I have a fairly stereotypical roommate problem. The deal is, I live with my best friend (we’re solid) and a third rando who moved in to sublet and wound up taking over the lease for her bedroom. I actually just moved back in from being abroad, and upon moving in, rando started seeing this guy. As the stereotype usually goes, they have been all over each other since they met. The problem is compounded by thin walls, and them feeling the need to have incredibly loud sex—it’s been heard over the TV in our living room, and her room is downstairs. They’ve done it for literally hours straight. They’ve done it when the best friend and I have had company. They even were at it when family members were over.
The worst part is that we’ve approached her before and nicely asked her to keep it down. She just thinks it’s funny—she keeps him away for a couple nights, and then they’re back at it in no time. It has now gotten to the point where we could probably charge the boyfriend rent, he’s here so often. While we totally get having an active, healthy sex life, it’s seriously started taking a toll on my and my best friend’s sense of privacy. Short of notifying our landlord of an undocumented tenant, we’re not sure what else to do. Thoughts?
Two frazzled, under-appreciated roommates
I’m confused. Who is she subletting from? Did you meet this girl and vet her before she moved in? What are the terms, if any, of her sublease? Why can’t she stay at her boyfriend’s place? Ask for a meeting. Tell her that you can’t continue to live like this. Be nice, but be firm. Tell her that you agreed to one roommate, not two, and if she and the boyfriend can’t respect your needs and your space, then he can’t stay over. If she doesn’t take it seriously and if things don’t get better, consider buying her out of the sublet, or kicking her to the curb and calling the landlord.
What’s the difference between a relationship where either partner would be willing to relocate to stay with the other and one in which they wouldn’t? Every time I turn around, I meet people whose partners pulled up their roots and followed them wherever their career necessitated, making sacrifices along the way, including putting their own education on hold, taking pay cuts and selling houses in the post-2008 market, but when I have had to move for work or school I’ve just gotten axed. This most recent time, I absolutely had to move. I had no choice—it was either that or have no future where I was living. My partner could have found just as well-paying work in their field in the blink of an eye. They just didn’t think the relationship was worth giving anything up for.
My friend said that if a person really loved me, then they would care about my goals and not want me to sabotage my future. So, with that in mind, I know I should be thankful that at least they didn’t ask me to stay in the futureless town I was in just to please them, or guilt me for leaving. But the main feeling I’m left with is why wasn’t I worth moving for? I wish I had never met them and never fallen in love with them in the first place, because it was too painful to find out somebody’s true level of commitment to the relationship after two whole years of “I love you’s.” How do you tell, from the get-go, if somebody would bail on you like that, so you can sidestep the hell away from them before you get hurt?
There is no way to tell from the beginning where a relationship is going, Hurt. And this isn’t about you not being “worth” moving for. This is about the relationships that you have had, and the people you have had them with. If you think moving might be essential to your future and your career, then you need to ask a person when you start dating them whether or not they have moved and ever consider moving. I’m not suggesting that you ask “will you move if we are together long enough and I need to move for work?” on your first date, but you should try to get a feel for whether a person is settled or has a sense of adventure before you get attached. It’s a big question, but it will tell you a lot about a person and your compatibility.
Not really a heart issue, more of a social problem. I am coming to realize that I am somewhat judgmental of my friends’ appearances. This has been true in the past and for the new friends I make. I tend to form internal judgements about how they look, how fat they are, if they take care to be healthy, how much they exercise, etc. I do have many close friends, and I don’t let these internal, subconsciously formed judgments interfere with me becoming anybody’s close friend, but the judgment often comes out in different ways, like giving un-asked-for advice about losing weight, advice to work out, etc.
I think part of the problem may be that I have set high standards for myself, by exercising religiously and taking care of my body, and also putting effort into proper grooming. But I feel bad when my statements/advice sometimes make my friends feel like they are less than me (maybe in my subconscious it is true that I have formed such a judgment) and I often come across as harsh or with very high standards, whereas in truth all I try to do is help them. It is no secret that a healthy and in-shape body is a big confidence boost and vice-versa, but somehow that message never comes through—only my judgmental-ness seems to be visible. I feel bad that this makes people feel inferior, when that is not my intention.
Any help is really appreciated!
Dear Anonymous: Shut The Fuck Up.
I know you’re probably thinking that sounds crazy, or maybe harsh, right? But it really is that simple. When you feel yourself starting to think about making a remark, or “giving advice” to people who are physically inferior to you, just don’t. You see, some people don’t have such high standards for physical fitness, and they somehow manage to still get by in life. (I love how you phrase that like it is somehow a positive trait, rather than, oh, I don’t know, vanity.) Hell, some of us slobs are even happy. Some people actually believe that it is more important to be, for example, a good friend, or a good listener, or fun to be around than it is to be in great shape. I am amazed that you actually have any friends, if you are nearly as passive-aggressive in person as you sound in your letter. Your only hope is to stop focusing on how physically superior you are to so many people, and start trying to be less of an asshole.
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