Dear Sydney (#1)

“Dear Sydney,

My roommate has been dating this guy on and off for over a year. For the first 6 months her and I lived together, I barely saw her at all. She was always staying at his house. When they broke up a while back, I thought it was the last time. He had become mentally abusive (he had even said some hurtful things about me, even though I barely know him) and they had gotten physical with each other as well.

            A few months ago, SURPRISE. They got back together. Except they’ve been spending most of their time at our house. Like…every night. Her and I never talked about him staying, and she rarely gives me a heads up when they’re coming over. When I asked her about it, she said that because they had spent so much time at his house, they were to be spending most of their time at ours now, and she didn’t think it would bother me much since they ‘mostly just come here to sleep.’

            But here’s the thing, I like to sleep naked! There have been more than a few times that they’ve come home unexpectedly, and I’ve jolted out of bed to shut they door before they walk by. I’m really bummed that we’re in this situation, especially with the way he has treated her in the past.

            We’re supposed to be renewing our lease soon, and I really want to stay. But I really don’t want him living here. What should I do? I don’t want to make the situation any more awkward…

Love,

Trapped in the Closet”

 

Dear Trapped in the Closet,

First of all, this guy sounds like a true gem. He has manipulated his way back into her heart, and now your apartment. As women, our space is sacred, and we value our privacy. It’s unfortunate when you don’t feel comfortable in your own place, and I think most of us that have had roommates have felt this way at some point.

However, this isn’t a typical “roomie issue.” This one is completely unacceptable. Since there is likely some confusion and miscommunication, the first thing you should do is schedule Circle Time with your roommate. Circle Time is what my high school cheerleading coach called meetings. Usually uncomfortable ones. It’s a time where ground rules can be laid down and/or revised to fit both parties needs/wants. An open space to chat. Call or text her and find a good time that works for you both. Remember, this conversation is about both of your needs. Say something non-threatening such as, “hey girl! Our lease is ending soon, and I’d like to get together to talk about our plans for the next year. I’ve got some ideas and I’d really like to discuss them with you.” This isn’t a meeting to scold her. So, don’t make it that way.

It sounds like it also disappoints you that they are back together. (and who wouldn’t be?) But try to leave your feelings towards him out of this conversation. Foremost, you need to be clear that what’s been going on is making you uncomfortable. Since she is likely feeling a tad insecure about him, she may be defensive. Try to keep reiterating to her that it’s not about their relationship, it’s about the space you and her share together. If she’s sane, she should understand.

Next – and the most important part of your conversation – needs to be your agreement of what happens from here on out. Keep the conversation moving forward, talking about what you WILL do; there is no need to discuss the past. Remember that she lives there too, and she also pays her share of rent. No matter what is going on between them, she can have him stay overnight. I would suggest you decide on a number of days that he can stay the night, keeping that number under half of the week. Personally, I’d say two or three nights a week maximum. Also, when this guy stays at your house, he comes as a guest. They need to communicate with you every single time they are planning on staying there. Period.

As far as resigning the lease, feel it out after you’ve come to an agreement about this issue first. Gauge her responses as well as your own. If the conversation doesn’t go well and you two can’t hear each other on this seemingly black and white issue, get the fuck out of there princess. Find yourself a new castle.

Love always,

Sydney.