The decision to move in with someone is always a risky business as no matter how well you think you know them, you never really know what they’re like at home until you actually start living with them. Would they keep things so neat that you could potentially eat off the floor or are they one of those people who might turn the premises into a biohazard? Will you be left handling all the chores yourself and will it be an absolute joy to even do the dishes with them? Of course, the stakes get much higher when it’s a romantic partner you’re planning to move in with as the answers to these questions could make or break the relationship.
Fortunately for Reddit user napsandhugs, a red flag presented itself before it was too late. In a post shared to the r/AmItheAsshole community, the 20-year-old asked if she was wrong “for refusing to teach [her] boyfriend to do basic household chores.” Elaborating on the uncomfortable position she found herself in, u/napsandhugs shared: “I’m 20F, my boyfriend is 24M. We’ve been dating for a while, and are thinking about moving in together. Right now he still lives at home, I have my own apartment. The idea [is that we] would find a bigger apartment together.”
“Here’s the problem, in a different conversation he dropped: ‘I’d wear a nice shirt out, but I don’t know if my mom has done laundry yet.’ I was surprised and asked him if his mom always did his laundry. That’s how this conversation started,” she shared. “Turns out, his mom does everything. And I do mean everything. He can’t cook anything, doesn’t know how to clean anything, never had to budget his money… I told him I didn’t want to move in with him until he could at least do the basic things. I’m scared of taking on the teacher/mom role in the relationship, and not being able to escape it, if that makes sense.”
As most straight women can vouch for, the concerns raised by the Reddit user in the post are by no means misplaced. The fact that they’ll essentially be taking on the role of their male partner’s caretaker is one that’s conveniently left out in most “let’s move in together” conversations and u/napsandhugs is right to be wary of her boyfriend’s inability to take care of himself despite being a grown man. “I told him that I enjoy cooking, and if he spends weekends here I’d have no problem teaching him then. But that he needs to learn the basics of cleaning somewhere else. And that maybe we should wait a bit before getting an apartment together,” she revealed in the post.
“He doesn’t like that, at all. He’s annoyed that I don’t trust him to learn these things, and that I don’t want to teach him, so I must not care about him that much. I genuinely like him, but I’m pretty busy. I’d rather spend our time together hanging out, than showing him how to vacuum or do laundry. Plus I just don’t enjoy taking on that role,” she explained. “I suggested he ask his mom, he doesn’t want to. He wants to move in together ‘and then we’ll figure it out’… that scares me.” While some Reddit users seemed to share the boyfriend’s stance on the matter, most were of the opinion that u/napsandhugs is right in wanting to wait until her boyfriend shows some initiative to learn. The majority ultimately agreed that she is “not the a**hole” for refusing to teach him how to do basic chores as many warned that this might just be the beginning of a road leading to weaponized incompetence—the phenomenon of shirking responsibilities by pretending not to be able to do basic tasks.