My girlfriend hates my sometimes boorish roommate, and for over a year she has repeatedly demanded that I leave the group house I share with him. The roommate is an old friend who has been ungentlemanly in her presence in the past, but these days, at my request, is G-rated during their (rare and fleeting) encounters.
She still feels uncomfortable sharing even a 2,000-square-foot space with him, primarily because of his pattern of casual romantic liaisons. I can understand her reluctance to come over to my place, but I think she is unreasonably taking his lifestyle (and my unwillingness to shun him for it) personally, and I don't want to move.
A: Then don't move. And, more important, don't leave her with even the residue of an impression that her demands will change your mind. If you have decided this, then the Global Campaign to Reduce or Eliminate Stupid Recurring Arguments pleads for your cooperation in the form of a clear declaration to your girlfriend that you have weighed her request, made your decision, and consider this matter now closed.
That is, assuming you really have weighed her request. While it's easy to dismiss her as both overreacting and overreaching, it's important first to rule out two possibilities that demand deeper thought.
First, did his "boorishness" cross any lines, with her or with other women, that constitute a moral imperative to distance yourself - even if she weren't demanding it? If that's the case, then her judgment deserves your respect.
And, second - if her judgment on things so fundamental as friendship and human dignity hasn't earned your respect, why are you still seeing her?
Q: As a recent graduate who landed a good job right out of college, I get many questions about my income. While I feel comfortable answering most of my friends, this is not the case for all of them.
Am I just blowing this out of proportion? I'm having a hard time avoiding the issue with some people, so how would you react to this?
A: So how much do you make?
Now, you say to me: "I'd rather not say." (Or, "None of your beeswax," if you have playground-at-recess nostalgia, or, "Fifty bucks per nosy question," or whatever else is your style.) This "hard time" is just your own unwillingness to say something unpopular, which is misleading; being a pushover actually makes someone less appealing.
For what it's worth, it also has a way of negating your big paycheck, especially if you give off any whiff of being pleased with yourself. That's when friendly curiosity warps into friends who resent you, and who expect you to pick up the check.
Q: I've been seeing this guy who was planning to move back to the East Coast (I'm in California) a month after we started dating. I knew about it, and we went ahead anyway. Well, things are just fantastic, and I am wondering if it is completely off-base to consider a long-distance thing (I just started my first job ever and can't leave right now).
I believe long-distance can work, but is a month a strong enough foundation to do it?
A: Probably not. But it's not skydiving; if it doesn't go well, you can change your mind. Geronimo!