Advice from the files of DEAR PAULA

dear paula advice

Dear Paula,

I have been seeing someone for the last six months. We are the same age, we have similar jobs and make the same kind of money. We have so much in common AND we are physically attracted to each other!

The problem is that he is a mooch! He always shows up at my house empty handed and hungry! He always goes into my kitchen and helps himself to whatever he wants, then proceeds to complain about how it’s been so long since he’s eaten, or how he is overdue for a grocery store trip; you get the idea I think.

It’s been this way since the beginning, but the more time we spend together the more often it happens. First I hinted that maybe he could have stopped to pick up something on the way over. He complained about the cost of eating out. I’ve told him that I am happy to keep food for him here if he wants to bring some over, and he thinks that is a weird thing for me to offer! He has actually told me that since he is a guest in my house that I SHOULD be providing him with refreshments!

I really like this guy, I think that he is so perfect aside from this one thing. I feel like I could build a life with him but then he makes me so angry! Should I break up with him or just continue to be his pantry? HELP!!

Sincerely,
Empty Larder Lover

Dear E.L. Lover,

Oh my stars!! This one really is all that and a bag of chips! {provided you are the one supplying the chips that is…} In a world where it is more and more difficult to find meaningful and compatible relationships, I can understand your conflict. I cannot tell you whether you should continue your relationship with this man, but I will say ask yourself a few questions.

#1 Is he a good and caring human being who treats you with respect?

It doesn’t seem like you are having any gripes other than his moochiness, but there is a certain level of disrespect being displayed by his disregard for your wishes not to be his 24-hour diner. If he treats you wonderfully otherwise, maybe he is just not getting your hints and perhaps you should be more direct in your approach.

#2 Does he handle himself with maturity?

When you have tried to discuss this problem with him does he listen to your words? Does he dismiss your wishes (these or others) as being unimportant or not worthy of his consideration or compromise? Does he say or do things that make you feel like a scolding mother?

#3 Has he made any effort at all to alleviate the problem?

It sounds to me as though you have expressed your feelings on some level and that he should have responded accordingly. When you have had other things come up in your relationship does he take your feelings into account and mix them with his so the two of you can reach a harmonious balance?

After you answer those questions to yourself openly and honestly, read what I say next.

The letter you have written sounds like perhaps he has not taken steps to improve this part of your relationship, but I am unclear as to how direct you have been with him in managing this issue. I will definitely recommend that you make sure that he understands how serious this is to you. This should be a problem that is easily solved and if it isn’t then maybe there are bigger issues afoot. If that is the case, you will need to step back and take your blinders off to see the truth of the matter.

Since my crystal ball is in the shop I am unable to see your future, so I say…

Good luck, Gorgeous, and stick to your guns! You are no man’s doormat and you should never be made to feel like one!

Love,
Paula

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