Saturday, April 1, 2023
HomeRelationship AdviceMy GF doesn’t respect the boundaries I’ve set around using my car

My GF doesn’t respect the boundaries I’ve set around using my car

Update: I decided to show some compassion and asked why she feels uncomfortable eating in the break room or restaurants. She shared her perspective and I shared mine. Her job is stressful and she looks forward to quiet time in the car on her lunch breaks, which are not long. Ultimately she has apologized for being dishonest and rude and agreed to pay for a professional detailing once this is all said and done + a daily vacuuming. Thanks for the advice.

Hi all,

My girlfriend (23f) and I (25m) live together. Recently her car has been having some issues that have immobilized it while we wait for parts, so it’s sitting at the shop. I have my personal car and a work truck (that I can only use sparingly for personal errands)

I’ve bent over backwards to make sure that she still has consistent transportation to and from work or wherever she needs to go. I’ve also been handling everything with the mechanic so she doesn’t have to worry about it. Recently, I’ve just been letting her drive my car to work and wherever she needs when I don’t need it.

I don’t really have rules per se about my car I just don’t like when people eat in my car or leave messes. When she first started driving my car it was fine but she’s started leaving random trash in there. I noticed some random liquid stains, and just asked that she be careful.

Well, I’ve started to realize she’s been eating all her meals in my car when she’s at work. She gets takeout then sits in my car and eats it. I asked her to stop and she said okay.

Today we were on the phone while she was at lunch and I heard the car door shut and I heard food wrappers. I said “are you eating in my car? Please stop doing that” at which point she got incredibly annoyed. She said it’s unreasonable for me to ask that of her and says it’s fine that she does it because she puts gas in my car. I say I don’t care about that, I just want you to not eat in the car.

She got very angry with me over this but I held my ground. I started to get angry as well and said if you can’t respect my things you should probably just Uber to work. She said fine quite angrily and hung up. We haven’t spoken since then and she’s still at work.

I’m really not trying to be an authoritarian about this, I just don’t like people to eat in my car. I take good pride in keeping it clean and just letting her drive it every day is already a really big deal for me. How can I set this boundary with her? Is this a reasonable thing to ask?

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  1. If she wont listen to your set boundaries about YOUR car then she doesnt get to use it. She is borrowing your property and is being disrespectful well doing so, let her uber for a week or two and she will come back to say she will stop eating in the car.

  2. >How can I set this boundary with her?

    I think you have. “if you can’t respect my things you should probably just Uber to work”

    You let her know your rules for using your car and she ignored them. That’s a choice she made (multiple times) and now there are consequences.

    If she took an Uber or the bus or you drove her to work then where would she eat lunch? She’d find a place. So she can find a place that isn’t your car.

    I don’t think you are being unreasonable.

  3. I feel like In order for you to be a jerk here at all, you’d have to be asking her not to do things you would do yourself. You don’t eat in your car and you ask others not to do the same. My rule of thumb for borrowing from someone else is to always treat is as good or better than they would. You lend me your car? You get it back washed with a full tank. You lend me an outfit? I launder it and give it back to you with a treat. And even if you DID eat in your car, you don’t leave trash and stains. If she wanted to slip one past you, she should have been more careful..

  4. I can smell food in my car for days, hate greasy steering wheels, door handles and shit. hopefully her car will be done soon. nice of you to take care of everything though.

  5. With the understanding that your girlfriend did something very rude and disrespectful, I want to disagree with the commenters saying that this means she doesn’t respect you.

    It is extremely normal for people to ignore rules they don’t agree with or see the purpose of. All kinds of people do this, it’s very common, and there’s probably a rule (or even a law) you break routinely because you think it’s a stupid rule, or a really minor one, or even that you have a right that supersedes the rule. People who smoke weed where it’s not legal, people who use their mom‘s Netflix, people who don’t come to a complete stop at an intersection in the dead of night. Normal.

    Your girlfriend is being a jerk for eating in your car after agreeing not to, but it doesn’t mean she has no respect for you. It means she has no respect for your rule about eating in the car. Probably because she has always eaten in *her* car and it never left enough of a mess for it to bother her. Your request is reasonable, and she should have just accepted your rule because it’s a) a reasonable request and b) your car, but you don’t need to break up over this and she’s not an irredeemable monster.

    She probably just *really* doesn’t want to eat in the building where she works because she wants to get some alone time to recharge before finishing her work day. She doesn’t want to change her lunch routine, and she thought she could get away with continuing to eat in the car if she was more careful about messes, because she *rightly* concluded that the point of the rule is to keep your car clean. In her mind, what she agreed to wasn’t “respecting your authority as the owner of the car,“ it was “not leaving messes in the car.”

    I believe you can get to the other side of this fight with her agreeing to *actually* never eat in your car if you come at it with some compassion for her potentially having to eat at her desk or in a shitty break room for a while. It really sucks to have a tiny bit of crucial autonomy taken from you.

  6. I hate when people eat in my car, I don’t even like eating in my car.. I like to keep it clean of trash as well. I wouldn’t let her use it anymore. It’s not a huge ask to not eat in your car.

  7. If she has a genuine issue with eating in public, she should share it with you so that you can make an informed decision and find a compromise. Maybe if she agreed to keep it clean (no trash) and have it detailed at regular intervals. However, the fact that she agreed initially and then started being lazy about leaving a mess shows a lack of respect for you and your things.

    Keep in mind that boundaries are not boundaries unless you follow through with enforcing them. So if this is a true boundary, she’ll be taking Ubers until her car is fixed.

  8. Not trying to give her the benefit of the doubt or anything. But does she have anxiety by chance? I hate eating around people and have social anxiety. I’ll eat in my car so I don’t have to eat in the break room around other people. And I would eat outside away from everyone when I was in high school. Could this be an issue for her?

  9. Looks like she has lost the privilege of using your car!

    She has left stains in the car, it is clear she is a messy eater, who also leaves the rubbish in your car. Even if she weren’t, the fact you have asked her not to is enough. She doesn’t respect your property, so no longer should have access to it.

    She has made her bed, now she has to live with the consequences.

  10. It’s your car, dude. Of course she should adhere to your rules *when you are gracious enough to be lending her your car*. Stop feeling bad when she’s the one running roughshod over your asset? Basic adulting is to respect others’ property. She can’t do it, she can uber or bus.

  11. I would first of all ask her why she is most comfortable eating alone in the car, she may have some issue at work (no friends, unpleasant eating spaces, anxiety about eating in public). She may also like to eat in the car as being able to spend those minutes alone and get some fresh air relaxes her as opposed to eating in the cafeteria. At least try to hear each other out.

  12. It’s very reasonable to ask, she should be returning it to you in the same state she found it in. Take your car back and let her Uber. You’re going above and beyond and she treats it like a trash can and refuses to listen to your simple request. Actions have consequences, now she can wait to eat in her own car.

  13. It’s not just that she is breaking the rules you set, she’s not even trying to make up for it. She’s not cleaning up when she is done. That’s really going too far. If she kept it clean then maybe you would not be as strict about it, and could compromise. But she has shown that not only will she eat, she will make a mess and not clean it up.

  14. It’s your car and you are being more than generous letting her use it.

    I also keep my car very neat and tidy, but I do eat in it.

    Can you agree that she can eat so long as she cleans it every weekend to your satisfaction??

  15. I’d try to compromise and ask her to empty the car trash every day after she uses it, and clean it when she makes a mess. If she couldn’t do that, then I’d escalate. This seems really trivial to me, but to each his own.

  16. I think that your points are valid, I also don’t like people eating in my car and would be upset if I found stains. However, I also have had to work in environments where I didn’t feel comfortable eating around my coworkers because it was a negative environment. I would just also consider if there is a reason why she doesn’t want to eat around others at work? I would try to have an open conversation with her about why she is continuing to eat in the car and give her the opportunity to explain this as well and then let her know how you feel when she ignores your wishes. This may help you both come to an understanding and give you the opportunity to discuss a compromise or help her understand why you are asking her not to eat in the car.

  17. NTA – the problem is not that she’s eating in your car, it’s that she’s messing it up. And the fact that she’s putting gas in it is no more relevant to her messes than it would be to her keying the paint job.

  18. Have her pay to have it professionally detailed and for waterproof seat covers installed if you did want to let her continue. Otherwise id not let her anymore, she doesn’t respect your boundaries

  19. Yes this a 100% reasonable thing to ask. Unless she wants to pay to detail your car monthly, she needs to respect your property. Some people just don’t treat their things well and they don’t understand why you do. I don’t let anyone eat in my car either. If she can’t respect the rules then you need to stop doing her the favor.

  20. Yes, it’s a reasonable thing to ask and your girlfriend is entitled and rude. Putting gas in the car *that she’s using* doesn’t mean she gets to treat it like hers. The fact that she continued to eat in your car after you asked her not to is dishonest, spoiled behavior. Let her Uber to work and let her deal with the mechanic. She needs to grow up.

  21. Suggest that she gets the car detailed weekly if she intends on continuing to do what you have asked her not to do repeatedly. If she can’t accept either choice, the only remaining option is to completely restrict her use.

  22. This is not an unreasonable request, hold your ground. Eating in the car (particularly stains) will last wayyyy longer than any gas. (You don’t have to say this because you seem chivalrous or generous in that way but to the extent she uses the car she is using gas so her putting gas in the car is replacing gas she’s used so like no a strong argument to justify eating in the car.) You can also try figure out why she eats in the car, and maybe there is another option like a break room or somewhere else she can eat her lunch.

  23. …. Did you try asking her to just clean up after she’s done? Buy one of those mini hoovers for your car. Problem solved. Not every argument has to blow up.

  24. Most important thing to figure out: why does she feel the need to eat in your car against your explicit request? Everything else depends on her actual reasoning behind that.

    I could understand feeling antisocial for whatever reason (colleagues suck? Not in the mood to talk all the time?) or whatever as long as there is a legitimate need.
    If she just thinks your request is over the top it might be time for r/eli5 about a cars resale value. Gas doesn‘t cover shit if the thing loses 5-10k through her use, and she might just not understand while it seems natural to you.

  25. Yea I would stop letting her use the car if she can’t even respect that one boundary. If She didn’t leave trash and stains in the car you probably wouldn’t have had a problem but she doesn’t clean up after herself. I can’t stand it when people leave trash in my car

  26. There’s also the issue that women often see their vehicle as a disposable object to move them around, but men see it as part of their status and manhood. So my wife’s car looks like a dump and mine is clean and classy. Guess what? My kids can’t eat in my car. Problem solved.

  27. “She doesn’t like eating in public spaces without me but hasn’t shared why. But nothing about this arrangement is comfortable for either of us, so I don’t think it’s a huge thing to ask”

    This comment of yours changed everything for me.. At first I thought, that sounds weirdly unreasonable of her.. But after that comment I thought “maybe there’s more to this than meets the eye”

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