Dear John: Roommate Moves In
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
My roommate is hitting on this girl just because she’s friends with a girl he recently broke up with. She’s kind of held him at arm’s length, but I can see how this is going to go. They’ll end up together until he’s made his point to his ex, then he’ll be on to the next one. He’s a total user, which everyone knows, but girls love him anyway. And I kind of like the girl he’s after now, so I’ll end up having zero respect for her when this is all over, too. Should I talk to her now and tell her the only reason he’s interested in her is to get back at someone else, or just stay out of it? I’m sick of seeing this guy always get his way and not care about anyone else.
On the Sideline
I can understand your frustration, but really, what can you do? If you talk to this girl, she may or may not heed your warning (I predict the latter), but neither scenario will make her more receptive to the idea of dating you – and that’s what you really want, right? And besides, how certain are you that the only reason he wants to date her is to get back at his ex (which certainly is despicable if true)? Is it possible your own hopes are coloring your perspective? It’s something to think about.
I’m sure you’re genuinely sick of this guy’s selfishness and disregard for others, but I’m sorry to tell you that you’ll come across people like him your entire life – and despite what everyone likes to pretend, what goes around doesn’t necessarily come around, either. All you can do is focus on you. Be a good friend. Be kind. And find a new roommate.
Until recently, I worked at the same company as one of my closest friends. He got a great job at a competing firm. I knew he was going to have an opportunity to get rid of a lot of the people already there and bring in his own guys, so I was basically waiting for the phone to ring. As far as I know, he thinks I’m great at my job, and we have never let our friendship interfere with our professional relationship. Well, some phones rang, but mine wasn’t one of them. Especially galling was that one of the first people he hired was an annoying braggart I thought he couldn’t wait to be away from. I am seriously disappointed by how this has played out. Would it be out of line to call him up and ask him what’s going on?
I think it would be okay to give him a call, but you can’t act like he owes you a job just because you’re friends. You think your friendship gives you the inside track, but he may feel just the opposite. He might expect you to go above and beyond to be one of his new hires so he can’t be accused of filling the department with his buddies.
There are a lot of explanations for what’s going on. Call him, but talk to him like he's your prospective employer. Sell yourself – I can’t imagine anything making you a less attractive candidate than taking a job offer for granted. And for now, realize that you’re working in a company that’s being depleted of a lot of talent. Sounds like a great opportunity for someone.
I am a college senior who will be graduating in a few months. I have an opportunity to spend a year in Europe after I graduate, and I really want to take advantage of it. The problem is my mom would be left alone. My father hasn’t been part of our lives since I was young and it’s basically just been Mom and me. I don’t have any siblings. She doesn’t want me to go, which I understand, since she needs me here and I will have many opportunities to travel when I’m older. I love my mom, and I hate the thought of being away from her for so long, but I’ve never been to Europe (or much of anywhere) and I’m dying to go. Is it completely selfish to want to do this? I know a year is an awfully long time.
Been All Over Rhode Island
Someone’s definitely being selfish here, but it isn’t you. Your mother is simply wrong to try to talk you out of this. She should not be relying on you for companionship or emotional support. Of course you enjoy being together – that’s great. But she shouldn’t guilt you into turning down a fantastic opportunity so she isn’t “left alone.” There’s an enormous difference between enjoying your child’s company and depending on her for emotional fulfillment. You may well have opportunities to travel when you’re older, but you can’t compare staying in a hotel with your husband and kids to immersing yourself in another culture for a year. The plain fact is there will never be a better time in your life to do this. That your mother would try to manipulate you into forgoing it is truly sad. Please do yourself a favor and don’t let this opportunity pass you by. What will your mother do without you? That’s simple: she’ll miss you. And that’s as it should be.
John is a middle-aged family man from Providence, Rhode Island. If you learn from your mistakes, he’s brilliant. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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