I’m about to be 31, and I’m at a bit of a crossroads. I’ve been dating someone whom I love very much for about a year. He’s great, we crack each other up, we spend lots of time together, and everything rocks, except he’s got really different standards of hygiene than me. Like leaves food out for days and spits constantly but won’t wash the sink out, and it’s got spit and food, and it’s my own personal nightmare. At my place he’ll abide by some of my preferences; at his place it’s a nasty free-for-all. There’s other cleanliness stuff that is way worse that I don’t want to mention in case he reads this and identifies himself. I want him to move in with me, but if he keeps up his habits, I don’t think I can handle it, I also don’t know if he wants to move in with me, which is another issue.
I’m feeling a lot of pressure (along with my personal desire) to get married. Pressure from family and friends, of course, but it is something I want. Living together seems like the obvious next step, and this is someone I love, not just a timeline situation. My question is whether or not I’m making excuses. Do I have a weird block against my own happiness? Am I using my fear of living in squalor as a barrier to asking him to move in? If I’m ready for marriage, should I seek out an equally not-gross person, and do they even exist? I feel like this is one of those things where I set a standard that can’t be met. (Sure, I’ve dated great guys that weren’t messy, but they weren’t this person I love; the love is much more encompassing in this relationship.) Whenever I’ve talked to him about his habits, he’ll say he’ll do his best to change, or he’ll tell me to get over it in a playful way and be like you’re bossy. I’m not bossy, I want a partner who is into the same level of cleanliness as me, I want to get married and I don’t want to alienate the person I love. I want to marry this man, I want him to move in with me, and I want him to not be the level of gross he currently lives at. Is this asking too much?
You’re not asking for too much at all, and you are setting yourself up for a miserable home life if you cuff yourself to Pigpen. Your preference for a clean home is in no way a standard that can’t be met. Who told you that? If you’ve been dating for a year and he still shows no interest in living by your standards, then really there’s nothing that can be done. I know what you’re thinking, but you cannot change him. You’re in love, but eventually you will resent him for his sickening way of living and for basically treating you like a maid.
You mentioned something that you wish to keep private, and to that I will say that this guy does not respect you, and he is not supporting your future. If he would risk your livelihood like that while STILL leaving loogies in the sink (for you to clean up), then I just can’t see how this guy is husband material. I’m sure he’s a good boyfriend, but I just don’t get the sense that his guy is interested in creating a life with you. Also, you should not have to beg anyone to abide by the rules of your home.
You should be happy with who you are—a young, unmarried person in love with a slob who is absolutely not husband material. You’re really trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, friend. You mention love so much that it’s a bit disconcerting, and you really need to come back down to Earth for a moment and think practically about what a marriage and household with this person would be like for you. You seem so eager to play house that perhaps you haven’t looked at this commitment from a grounded, realistic perspective, and your loved ones encouraging you down the aisle is not helping. No one seems to have your best interests at heart here, so you need to be that for yourself right now. Love yourself more than a wedding band. You have a bright future, but maybe not with this guy.
Need advice? Email email@example.com or use our anonymous online form at flagpole.com/get-advice.
Like what you just read? Support Flagpole by making a donation today. Every dollar you give helps fund our ongoing mission to provide Athens with quality, independent journalism.