Ask Amy: I’m Moving in With My Incredibly Messy Partner: The Denver Post

Dear Amy, I’m moving in with my boyfriend in a few months. He’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a partner, and I’m excited to move into the little one bedroom apartment he owns.

I’ve spent most nights there since we started dating a year ago.

I just have one concern… it’s incredibly messy.

We’re talking piles of laundry everywhere, overflowing trash, and months-old food in the fridge.

I am the complete opposite. I like everything clean and tidy. I know I will need the space much, much cleaner to live in comfortably.

What is the correct way to approach this? And when is the right time to do it?

I am especially aware of the fact that I am moving into his place. Right now, when I spend the nights, I’m technically still his guest.

I already do some cleaning, but I feel like I can’t be too critical at this point with the piles of clothes and food scraps.

I tried to lift it gently. I don’t want them to get defensive, especially at home, but things definitely need to change.

– Clean up, please!

Dear cleaning, please!: The best time to address these living conditions would have been when the two of you were hot on the trot and on your way to have sex on your bachelor pad for the first time.

Here is the script:

EL: He opens the door to his apartment.

YOU: “No. No, no, no.”

What happens?”

YOU: “I don’t feel comfortable here.”

Considering that didn’t happen, some honesty on your part would have been well-spoken until the fifth time you decided to have sex in his apartment.

Instead, you’ve chosen to continue spending nights there without ever honestly expressing how unacceptable it is (to you), so he has every reason to believe that you’re basically cool with his lifestyle.

And now, you’ve said yes to moving. An additional confirmation for him that you are probably on the same page.

You should not live together until you are clear: whose house will it be? If you cohabit, you should not continue to believe that you are a “guest”. And if you’ve been a guest all this time, take a good look around: this is how he welcomes guests into his home.

If things “definitely need to change,” you need to establish that thoroughly before you commit to moving there.

This should not be done as an ultimatum, but as you say a simple truth: “I’m not ready to live like you. It’s too messy and dirty for me.”

He (not you) might offer suggestions on how to fix it (move in, hire a cleaner, or even compensate you for the cleaning), but until you stop dancing and address this problem head-on—the consequences of your reluctance. being honest will be for you.

Dear Amy, My husband and I were invited to a friend’s house for a takeout dinner.

I asked what she should bring and she ordered a bottle of wine and dessert.

When we arrived with dessert and two bottles of wine, he informed me that he wanted us to pay for our portion of the takeout.

We’ve had them before for takeout and never expected them to pay.

In the past, when we had dinner at one of our houses, the person making the invitation would provide the main course, so I was surprised and didn’t know what to say.

We paid them for the food, but I am so disgusted that they treat us like this.

When he invited us to dinner, he should have told me that he wanted us to pay and that we could have declined the invitation.

I don’t know how to handle this.

– Dined and punctuated

Dear Dined: It seems as if your friends owe you their share of the wine and dessert you provided.

You could mention it to your friend, but mostly you should use it as a warning for the next time they host. I don’t see this as “disgusting” behavior, although it is telling.

Dear Amy, Kudos from this reader for your exemplary response to “J in NY,” the uncle who seemed too focused on his little nephew’s “refusal” to hug him.

Children should be able to decide for themselves whether they want to be subjected to any type of physical contact.


Dear Grateful: A large majority of readers supported me. Thanks.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

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