March 20, 2019

My Roomie Wants It Bad

Hey, Bonita…


A guy I live with and I are kind of flirting, and I'm worried it's not a good idea. We were friends before we moved in, and hooked up little bit back in the day, but I thought that was over with when we moved in with other people. But he still makes lots of passes at me, even when I'm not single. It's nice of him, but it's getting uncomfortable for me—I really don't wanna date or even hook up with a roommate. I've seen it happen with friends, and it never works out. He's always telling me how good I look and how he wants to get together again, and I just don't want to—but I live here! Needless to say, it's awkward.

Should I just put my foot down? He's on the lease, and I'm not, so obviously I'm nervous about where this could go.

You’ve clearly decided that it’s not a good idea for you and this guy to hook up again. What I think about that doesn’t matter, because you know what you want—to be left alone in your home—but you seem to feel beholden, in a way, to his attention. Is it because you’ve already been intimate with this person, so you feel bad or inappropriate for ignoring him this time around? Well, don’t. Past encounters with people don’t set any sort of precedent for our behavior, and you are allowed to change your mind about anyone at any time. Your pushy roommate is kinda leading with his balls here and not thinking of all the ways he could monkey-wrench his home and his friendship with you by trying to score another roll in the hay.

Yes, put your foot down. If you’re worried about being ostracized or kicked out, hit up a friend or three about crashing with them if things get squirrely. There are lots of Facebook groups for people looking for subletters and new roommates, and they’re especially poppin’ right now, since it’s internship season. You don’t have to trade your time, emotional labor or physical body for a place to stay.

Hey Bonita!

I recently started meeting more of my new boyfriend's friends and family. I'm writing because it turns out that my boyfriend's best friend is an absolute and total asshat. Aside from him being generally immature and annoying—which are not very unique attributes in most guys in our undergraduate age group—he uses ethnic accents when telling a story about or quoting people of different races. This has happened on two separate occasions so far, and both times, I didn't say anything. (In case you need clarification, all of us are white.) This guy seems to not be able to talk about or quote any person of color without using really offensive accents and slang that matches whatever is stereotypical of that person's ethnicity. It's driving me crazy!

We have plans to go on a double date with him and the girl he's interested in, and I honestly don't know if I'm going to be able to keep my cool around this idiot. I guess I want some advice on what I should do. My relationship is still fairly new, so I don't know if I have the right to tell my boyfriend's best friend how to talk around me, especially since I'm white and he was “there before me,” if you know what I mean.

When friends or lovers bring undesirables into my cypher, I make it clear as early as possible that I can’t tolerate whatever bad energy they are bringing. The relationship is still new, as you say, so I think you’re still in a place where you can explain your values to your boyfriend and make it clear that they are part of who you are. If these values are non-negotiable, say that, as well.

It’s up to you if you want to talk to this guy personally and tell him what’s so unacceptable about his behavior, but let’s be honest: He already knows, and he’s making a choice. Everyone knows that’s unacceptable behavior, but he thinks he’s funny. You don’t have to put up with racism, and your whiteness doesn’t undermine your need to keep that offensive crap away from you.

Speak your truth and stand your ground, and if your boo really is trying to know and love you, he’ll accept your values and, hopefully, admire you for them, too.

Need advice? Email, use the anonymous form at, or find Bonita on Twitter: @flagpolebonita.