Q: I have a great boyfriend. We have been together for two years and live together. We love to do the same things, have mutual friends, and enjoy each other. I really love him and he is the most important person in my life. I have great girlfriends who support me and I am not afraid to be alone. I know that I am with him because I want to be with him.
The issue is, sometimes he tends to be selfish. He'll buy me a CD as a present but then and open it and download it to his computer before he gives it to me. He will tell me that he will pick something up from the store and never do it.
He always complains about not having any money but then will go and spend hundreds of dollars on concert tickets. He is willing to spend hundreds of dollars and travel hundreds of miles to go see a band but is unwilling to spend $15 on the trash can that I asked him to get the other day. Not only that, because he spends his money on concerts, it has made it impossible to ever take a vacation together. I know I am part of the problem as well -- I won't nag him to follow through and then when he doesn't I am disappointed. I am more disappointed by the fact that when HE needs something, it is done immediately.
I noticed this lackadaisical attitude also translates over to his work as well. He has been working for the same company for years which is great (especially in this economy) but complains and comes home depressed every day. He has shown interest in getting a new job but refuses to take the steps to find a new job (like creating a resume). Three months after he stated he wanted a new job I began looking for a new job, and I have had three interviews. He hasn't finished his resume yet.
We have discussed all of these issues numerous times. Immediately after the conversation it gets better, but then over time he goes back to his old ways.
I guess my questions is, is his lazy attitude a deal breaker? Is this just typical of most men? Should I just be happy with the way things are since he is such a good person and we are so compatible?
– Is good enough, good enough?, Boston
A: This isn't a man thing, IGEGE. There are plenty of guys out there who plan, save, motivate, and get it all done in record time. Your guy just isn't one of them. And he loves music. It's his religion.
My advice is to take charge of the parts of your relationship that affect you. Instead of giving him a speech about his lazy personality and his concert expenses, tell him that he has to give you $30 every Friday for a vacation fund. After a few months of saving (and matching that money), you'll plan a nice, overnight trip for the both of you. Maybe after he sees how much fun it is to get away with you, he'll start making his own plans.
Some people will say that his behavior is a deal-breaker. (Honestly, some people are going to object to the fact that he still buys CDs.) But you wrote a first paragraph that overrides all of these annoyances. You want to be with this guy. You just need a system to avoid the fights. And you need to accept that you fell for a selfish music fan, the kind of guy who wants to spend every penny on that festival in the Midwest or that club show in the city. I'm just happy that he's passionate about something.
Come up with practical solutions instead of nagging. Start with $30.
Readers? Is that first paragraph enough to save the relationship? Is the job application thing so unique? Is all of this a deal-breaker? Anyone have thoughts on the concert stuff? I once spent $250 on a Justin Timberlake ticket. For a show in Philadelphia. Just saying. Help.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a new novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith here and on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.