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I'm just not sure

(32 Posts)
orangeandgreen Sun 27-Oct-13 11:12:38

Can you help me unpick this, please? I'd like to know whether I am nitpicking or he is not really the man for me.
I'm a regular, NC.
The good news is this is not terrible in the way some posts are, this is fairly low key but it's bugging me.

My BF is a decent man, we've been together a year, no red flags although there are a few small to medium sized things that make me question things a bit.

He wanted us to move in together in the summer but I put him off for the time being.
Now he wants us to look for houses to rent again.

I love him, I like him, I'm happy in his company.
But every time I think about moving in with him I want to run for the hills.

I'm in my 40s, my DCs have grown up so I'm not a teenager wondering about this.
I left my stbxh a couple of years ago, Bf was my first boyfriend afterwards. I think my marriage split has made me doubt my judgement of men.
Bf is a good man, he works hard, he has a good job, he is kind to me.

But we don't laugh much together, I'm quite humorous but he often doesn't get the joke, it's not just me either. He doesn't find much to laugh at generally.
He works away a lot, which is fine but last Wednesday he was flying out late at night so he had the day off, he spent his day off at my house while I was at work and he didn't do anything, not even wash up after himself. So I came home to a mess after he'd had the day off.

It's only minor but am I being flaky to have concerns about my future life with someone who doesn't automatically do a little bit of housework without being asked and who doesn't laugh much at all?

There are other small things too.

Greendove Sun 27-Oct-13 11:17:38

I think your instinct is telling you something.

fatfingers Sun 27-Oct-13 11:19:28

Don't doubt yourself. These are not little things if you have to live with them.

orangeandgreen Sun 27-Oct-13 11:27:49

That's what I'm thinking, they will become big things.

There again he is a good man and if you're single in your 40s it seems that good men are hard to find.

I wonder whether I should bite the bullet, employ a cleaner and put up with the lack of laughs?

Pumpkinupthejam Sun 27-Oct-13 11:30:15

Don't doubt yourself. Rather than your judgement being off since your marriage ended, I think your judgement isactually better.

Yoh have successfully identified that there are some characteristics about this person that make him an "ok for now" but not someone you want further commitment with.

Dump your guilt because it's misplaced. You have learned from your experiences and expect better for yourself. Nowt wrong with that, it's maturity smile

I would make the break gently with lots of honest communication, and move on.

I did this about 18 months ago with my first proper partner since divorce - I felt much better once I'd done it and we have remained friends.

I know he wasn't right for me, and I'd rather be on my own than fretting that things weren't quite right.

RandomMess Sun 27-Oct-13 11:31:41

Why don't you just carry on dating?

What sort of things does he enjoy - could you do more of them?

Housework etc. - why don't you discuss expectations of each other if you were together, is he just slipping into it's your house so he doesn't have to do stuff, or does he see it as the female role...

DottyboutDots Sun 27-Oct-13 11:33:48

Don't do it. And maybe think of finding a new man?

KissesBreakingWave Sun 27-Oct-13 11:43:14

I'd call the not taking care of his own environment a problem, not cleaning up after himself doubly so. Bone idle, entitled, possibly not fully grown up. One of the three, possibly more. Possibly one of those is pinging your instinct?

tribpot Sun 27-Oct-13 11:49:19

I wonder whether I should bite the bullet, employ a cleaner and put up with the lack of laughs?

Not likely to be the title of your autobiography, is it?

If you're happy enough in an arms-length relationship, why change that? It sounds like you have nothing to gain by doing so. If he wants more, what specifically does he mean? As the evidence points to wanting less - less housework to do, anyway.

Why settle? You are probably only half way through your lifespan, so why spend it with someone who is kind of fine but who doesn't enhance your life in a significant way?

PacificDogwood Sun 27-Oct-13 11:53:20

Listen to your intuition - little things that just niggle now are likely to become Big Issues if you lived together.

If I were ever to find myself single, I'd have a bijou flat in a nice area and have gentlemen visitors - that's it grin.

orangeandgreen Sun 27-Oct-13 12:48:29

grin at Pacific

I'm relived you haven't all jumped in to say I'm being unreasonable, I feel a little less neurotic now.

Trouble is, the 'bijou flat in a nice area' is the sort of thing you think you will have but unfortunately the reality when you are middle aged and single is quite different.
Then there's the human capacity for love which is generally in short supply amongst gentlemen callers.

And no, trib although that made me laugh too it's never going to be the titleof my autobiography.
I think you are right about keeping him at arms length.

As for being single, I will think on it. As I say, he's not a bad man at all, it's easy to say dump him and get dating but it's a bloody jungle out there I tell you.

PacificDogwood Sun 27-Oct-13 12:54:47

Ach, I was being flippant, I am sorry - 'tis my daydream when I survey the chaos around me.

But back to you: Don't live without humour and laughter. Don't facilitate his slovenly ways by hiring a cleaner. If you are happy with him otherwise then why not keep 2 separate dwellings and see each other as much or as little as you want? It worked for Helen Bonham-Whatsit and her Tim Burton grin

DottyboutDots Sun 27-Oct-13 12:55:31

It is a jungle and there is something to be said for settling. However, my DM and now really regrets it. She's stuck in a grim town with a husband who doesn't like people and is desperately lonely. She loves the term 'red flags' as she wishes she had seen hers much, much earlier on. She is just trying to make the best of things and is on ADs.

RandomMess Sun 27-Oct-13 13:00:22

I really think the 2 things of lack of laughs and not caring for his environment are very good things to have discussions with him about - what does he enjoy doing, what does he think he'd like to try. Why does he not see the mess etc.

Give him the opportunity to think and then act on it - he may be quite willing to change and grow up a bit, if he doesn't then make your decision. In the meantime absolutely maintain your seperate households.

I'm naturally a messy person who will then blitz the place and then do a thorough clean, dh tidies as he goes along but doesn't clean "properly" - so opposites - we've both had to learn to compromise.

EricLovesAnyFucker Sun 27-Oct-13 13:30:32

Please don't ignore your instincts.

tribpot Sun 27-Oct-13 13:46:09

I think if you enjoy each other's company (although frankly I'm not sure you really do?) why go to the next level? He sounds like a decent guy but he's not out to impress you, is he?

Anniegetyourgun Sun 27-Oct-13 13:47:07

Thing is, him being a good man is only one of the things you need in a partner. It's the basic starting point. You shouldn't even be looking at a man who isn't. So he has that going for him, which is great, BUT.

You don't actually want to live with him, do you? You don't have to want to. You could set him free to find someone else, someone who adores him instead of thinking things like "if you're single in your 40s it seems that good men are hard to find" and "I wonder whether I should bite the bullet, employ a cleaner and put up with the lack of laughs?" Those comments of yours are so... lukewarm. That's before we even get to "every time I think about moving in with him I want to run for the hills", which is not so much lukewarm as very unkeen indeed! Is it fair to string him along if you aren't really into him for what he is as a person, rather than a better option than living alone?

ALittleStranger Sun 27-Oct-13 13:53:00

Thing is, him being a good man is only one of the things you need in a partner. It's the basic starting point. You shouldn't even be looking at a man who isn't. So he has that going for him, which is great, BUT.

Hell yes this. Really this is your starting point for "would I cross the road to avoid them", not "do I want a life with this man"?

Dahlen Sun 27-Oct-13 13:55:42

Most people, if spending the day at their partner's house while said partner was at work, would at the very least ensure that they had washed up after themselves. I wouldn't have expected him to take it on himself to do your laundry, but washing up after himself should be a given. That's a major red flag on its own in my book.

Housework is one of the most important areas of compatibility in a partner IMO. Forget religion, politics or similar taste in music. You only discuss those things now and again. Housework rears its head on a daily basis. Have a clash on that and it can wreck a relationship.

The lack of laughs really depends on whether he's good company. Not the life and the soul but able to converse with you and not prone to brooding is fine. Dark silences making you feel uncomfortable in your own home, or simply so lacking in conversation that you feel bored out of your head, is quite another.

cjel Sun 27-Oct-13 14:09:44

I couldn't live without laughs. Even discussing bitter split H and I could have a laugh!

YouAreMyRain Sun 27-Oct-13 14:09:49

I think both things are quite important. One of the things that made me realise my marriage was over was when I couldn't remember the last time he had made me laugh.

My new DP and I laugh a lot (early days, I know) but also he has always done my washing up when he's here, even when he hasn't used anything.

If it was you, who's house would you feel comfortable staying at when they weren't there and leaving your dirty dishes for them to clean? I couldn't do it personally. What does that day about him?

StillSeekingSpike Sun 27-Oct-13 14:41:14

Honestly??? never EVER EVER have a relationship with someone who doesn't make you laugh or who can't laugh when things get tough. It is just about the nicest quality someone can have, and makes even the worse of times easier to bear.

ImperialFucker Sun 27-Oct-13 14:51:37

Your instinct is to run for the hills - why then would you move in with him?

About his staying and leaving a mess - you really should tackle him about that. How dare he do that? Can you imagine staying at anyone else's house (particularly when your own is nearby!) and then leaving a complete mess? It would be the quickest way to lose a friend.

laughingeyes2013 Sun 27-Oct-13 15:21:28

Of my relationships, it was the one who made me laugh that I married and had children with.

I was in a relationship similar to the one you're describing. On paper we had many things in common, and I am he sort of person who loves people so of course I loved him. But when he talked of things like getting engaged and moving in together, I felt like I couldn't breath and was cold to the idea.

Humour wise we both laughed at a third party but HE didn't make me laugh. I have often wondered if that was he killing factor.

There's a saying about keeping a girl you can make laugh, for me it was true.

Also the leaving a mess will only get worse, and if it annoys you now, I hate to think how you'll feel in 5 years time.

It's all very well saying get a cleaner, but the messiness and unwillingness to pull his weight with shared tasks can leave an underlying message that makes a partner feel uncomfortable. Having said that, there's a lot of it about, and for some its not a major factor, only you can be the judge of that.

One thing I would say though - never move in with anyone unless you really really want to, or its the first step of entrapment and never healthy.

elliegoulding Sun 27-Oct-13 17:18:32

Not really relevant but I thought STBXH meant 'shoot the bastard ex husband' ....genuinely I did!

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