Q: Chris, I am a 42-year-old man dating a woman (age 39) for almost one-year now. We both have great jobs and earn good incomes. At what point do I excuse myself from doing “chores” around her house? I happen to be talented at “handyman stuff,” but I am starting to feel taken advantage of. I do not live with her, and we spend equal amounts of time between my condo and her home (almost always on weekends.) But when I am at her house, I want to enjoy my time spent with her – as we do when we’re at my place. I am tired of repairing things she can easily hire a real handyman to do. Your thoughts?
~Jake from Colorado
I understand why you are feeling taken advantage of by your girlfriend.
If I were going to give her any benefit of the doubt, though, I would say it’s a case of: “You gave her an inch, and now she’s taken a mile.”
I believe many issues in relationships can be settled with a dose of humor and romance thrown in. For example, the next time you are at her home you can announce with a big smile, “NO CHORES today, my dear, I left my handyman shirt at home. This weekend is all about us and we’re going to take a road trip to” [name a place she’s been dying to visit.]
Meanwhile, you already have your weekend bag packed and ready in your car, while you offer to help with any light packing she needs to do. What an incredibly sweet gesture on your end, yes?
Before you head back to your condo after your surprise and romantic weekend winds down, quietly leave a coupon for the best handyman service you can find. Leave it where she’ll see it.
Let’s hope she takes the hint and loves you for the terrific man you have been.
If you’re still itching to make a repair now and then – “just because” – make sure she understands it’s an occasional thing. Or you can always jack hammer your way out and find a woman with a better-maintained house – ha.
Now go make love with her – not repairs!
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