The guy I love has become a total freeloader. Help!

The guy I love has become a total freeloader. Help!
The guy I love has become a total freeloader. Help!

So I just recently started seeing my boyfriend and for the most part of it, it’s amazing. He’s the love of my life. He makes me smile, treats me like his princess and really does appreciate me. That said, we’re very different, I’m an academic, very well put together and an intense planner. My man is the opposite; very artistic, with absolutely no structure in his life and he really doesn’t care about anything.

The issue? I feel like I’ve made him complacent and that I am enabling and even encouraging him to be lazy. When we met he had his own small business but was on the verge of closing it down because he was leaving the country for another job. However, when we started dating he decided not to leave the country and he promised me he’d look for work.

For a few days he did look for work and even began volunteering at a homeless shelter. However, I looked through his CV and offered to help him. BIG MISTAKE. He literally stopped applying for jobs or volunteering and all he does is spend the day with his friends and visit me at work. I think it’s my fault because I started applying to jobs with him and even helped him with his cover letter. However, what was meant to be done by both of us ended up being my responsibility. I even have his email account password so that I can do the applications. He has not applied for a job or done any follow-ups in two weeks.

He’s behind on rent so he lives with me, eats my food and is always asking me for money. He wants us to get a bigger place together but I cannot agree to this until we are financially stable. Whenever I mention this he gets angry and says that I do not trust in his ability to make money. How can I trust his ability if he is not actively seeking employment? At the end of it all, I really don’t know what to do anymore. I feel like because he has me to lean on financially he no longer has an incentive to work. Please help me. Very Confused

I don’t know how long you’ve been dating this guy, but I think you have ‘treats me like a princess’ and ‘treats me like an open wallet’ slightly confused, Confused. Your boyfriend is a freeloading man-child who’s revelling in the fact that not only does he not have to work or worry about paying the rent, he’s also wrangled his girlfriend into applying for jobs for him in her spare time. Jeezus, this guy is GOOD.

My advice? Stop trying to help him get a job. Stop trying to fix him, stop giving him pocket money for beer, stop making his life SUPER easy and comfortable. Instead, give him a deadline for finding work – any work – and in the meantime, tell him he can pitch in and show he really does ‘appreciate’ you by cooking dinner every night, keeping your place clean and tidy and generally not act like a petulant teenager living with his mother.

If the deadline passes and he’s still loafing around and not giving you any indication he’s keen to act like a responsible adult – you know, the kind that acknowledges rent and bills need to be paid, or you’re homeless – then you have to be strong and cut it off. No more money, no more staying with you, no more relationship if you’re really at the end of your tether. Let him go crash on his friend’s couch and be their problem, not yours.

Love, reality chick

Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


  1. LindaBird 5 years ago

    Let’s say you keep him … what does the future look like? Do you imagine him as a father? Deadbeat, broken, and angry – angry at kids that you cherish more than anything, yelling at all of you over every stress (and there will be lots of stress). How about as a husband, with shared property that you pay for, but he takes, in a divorce. What about his fantastic friends…eventually they’ll be moving in, or be so prioritized that they might as well. Most likely he’s hiding addictions, or developing them, and he sounds like a slob too. Addictions are way expensive, and depressing. Ditch the bum and get a nicely trained old dog, they are better with kids, clean their dishes, protect you 24/7, and don’t eat your chocolate.

  2. Been there 6 years ago

    Dear Confused,
    I speak from experience. Similarly, I had a boyfriend who was artistic, funny, charming and I loved him and loved having him around – but he didn’t have a job. He used to sit in my tiny studio flat painting pretty pictures all day, everyday, while I worked hard at my demanding advertising job! He would ‘say’ he was looking for a job, but clearly he wasn’t trying very hard. I eventually realised that our (my) love could not endure this arrangement, as I was just facilitating his cushy lifestyle (he would struggle to even make the bed most days and dirty dishes from the night before were still in the sink when I got home every night…)!

    There’s no doubt, when people are long-term unemployed, they become depressed and lose their self respect, which in turn can make you depressed and lose your self respect also, then resentment starts to build. Be wary if you feel this happening to yourself. It happened to me.

    All I can say is kick him out (which is what I did). Send him home to Mummy. If he really loves you, he will find a way back (by getting a job and sorting his shit out). Then you could look for a new place together on equal ground with equal responsibilities and most importantly have equal respect for eachother. Basically, you need to shock him into making some changes or it will NEVER work out.

    My ex eventually got a job, although it was not well paid – and he did move back in… but the inequality of goals/planning for a future together was too much for our relationship to bear and eventually, we broke up… after 4 years!! I was left so disappointed that he didn’t try harder and he broke my heart big time. I lost faith in relationships for a long time afterwards. I was angry with myself for spending the best years of my life trying to make that relationship work, and in the end I was left single at 37.

    I suggest you seriously consider these things, before you waste anymore time with this fella. Find someone else who wants to plan a future with you on equal grounds… which is what you deserve.

    Good luck!

    • Author

      Brilliant advice Been There and I’m really sorry it didn’t work out with your ex 🙁

  3. Lisa 6 years ago

    This letter proves a couple cannot live on love alone.

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