Dear Wayne and Wanda,
My roommate "Harry" and I have lived together for a couple of years now. We have a cool condo downtown that is near all the bars and both of our offices. We get along well as roommates and I didn't really have any complaints, until Harry met "Sally."
I like Sally. She's sweet, friendly and really pretty. The problem is she is always here. She spends every night here. Every day when I get home from work, Sally is on the couch knitting or reading or on her laptop. She spends forever in the bathroom every morning. Her food has started to take up the little kitchen space we have. They are always using the TV at night -- and it's my TV!
I feel bad complaining because Sally is so nice. She often makes us dinner and she always tries to include me when they are hanging out, but I feel like an outcast in my own home, and I don't remember signing on for a new roommate. I get that Harry wants to spend time with her, but she never leaves. I tried to bring it up and Harry said it just makes sense that she stay with us since they work in the same building and her apartment is in South Anchorage and her roommates "aren't as cool" as me. How should I handle this?
-- Signed, When Harry Met Sally... I lost my happy home
Our homes are our happy places where we can escape from the outside world, relax and recharge. Now that Harry's honey is hanging her hat there, you're understandably feeling the crunch of the estrogen invasion. No matter how sweet and cute she is, her girly presence alters the easy chemistry of your bachelor pad -- a pad where, I presume, you pay half the rent, and she pays none. So yes, it's OK to be a bit irritated.
Good roommates are gold and it sounds like you and Harry lucked out in the cohabitation compatibility department, so be careful how you handle this. Schedule a dude date over beer and pizza and talk it out. Tell him you're happy for him, it's not personal, Sally's a sweetie, and you get that they love being around each other. But having her stay the night every night and essentially exist as a third roommate is a bit much.
Don't dictate the terms, but open the door for a compromise. Chances are he has no idea this has even been on your mind.
First of all, good luck getting a "dude date" with Harry. Sounds like he and Sally are joined at the hip, except when she's hogging your bathroom to fix her hair, that is.
Harry's breaking a half-dozen guy codes and one golden two-bedroom rental rule right now, but he's blinded by his live-in lover. So no matter how you broach this with him, once you have this conversation things will never be the same -- either he'll be upset, or she'll be upset, or they'll both be upset. And ultimately, he'll move out or she'll move in.
Just face reality and ask her to start paying rent. Then enjoy the discounted rent rate and all of her cooked meals, iron out some bathroom times with her, and move your TV into your bedroom so you can watch all the Adult Swim you want.
Final question: Whose condo is this anyway? If it isn't technically yours and she moves in and starts paying rent, there could be a day that they get tired of you intruding on their couch make-out sessions and ask you to leave. Just saying. Stop making waves or get a place of your own.
• Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and been to therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.