Dear Tell All: Can you help settle a dispute between me and my girlfriend? She has this weird thing where she can't have sex unless our room is clean. Or so she says.
We moved in together a little over a year ago. It's true I'm not a neat freak, and the one other woman I've lived with wasn't either. So my "pigpen habits," as my current girlfriend calls them, haven't been a problem before.
Well, they sure are now. It started with snide little comments, almost as soon as we moved in together. Then it escalated to full-blown arguments. Then she got really juvenile and insisted on dividing our room into my half and her half. She kept her half as clean and neat as she likes it. I usually leave my half the way I like it - comfortably messy. It's not as bad as a pigpen, contrary to what she says. But I have more enjoyable things to do than dust all the time and throw away every stray piece of paper. If that's how she wants to spend all her time, fine. But why should I have to be a fanatic, too?
This fall, my girlfriend finally got around to playing her trump card. She says she can't have sex anymore in such a messy room. And she's stuck to it, too. To me, that's blackmail, and I've been holding off on meeting her demands just as a matter of principle. As a result, we're both getting grumpier.
Aren't I right that she shouldn't use sex as a weapon in this argument?
Dear Dirtball: So you're telling me that all you have to do is tidy up, and magically your relationship and your sex life will improve? Dude, get a garbage bag and a dust cloth and go to it! Along with mending fences with your girlfriend, there's yet another benefit: your room will, like, be clean.