Girlfriend getting bossy after moving in — do we have a future? Ask Ellie
Q: I’m a 33-year-old man who believed that a woman I’ve dated throughout the pandemic would be my long-term partner … until she showed me her bossy nature that she’d hidden till now.
She’s 32. We met online soon after the first lockdown started, when we each had realized that we’d be working from home, isolated and unable to have companionship, sex or romance.
When we clicked virtually, we took a couple months discussing how to “date.” Then we met in person and took walks together while masked and distanced. Then we held hands. We didn’t have full intimacy until we both had our first vaccine.
We were both so careful and practical about following protocols and staying safe that when we finally had sex, it was fantastic!
We’ve stayed committed to each other as things have opened up and we recently decided that she’d rent out her place and move into mine. That’s when her bossy instructions and demands began.
She wants to bring some furniture that doesn’t fit with mine, insists that I buy all new bedsheets/towels etc., has already moved a load of her clothing into my two closets, leaving little room for mine.
She’s also lectured me about why my cooking utensils all need to be replaced!
I had thought that I loved this woman and that we’d have a future together. Now, I’m very unsure about it.
Is it normal for some women to think they have a right to rule the home front? Was my pandemic partner hiding her nature until now, just to get through the tough period with someone? What do you advise?
A: This is a specific issue between you two, not a gender battle. Men are also capable of becoming controlling so let’s just deal with specific facts here.
She’s giving up her own place for rental income, and should be paying for or splitting costs on some new items — linens, pots — that are either needed or just wanted.
Recognize that just as you’re worrying about what this move entails, she may feel that she’s taking the bigger risk by leaving some previous comforts behind (e.g., some furniture).
As for clothes, she can buy a standing wardrobe for them and take less closet room from you.
Moving together is a big step that’s often somewhat scary at first. You’d both benefit from talking all this out together before anything is moved.
And your girlfriend should not give up her apartment until then.
Open a calm, practical discussion without blaming her or labelling her bossy. Just deal with the practicalities … if it’s a matter of her bringing something you don’t like or doesn’t fit, suggest selling it and buying something comfy together.
Also, consider agreeing to a three-month “settling in” period before looking around and replacing some things or enjoying what you have together.
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