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My Girlfriend Doesn’t Cook or Clean? [Reasons With Solution]

Your girlfriend doesn’t cook or clean probably because she doesn’t know how to do it. Everyone is new into this world of adulting, and learning to cook or clean could be a handful for a person with no prior experience.A man is cooking in the kitchen, and his partner is looking at him

You are in your twenties— arguably, the best time of life. Along with all the fun and freedom, this age brings an added amount of anxiety as you step into an unknown territory called adulting. Adulting sounds fun, but who will cook dinner today?

Being an adult brings freedom, but who cleans the house? Similar questions occur the most when you share your home with someone else.

If it is a friend, the division of labor becomes easy. But what happens when you stay with your girlfriend? Who gets to do what? What if your girlfriend doesn’t cook or clean? Should you do all the work? Or, are you going to teach her to do some of the household chores? 

The fiasco is real, and I am here to answer the questions running around in your mind right now. Let’s find out what stops her from cooking or cleaning and what you can do to deal with the situation (without breaking up).

Possible reasons why she doesn’t cook or clean

Not everyone is Monica Geller, the brilliant cook and obsessive cleaner from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Your girlfriend must have some reason for not cooking and cleaning.

She is new to this scarily funny world of adulting as much as you are. Just like you, she comes from a home governed by her elders.

Having a home to run is extremely overwhelming, especially with the periodic cleaning and the almost daily dose of cooking. Of course, you can’t just live on take-out for the rest of your lives. That will be unnecessarily expensive and detrimental to your health. The only option is to cook.

Similarly, your twenties is a time dominated by the financial crunch. Employing someone just to clean your house every day can take a large chunk out of your paycheque.

The only way out is to clean the place yourselves. The problem arises when she doesn’t cook or clean, and the doubled-up responsibility falls on your shoulder. But why won’t she help? Look for the possible reasons below.

#1 She doesn’t know how to cook or clean

Chances are there that she doesn’t know how to cook or clean. She never needed to do it back at home. She has suddenly fallen into this adult life with you, where everything needs to be done on your own. That freaks her out.

Both cooking and cleaning require a certain amount of expertise. A person cooking a meal needs to be extra careful as most cooking is done with heat.

Inexperienced people often get into minor accidents while attempting to do so. If she doesn’t know how to cook, you will figure it out within minutes of her entering the kitchen. Cooking needs precision and patience, along with practice.

Cleaning, on the other hand, doesn’t need the precision of cooking, but it can rightly be categorized as a tedious job, especially after you come home from work.

Cleaning needs one to be a bit aesthetic. The after-effects of cleaning are delightful to the eyes. If your girlfriend doesn’t clean the house as you do, maybe she isn’t familiar with the concept. That is not her fault. She can learn to do it from you.

#2 She is afraid of fire

Being afraid of fire is a serious fear. It brings along the fear of heat. If your girlfriend refuses to cook or clean, she might be fighting with a fire-related trauma.

Cooking a meal needs fire. If not fire, it needs heat in some form. Even a little bit of carelessness can be dangerous on the cook’s part. Burns, however small they are, isn’t pleasant. If she is too scared to enter the kitchen because of her fear, keep her out of it. Let’s not force her into something she isn’t comfortable with.

She is afraid of fire. She can get into cleaning if cooking is not her cup of tea. Cleaning seldom requires heat. It helps de-clutter the mind after a long day if you really get into it. Cleaning is therapeutic.

#3 She is not good with handling dirt

Like I said earlier, not everyone is Monica Geller. Monica used to be great with handling dirt. She single-handedly cleaned Chandler and Joey’s apartment when she lost her own apartment to them in a silly bet.

For many people, dirt seems icky. Cleaning requires spending a considerable amount of time, close to dust and muck. Not everybody is comfortable with that. If your girlfriend refuses to clean, let’s assume she is creeped out by the concept of handling dirt.

Many people suffer from dust allergies. This can be a good enough reason for someone to avoid cleaning. If your girlfriend suffers from a similar condition, it’s best not to force her into cleaning as it can take a toll on her health, and I’m sure you don’t want that.

If she is not okay with cleaning, let her cook, that way, the chores will be divided evenly.

#4 She likes the food better when you cook

You are clearly the Monica of your home. You are a great cook. She likes it better when you cook. She doesn’t like the taste of her own food. Therefore, she avoids cooking and lets you do it.

This doesn’t mean she is lazy. She just wants the quality of the food you guys eat to be better.

If you ask for help, she might even help you by cutting the veggies and sorting out the spices. She could even be willing to wash the utensils.

But when it comes to food, she has got a great taste. She is not interested in food that you do not cook.

#5 She is mad at you

She might have stopped cooking and cleaning because she is mad at you.

There can be myriad reasons for that. Did you ever say mean things about the food she cooked? If you did, then there is a lot to amend for. She is right on her part. Why would she cook for a person who fails to appreciate her efforts?!

If she stops cleaning, think about the last time you cleaned the house. If she is the one to do all the chores around the house, it is quite rightful of her to get annoyed. She can also refuse to cook if there is any other sort of fight going on between you two.

#6 She is super busy with work

Her work pressure is overwhelming, and it has engulfed a major portion of her life. She is not being able to take out time to cook or clean.

Expecting her to participate in household chores with such a busy schedule isn’t right. She might even feel bad that you have to do all the work and she is not being able to help you out.

She will join you once her work pressure comes to a controllable state. Till then, you will have to manage the home front.

Remember the last time you had to work for twenty hours? You should also remember who cooked the meals and where all the dirt went. A similar behavior is expected out of you too.

#7 She likes to do other things

She is interested in doing anything other than cooking or cleaning. You might think, what’s there to do other than that?

Stop right there and look around. You will find the grocery checklist covered, the bills cleared, and the vegetables sliced neatly on the kitchen counter for you to cook.

If you put aside this sudden bout of anger that brought you here, you will find no clothes in the drier. Instead, they will be found neatly pressed and folded inside the wardrobe.

The table will be set for dinner, and the empty water bottles will no longer be empty.

There are a number of other little things like this that she does for the home. Cooking and cleaning are not everything a person has to do all the time. Without a regular supply of groceries, cooking and cleaning will be impossible.

#8 She is lazy

Now, this is a problematic situation. If she is lazy, she is not going to get up to do the chores. This life of inaction has become a habit now.

If you get annoyed and stop cooking, she could easily order take-out two times a day for a week. That will be easier and more convenient for her than the painstaking process called cooking.

If you stop cleaning the house for a month, she will not get up to clean it even for once. She will, very well, live and thrive in the filth.

The dirt accumulated for a month will not be a problem for her unless it starts to affect her lazing around. By that, I mean extreme situations like cockroach invasions and ant attacks.

She is possibly going to get up the moment her piled-up dishes and take-out boxes begin to attract pests. And that is when you will make your point about cooking and cleaning. 

What can you do?

Cooking and cleaning are some of the most essential parts of adult life. If she is not willing to do it, she must have a reason for that.

However, her being lazy can be a major possibility. But let’s look at the positive side. What if she wants to help you? She just doesn’t know how to. Well, in that case, you can teach her how to cook and clean. It will be a fun thing to do. Let’s see what else you can do to help the situation.

#1 Teach her how to cook and clean

She wants to help you, but she can’t. She doesn’t know how to cook or clean. Her privileged upbringing never allowed her to learn that, but she seems interested in it. You should totally teach her how to cook and clean.

For cooking, you can start with less complicated, easy-to-cook dishes to arrest her attention. Teaching the complex ones at the very beginning might scare her, leading to a loss of interest.

Start with the easy ones and gradually move towards the complex recipes. Who knows? She could even emerge out as a better cook than you are.

If you want to get her interested in learning how to clean the house, show her a few of those before/after videos on social media. Explain to her how therapeutic cleaning is. When shopping for cleaning supplies, take her with you and pay attention to her opinions.

And if she starts cleaning after that, let her do it in her own way. Her aesthetic sense will be quite different from yours.

#2 Learn about her fears

Try to learn about her fears. Fears might be the reason to stop her from doing household chores. If she is scared of fire and heat, cooking will be a harrowing task for her to do. However, you can educate her about the safety measures one can take to protect oneself from burns while cooking.

If she feels icky about handling dirt and muck, cleaning will be difficult for her. You will have to explain the irrationality of this fear politely so that she understands and at least attempts to help you out. You can talk to her about people’s experiences with filth and muck in dire situations of emergency and the fact that sometimes it is not much of a choice.

#3 Don’t force her to do any chore

Forcing her to do a chore can bring more damage than help. If she is afraid of cooking, don’t force her into it.

Instead, talk to her about it with a rational approach. Forcing her into it will cause a suddenly increased bout of fear that can endanger her safety.

You can’t force her if she doesn’t want to clean. You can ask her about the reasons behind the decision. And if she admits that she has got allergies, keep her out of the entire cleaning thing (even when you are cleaning).

Spurring allergies is not a clever thing to do as she can easily end up in the emergency unit.

#4 Come up with easy recipes for her to cook

If she is not interested in cooking and you still want her to cook to shed off some burden from your shoulders, then come up with easy recipes for her.

She isn’t scared of the kitchen, she just doesn’t want to cook. Come up with an easy version of her favorite dish. That can arrest her attention, as cooking a favorite thing means eating it too.

Come up with dishes that are not complicated and take less than half an hour to prepare.

You can set the table for two while she cooks, and enjoy the meal cooked by her, together.

#5 Ask if she is mad at you

She is not going to do anything for the house if she is mad at you. Expecting her to cook and clean is a distant thought. First, ask her what annoys her; if she doesn’t speak up, try to remember if you have done anything to make her mad.

If she admits being mad at you, try to act for the amends (if possible) immediately. Do whatever it takes to calm her down. You can even cook her favorite dish. That will be a great way to say sorry to the person you love. You can even clean her room for a change, and she might attempt to cool down.

#6 Don’t disturb her if she is busy with work

Disturbing a person during their work hours is one of the worst things one can do. In these pandemic-ridden times, work from home has become the new normal, the new reality, for most working people.

You two stay together, but your work hours could differ. Her job may demand her to work more hours than yours do. Even if your jobs are flexible, an emergency can always come up that may need you to spend more hours on the work desk.

If she is not being able to cook or clean because of work pressure, try not to disturb her unless it’s an emergency.

Even a little glitch can put her job at stake. Instead, you can attempt to make her life easy by doing her chores for a while, even if it requires you to put more labor into the home.

She isn’t refusing to do the chore; she is not being able to make time for that. She will be glad to take it over from you once she is done with her work.

#7 Stop doing the things she is good at (that can make things even)

If she doesn’t attempt to cook or clean at all, stop doing things she is good at. If she is good at grocery shopping, stop doing it and turn it totally into her responsibility instead.

You can even sit and discuss the division of labor. Such a mature conversation between you two can bring new clarity into the relationship.

A person should be allowed to do what they are good at. If she has proven herself as a lousy cook, it will be stupid to ask her to cook just to be even. You can evenly distribute the chores without having her to cook or clean.

#8 Refuse to do all the work until she helps out

She is lazy, and all she does is laze around the house. She never cooks, cleans, or does anything else that helps run the home. You, too, can stop doing everything. If you are a disciplined person, it will be a difficult decision.

Watching filth grow is a painful sight. But bear it a little to teach her a lesson on the importance of cleanliness.

You can even stop interacting with her and just do the amount of work that concerns your well-being. This response will be a bit harsh against her laziness, but a needed one. She can’t just sit and expect you to do all the work.

Summing up

Cooking and cleaning are the most boring jobs if you are not into them. It becomes tedious, especially after a tiring day. If you stay alone, then there is nothing to complain about. The moment you start staying with someone, the urge to divide the household chores becomes stronger.

But when your girlfriend doesn’t help with cooking or cleaning, the only way out is to address the issue directly. It’s best to come up with an unwritten agreement to help each other, to avoid further conflict.

Nirajana Mukherjee

Senior Writer

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