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December 11, 2019

Is My Messy Guy a Fraud?

Hey, Bonita…

Should I pay more attention to my partner's actions? 

I've been living with my boyfriend for four years now. The first three years were good. His actions reflected his words. He picked up after himself, cooked, helped with the housework and was actively involved with me. But for the last 11 months, he hasn't been helping or even picking up behind himself.

Now, I will admit, I'm a bit of a clean freak and very OCD. But I'm the same OCD clean freak I was before. He, however, seems to be dropping the facade and becoming the messy man he actually is. I've talked to him, to no avail. He just goes ahead and does whatever he feels like, and I'm stuck cleaning and straightening.

Here's my main concern: If he acted like a neat person for all those years when he's actually messy, what else is he playing at? Should I pay more attention to what he's up to? Or should I chalk it up to him getting comfortable and showing me his true self?

I think he’s just relaxing and being himself, messy or not. I definitely do not think you should humor your other notion—that he’s no longer lying to you, and therefore he must be lying about other things.

How long ago did you talk to him about this? It’s very difficult for an adult to unlearn a lifelong behavior, so I don’t feel confident about you being able to get him to change unless he truly wants to do better. If it’s been years and he’s just not keeping his agreement to keep common areas clean, then I recommend sequestering his mess to a private room. Does he have a home office or a “man cave” or anything similar? Tell him that he can ruin those rooms to his heart’s desire, but shared spaces stay neat. If he’s leaving his crap around the living room or your bedroom, gather it all up in your arms and drop it in his space. Just drop it. Do not clean up after him, but get his mess out of the shared spaces. If his only private space is his car, put all his junk in there. He’ll get the idea.


I got out of a very serious relationship in August. We were together for three years and engaged for about 10 months of that. My ex wanted to postpone the wedding four days after I bought my wedding dress and two months before our wedding date. It made me extremely angry—too angry to continue with the relationship, so I broke up with him, and I really think that was the right move.

Anyways, I'm writing because, in October, I met somebody new. I really like this guy. We've been spending a lot of time together and sleeping over almost every night. We're in constant contact, either by text message or email or Messenger, every day. I think that most of my friends and family thought I'd be outrageously crushed—which I was—after my engagement fell apart, for longer than this. Everyone seems to be so surprised that I've got a new boyfriend and that I like him as much as I do "already.” I just wonder if they're on to something. Am I moving too fast?

You might be, but it could go either way. I have to say that yes, that is a very fast transition from a long-term relationship to a new one. Ignore that subtle shade coming from your friends and family, and ask yourself how you really feel about this guy. Do you like him for him, or does his presence serve as a balm for your recent heartbreak? I hope you’re daydreaming about how dope he is instead of feeling thankful to not be alone. 

There’s nothing wrong with being single. Do you feel sufficiently healed from your last breakup? This dude is not an object meant to shield you from the reality of singledom, but a living person with feelings and desires who deserves respect. Be sure of your reasons for being with this guy, and continue forward accordingly.

Need advice? Email advice@flagpole.com, use the anonymous form at flagpole.com/getadvice, or find Bonita on Twitter: @flagpolebonita.

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