I’d advise you to end it and look for someone whose lifestyle is more compatible than yours. Trust me, it’s worth it!

    #1103245 Reply
    Avatar photoPhoebe

    If he wanted to change these habits he would. He’s aware. He doesn’t care. Now you’re another nagging mother (or not, because obviously, she hasn’t insisted he keep his room clean) and that’s never a good dynamic.

    I think Leslie nailed it above when she said he doesn’t have to do something terrible for you to break up. In fact, I think you’d be doing him a kindness — he may be a lovely, giving, and caring person as you’ve said, but it doesn’t seem as if he’s the right person for you, nor you for him.

    Find someone who cares about what’s important to you.

    #1103278 Reply

    Wait. Ironing sheets? In this day and age? Wow.

    By the way, either deal with the mess yourself or bail. Nagging rarely works and never engenders good feelings.

    #1103283 Reply

    I wouldn’t bother because, as I’ve discovered over the years, it’s always a dead end, especially with young males.

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