Originally published September 28, 2006:
I've been dating a wonderful guy for four months. He's 41, I'm 37. We enjoy each other's company; we laugh a lot and he fucks like a champ—a keeper. The issues I have with him are manageable, but I don't know how to broach these subjects: He has a dental bridge that looks like it's in serious need of a change. He also uses his floor as his closet and his apartment isn't tidy. I'm not sure if I'm being judgmental and superficial. I think he'd be even finer than he is if he fixed his teeth and cleaned his house. How do I bring this up without offending him? Should I bring it up? Thanks.
Just That Into Him
My response after the jump...
Go ahead and bring up the bridge right away, JTIH, as he's probably not all that sensitive about it. It's more likely that he, like so many straight men, is oblivious to his personal appearance. And as to the condition of his apartment—the mess, the clothes all over the floor—have you considered picking up after him? Not now, of course, at four months. You're still just dating. But if this gets serious and you move in with him, JTIH, you can solve his cleanliness issues by, you know, cleaning for him.
Shhh. Do you hear that rumbling sound? That's a million angry women and 25 feminist men pounding out angry e-mails to me. "It was extraordinarily sexist of you to suggest that this woman clean up after this man," tap tap tap, blah blah blah. "I had to check the cover of the paper to make sure I wasn't reading Christianity Today!"
I may be extraordinarily sexist, but suggesting that one half of a couple take the lead on housekeeping isn't conclusive proof. This is because my comments aren't motivated by misogyny, but by my own personal experience in long-term relationships—and none of my LTRs have involved any "gyny" for me to "miso" on. Take, for example, my current LTR. My boyfriend does my laundry, shops for me, and cooks for me. I don't expect him to do these things for me because he's a woman. He's not a woman—he's got an absolutely ginormous cock. He does these things because he's good at them, while I'm bad at them—and he actually seems to like taking care of me. I like taking care of him, too: I move things, kill things, and pay for things.
So if my ginormous-cock-having boyfriend can pick up after me, JTIH, I wonder why lovely-vagina-having you can't pick up after your guy? I mean, think about it: If things work out and you fall in love and you move in and get married or whatever, what are you signing up for? The both of you? To take care of each other, right? Well, he clearly needs someone to take care of making dentist appointments and straightening up. What do you need? How will he—how does he—take care of you? Does he cook? Does he fix your car? Does he do your taxes? Does he knit you sweaters? If there's some semblance of balance, if there's cheerful reciprocity, then why not do his damn laundry?
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