My 30 year old boyfriend wants help growing up!
Q: I have been dating my boyfriend for about nine months. He's almost 30 and still lives at home. He's completed college and had a good job (construction related so he was recently layed off and is looking for work). The problem I have is he still lives at home and has openly admited that he likes it there because it is easy. Probably because he can do things like buy a PS3, 42" TV and take a week trip to Jamaica right after losing his job! I have broken up with him, for this reason and others such as poor money management, video game addictions, just basic immaturity. He told me that he had never been with anyone as mature as me and that telling him he needed to grow up was a real kick in the teeth, no one had ever told him that before! Now he says he wants to grow up, get out on his own, settle into a stable job and eventually have kids. The problem is, he has never lived on his own and doesnt have the first clue about independent responsibility. He wants me to change him. I don't know if this is a good idea, I've been on my own for eight years (I'm 26 and moved out when I was 18) and have recently had to make some major life changes due to financial issues. He wants my help, but I wonder if this is just another easy way out? He's never treated me badly, I worry because he's said he's surprised he's never cheated on me, but that's one of the reasons he thinks I'm the one. I'm not sure what I should do, all I know is I am not living with someone who doesn't know how to take care of himself. Any ideas???
A: How does this guy want you to “help” him? If he just wants support, and some home decorating advice, I don’t see the harm in being by his side as he strikes out on his own for the first time. I wouldn’t recommend living together, or opening a joint bank account, but if this is a relationship you want to explore then why not try dating again—albeit casually—as he enters this new stage of his life? Who knows—moving out could help him mature in a hurry. Good luck. -- Chauncy
A: He wants to live with you so you can do what his mom does for him now. Tell him to move out and call you in six months. If he is the one, then he'll be around. Then go check out his fridge. -- Sir B
A: No offense here, but your boyfriend telling you he is SURPRISED he has never cheated on you is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard to have come out of a guy's mouth. This dude’s making us all look bad. So the immaturity thing I can see. If he is thinking he can appease you by moving out of his mom’s house and in with you so you can be his mom, he needs a serious reality check. As far as his independence goes, I would recommend he gets his own place and proves to you that he can take care of himself and live like a grown up. Oh, and if he ever runs that line about being surprised he hasn’t cheated on you? Skip the metaphor and actually kick him in the teeth. Please. For me. -- Josh
A: There’s nothing wrong with the guy for needing help learning to adjust to independent life. It’s a big step, made all the worse by the duration of his time spent living at home. You shouldn’t feel as though you’re being a crutch for him; everyone needs a crutch once in a while. Whether you notice a refusal on his part to mature and embrace his independence is then cause for concern. Now I’m not saying this guy is the guy for you (that he commends himself for not cheating on you is a bit of a red flag) but at least cite solid reasons why you think the two of you should go your separate ways. Practically speaking, I wouldn’t move in with him just yet. Tell him to get his own place but assure him that you’ll be there to help him make the adjustment. If, after some time has passed, you find him to be far too dependent on you for your liking, then tell him so and leave it at that. -- Sergio