Dear Captain Awkward,
I’ve been living with my roommate for a few years now, and we’ve been good friends for much longer than that. He’s basically family. And in the last two months, he’s started dating this woman. He seems happy, and I am very happy for him. I like her a lot. (Honest, I do!) But I don’t really like living with her. It’s not what I signed up for, and she is here six nights out of seven, and she doesn’t have an inside voice, and we only have one shower, and and etc. I haven’t said anything, because it’s a pretty new development and I don’t want him to think I have some problem with her, or with him being happy; and also because I am pretty sure that the second I say something is the second he says, “well, find your own place.” He owns the place we live in; I just rent a room for dirt-cheap because he has a soft spot for me. And he’s right: If I have a problem, I can easily move out. I’m a grown-up. But I like living here, in this place, by my friends, with my roommate. I realize all good things must come to an end, and we’ve had a good run and maybe it’s just Time To Move On, but I figured I’d see what you think. Maybe there’s a really awkward conversation we can have that will help for a while!
Two Roommates (for the Price of One)
Dear Two Roommates:
As I read this, it makes me want to apologize to my former roommates Z. and R. for the time that Intern Paul basically moved in with us for a year. At the time, he lived out in the suburbs and it was a long commute to my place and also to work (which was a short, easy commute from my place). They were awesome about it and never made him feel unwelcome.
If you can ride it out for another month or two, you might find that things naturally settle down into a more comfortable routine. Or they might not – she might live with lots of roommates and your house might be the more private and comfortable of the two, and since you haven’t voiced any concerns they might think that they are not bothering you. Or, sadly for your roommate, it may not last and they might break up. Too soon to tell.
Since you recognize that by virtue of ownership your roommate has more votes in how things go in your house, and you’re prepared to move out, if necessary, you have to decide which conversation is more awkward:
1. Hey, I’m so happy for you and I really like your GF, but having an extra person here so much of the week is a big adjustment for me. Is there a way you guys could take it to her place once or twice a week?
2. After months of quietly stewing and resenting you, I’ve decided to move out because your girlfriend is here all the time (or for some polite made-up reason), but I never mentioned it to you before now or gave you a chance to do anything about it (or to decide if you want me to stay or leave) because you looked so goddamned happy and also because I am a giant coward. Bye!
Choose your own adventure! Assuming that the solution “automatically read my mind and stop doing the annoying thing that annoys me” is off the table, how would you want your roommate to handle things if the situation were reversed? If it is time for you to go your separate ways, it seems that your long history of friendship deserves a discussion and a mutual decision.