I’m a year into cohabiting with my boyfriend, M. He works from home as a freelancer, while I have a full-time but flexible office job that allows me to work from home sometimes. M likes cooking three big meals a day, but I prefer to eat a small breakfast at home, then grab lunch and dinner out. M will always make me a plate, on the condition that I will clean up after him. The thing is that I simply don’t have time to clean up after every meal—I’m working! He uses almost every pot and pan we have in a single day, creating an overwhelming amount of work for me. I’ve asked him to use fewer dishes and rein in the splatter. I’ve taken us out to dinner and even turned down his meals so I don’t have to clean the kitchen every night. He takes it very personally and says I don’t appreciate his efforts, but they clearly come with strings attached! How can we make a compromise?
—Over-the-Top Home Chef