Written by Aubrey Hutson
I have this roommate that I’m having some issues with. She is a very nice girl, but she has a lot of qualities that are not really compatible with having roommates. For example, she does laundry for four to five hours at least three times a week. She never cleans the dishes after herself. She also is very loud, like she doesn’t know how to use an indoor voice and is always slamming doors. Basically, my question is: how do I go about talking to her about these things without coming off as rude and confrontational? I have the tendency to be very blunt, and because of that I want some advice about how to go about this situation?
Question: what is our society’s obsession with being nice? I feel like I am constantly listening to my friends tell stories of how they’re sacrificing their sanity in order to tip-toe around someone else’s feelings? When did we all become so fragile?
Of course, I am sure she is a fabulous girl and has tons of redeeming qualities. I am also sure that she probably knows this. Therefore, it’s okay if being a good roommate (logistically) is not one of those qualities. If you’re asking for my advice (which you are, by default), I would tell you to go ahead and have that conversation. Regardless of your being blunt, (although not to deny there are nice ways to say things and then not-so-nice ways), I think there are a lot of valuable lessons to be taught here. Her career as roommate is just beginning, and I think it’s important she learns proper laundry protocol sooner rather than later. I’d wait for the next time you catch her in the act, so to speak (which I am sure will not take long), and then casually voice your frustrations. That way, you have a concrete example to point-to, and if all else fails…move out.
So, I was talking to my friend (we will call her Sally) about an issue I was having, and I told her it was confidential. It was a problem that I felt I was having with another friend (we will call her Susan), and I felt like I could trust Sally for some advice. Sally gave me advice that I was grateful for, but then she proceeded to tell Susan I was mad at her. Sally doesn’t know that I know she told Susan, but I don’t think it’s okay that Sally did what she did. So, how should I approach the situation?
So, what I’m gathering here is a communication problem. Or maybe a trustworthy problem. Or maybe a nosiness problem. Regardless, there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Sally’s out of line. I don’t think it’s fair for you to tip-toe around the situation in order to save Sally’s ego (after all, SHE wronged YOU). That being said, I think you all need to sit down and chat a bit.
It’s always important to talk about what’s going on inside our heads. When things go unsaid, they end up eating away at us and can lead to bitterness, resentment, annoyance, hatred, what else? Nothing is worth sacrificing your mental stability for.
Talk to Sally and tell her how you feel. Don’t put all the blame on her, but instead center the conversation around how you’re feeling. No one can argue your feelings, and things are always prettier in the light. GOOD LUCK.
I’m having a bit of boy trouble. What I’d really like advice on is: how would you recommend staying connected to your significant other when you’ve suddenly found yourselves apart from each other during the pandemic?
First of all, I am so sorry. This is an awful feeling, and I want to acknowledge that. Being separated from someone you love/adore/find comfort in/go-to/enjoy/like/whatever, isn’t ever fun or something that we want. And it’s okay to let yourself feel all that comes with that separation and that distance.
Now, my advice: unconventional circumstances might call for a sort of unconventional relationship. Instead of focusing on all the negative aspects of this separation and this change, try viewing it as an opportunity.
What I mean is: why not go old-school? Life moves quickly, and it’s easy to get caught in the hustle and bustle of a relationship. This pandemic, in a way, is a forced slow-down, and it might be a cool opportunity to take your relationship back to the basics. So: consider your partner and consider yourself and take a bit of this extra-time to do a little something extra-special for them. If I were you, and you were me, I’d start writing. Write love letters, write poems, write songs and burn them onto CDs. Now is the time to do all the little things you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t had the time. Just because you’re physically separated doesn’t mean you have to be emotionally. Take this free time and use it to show your love a bit unconventionally. Be creative, be mushy. Everyone wants to be adored and be spoiled, and your boyfriend/girlfriend is lying if they tell you otherwise.
Another, totally different thing…I’ve always thought: every couple needs a bit of distance built into their relationship before it gets serious. This space allows you both to become fully yourselves, without having to lean on one another for identity. It’s clichéd because it’s true, but in order to love someone you have to first love yourself. And how do you love someone you hardly know (as in: I’m talking about you)?
If I were you, I’d spend this pandemic getting to know yourself. What do you like to do? Who would you like to be? Fall in love with yourself and grow on your own. If you’re both spending time growing into yourselves, then you’ll each bring two, complete people back into the relationship when you’re finally reunited. No more I’m-half-way-myself-but-tethered-to-you. Just two, whole people in lovvvvvvvvvvve.
Hope this helps. Sorry if it totally does not.