Dear Prudie: Help! My Boyfriend Refuses to Do Any Housework.
When your boyfriend won’t help do housework, you dump him.
But let’s see what Prudie has to say.
By DANIEL MALLORY ORTBERG
Q. The second shift in 2019? When I’m 23? My boyfriend and I live together and we’re incredibly happy.
We’re in our early 20s and live in New York with two full-time jobs and side hustles. We’re both equally ambitious and serious about our future, both professionally and as a couple.
I typically beat him home from work, and while I admit I tend to be the neater roommate and more inclined in the kitchen, we have fallen in the habit of me taking over the cleaning and cooking.
My boyfriend vocalizes that he’s appreciative of everything I do but groans and drags his feet when I ask him to help out too.
We’ve had the conversation multiple times, both light-heartedly and seriously. It does take a toll on me.
I enjoy both activities of cooking and cleaning (being a neat freak and vegan home chef will do that to you), but I can’t help but think this might be a red flag down the road. If I’m 23 and already dutifully showing up for the second shift as we build our life together, what will happen when we’re 43 (hopefully with kids) and still in this pattern?
A: It’s a red flag now! I think given current trajectories, you can expect that, short of a very serious rearrangement in your boyfriend’s priorities, if you are still with him at 43 and have kids, you will be responsible for just as much cooking and cleaning, plus the majority of the child care, and he will be writing in to me asking why you don’t have as much time for him as you used to.
“My boyfriend vocalizes that he’s appreciative of everything I do” is the lowest of low bars—he’s got a professional-grade cleaning service and a vegan home chef working for him.
The fact that he says “thank you” while refusing to do the dishes is not a point in his favor.
I understand that you two are happy and in your early 20s, but I think the way someone treats division of labor and chores in the home is such an important indicator of their character.