Ask Ashley: Is it possible to stay with a man who refuses to grow


As promised, I’m adding an, “Ask Ashley” to my blog. This allows women and or men to anonymously ask me questions that I can assist with, as well as other readers can provide their feedback and opinions. I am in no way a “relationship expert” but I’ve learned that sometimes it’s good to get a second opinion or merely hear someone else say what you may already know deep down to be true. Without further ado, here it goes.


Dear Ashley,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for a few years now. We previously had a long distance relationship and within the last year decided to move together to a different state. It is our first time living together and our first time having our own place in general. During the duration of our time living together I noticed a lot of not so flattering attributes of his. I was the bread winner and paid majority of the rent and bills, he often slacked on his portion of the bills and was either out of work or working extremely low paying jobs. At one point I picked up a second job just so I could live more comfortably. He didn’t seem to mind the fact that I was busting my butt to pick up his slack and despite him having so many skills he could put to use, he settled working odd jobs that involved no skill. We got into countless arguments about finances and at one point had a roommate living with us, which helped me financially more than he did! My friend who moved in with us had some issues stopping her from getting a roommate and once my lease was up, we decided to get a place together. Due to the problems my boyfriend and I had been having, I decided it would be a good idea for both of us to have space and hopefully for him to man up and grow. I let him know this months in advance and just like everything else in his life he acted nonchalantly about it. My roommate and I recently finally got our place and now my boyfriend has no where to go. I want to help him but at the same time, I don’t want to keep pacifying him and allowing him to pretty much live off me. I know my roommate also would prefer if it was just the two of us living in our place. I know he is the person I want to marry and I can’t see myself without him. My question to you is, how can I move out but stay in a relationship with my boyfriend?

This is a tough one. When couples move in together it is often because they are ready to take the next step in their relationship and for them it is symbolic of moving forward. Usually when after living together a couple decides to live separately, all signs point to a split. In this scenario I understand completely how you feel of not wanting to leave him behind but feeling conflicted because you also want him to grow. You have to ask yourself this, what made you want to move out in the first place? Was it due to his nonchalant attitude, his lack of drive, him not helping financially, or all three? If it was a combination of the three, you were right in your decision. It is not your place to take care of a grown man, nor should you feel bad about not doing so. He has to want to grow on his own, he has to have the desire to provide for his household. I pose to you another question, is he pursuing his dreams in anyway? Is he not just working these minimum wage jobs but actively on the pursuit of following after a life long dream or goal? Sometimes it can be difficult dating artist or creative people because they typically think differently than most people. If he is sacrificing his time, sleep and money on pursuing a dream that can change both of your lives, and explains this to you, it might not be a bad idea to assist him in some ways. Many entertainers were often homeless before making it big! If however, he is merely a slacker who has no goals, dreams or aspirations then it might be best to cut ties with him and continue pursuing your own dreams. Since you believe in your heart this is the man you want to marry, most likely he’s not just some loser slacker who wants to suck you dry before moving on to his next victim. Why not talk to him? Tell him exactly how you feel. Tell him as much as you love him you feel you may be holding him back by providing for him. Tell him that you feel you both need space to grow. Let him know that even though you need time to live separately doesn’t mean that you have lost love or feelings for him. It might be tough for him to understand at first, but if he loves you as much as you love him, he will give you the time and space you need. Hopefully you both will be able to grow from this experience and learn more about yourselves and what you need from each other to be happy. 


What advice would you give in this situation?



Ashley Renee is a soul food enthusiast, sometimes vegetarian, spoken word poet, who doesn’t trust boxed macaroni or cats. keep up with her @ashleyreneepoet on twitter & instagram also check out her website. 





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