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“I’m Jealous of My Man Magnet Roommate”

My college roommate is hands down the sweetest, funniest, most incredibly gorgeous girl I’ve ever met. Over the year, we have gotten very close, and I absolutely love spending time with her. The only problem is: every time we go anywhere together, guys immediately approach her and initiate a conversation with her, often completely ignoring me, which makes me feel undesirable and ‘second best.’ On top of that, numerous times I’ve invited my male friends over to our apartment, and they end up talking only to her, and continue to ask me about her for weeks after meeting her. The thing that bugs me the most about it is that she isn’t even flirty! She is in a long distance but successful relationship with her very handsome high school sweetheart.

A big part of me wants to end our friendship — and the living arrangements — at the end of this year. It’s taken quite a toll on my self esteem always feeling inferior. The one thing that makes me extremely hesitant to end the friendship, besides how much fun we have, is the fact that she has confided in me about her confusion as to why she cannot maintain close friendships with girls. Would it be wrong of me to end the friendship? Or should I talk to her about how I’m feeling? I’m not sure she even realizes it. — Jealous of the Man Magnet


As hard as it may be to believe right now, in the not-too-distant future, things are going to change a great deal. You will grow into your own skin and become a more confident person, for one thing. The guys you’ll meet will begin to mature a bit and value the traits you offer — the very traits that distinguish you from your friend. And you will find people whose boats really aren’t floated by your friend — people will truly prefer your company because of all the wonderful things that make you you. And when that happens — a year from now, two years from now, five years from now — are you going to be a happier person having waited patiently, enjoying the friendship of this person you have such a good time with, or are you going to be happier knowing you dumped her because you were too weak to handle friendship with someone who, at one point in your lives, seemingly attracted more male attention than you?

The way I see it your friend is actually doing you a favor. Her presence in your life is helping you weed out the men from the boys, or the guys who would potentially like you for who you are from the guys who are just after the hottest girl in the room. “Hot” changes. What’s hottest today may not be hottest tomorrow. Sure, you want someone who thinks you’re attractive, but more importantly, you want someone who is attracted to you as a person. That’s not the guy who’s going to ignore you the second your “incredibly gorgeous” friend walks in the door. That’s the guy who’s barely going to notice her when she does. So, use your friend. Use her first for wonderful companionship, but also as a way to measure whether a guy’s worthy and deserving of your company. And if it’s simply too hard on your ego to “compete” with a woman who, let’s remember is not in competition with you, that says something about your character and your worthiness of a guy’s attention and company.

It’s never too late or too early to start developing a deep character. Your friendship with your roommate seems like an ideal opportunity to do just that. And I promise you, one day you will find a guy for whom “deep character” is a huge turn-on.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

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{ 37 comments… add one }

  • avatar sarolabelle February 22, 2011, 3:23 pm

    Bravo! Wonderful advice. I have nothing else to say. :)

  • avatar AnitaBath February 22, 2011, 3:26 pm

    It may be harsh, but I think it would be incredibly immature of the LW to end the friendship. Sure, I could see maybe preferring to not live with her next year, but to end the entire friendship? Yeesh.

  • avatar TheGirl February 22, 2011, 3:38 pm

    Chicks before dicks! If these guys are too stupid to realize 1. you are an awesome catch and 2. you are available (unlike your roommate) then they are clearly not worth your effort and it’s good to have that pointed out early.

    On a side note – perhaps the people you should be pointing the problem out to are the GUYS. I think they should be teased mercilessly. If they are really your friends, pointing out that they are ignoring you when you’re the one they came to see should help put them in their place. You probably still shouldn’t date them, but future girlfriends will thank you!

  • avatar Steeze February 22, 2011, 3:43 pm

    its tough, especially when youre young, ive been through he same thing. my two best friends are man magnets. when we go out, they are both approached constantly. it used to bother me a bit but then i realized, i wouldnt want the attention even if i got it because it would be for the wrong reasons. these girls are the best people in my life and i wouldnt trade their loyal friendships for anything, especially just to feel a little prettier in a room. a good girlfriend is a hard thing to find, you should value it.

    wendy is right, all you need is that one person to think youre beautiful, not the whole world.

  • avatar Maracuya February 22, 2011, 3:45 pm

    Wendy- Didn’t you write a TF Dear Wendy about you and a friend in college that was similar to this girl’s situation? Can you link back to that or is that verboten? :)

    • Dear Wendy Wendy February 22, 2011, 4:02 pm

      Here it is: http://www.thefrisky.com/post/246-dear-wendy-im-so-envious-of-my-bff/.

    • avatar Maracuya February 22, 2011, 4:12 pm

      Woo, thanks, Wendy! I loved the backstory on that column. I think your advice on both counts is fantastic.

      LW, don’t worry about your roommate. This is my own strange personal thoughts on it, but here goes. I was watching “Amelie” for the first time yesterday and (yes, despite Audrey Tatou being oh-so-cute) what stuck out about her character and what made me like her were those little idiosyncracies that can’t be copied: how she likes to skip stones, stick her hands in sacks of grain and is just so unabashedly her. I think I admire that.

      Plus, she seems like a nice girl. I think it’s better that she *isn’t* flirting with every guy who crosses her path. And maybe she herself feels bad that guys won’t leave her alone and see her as a girl instead of a friend even when she stresses she’s already in a relationship.

  • avatar WatersEdge February 22, 2011, 3:46 pm

    Absolute perfection, Wendy! Nothing to add!

  • beenice Savannah February 22, 2011, 3:48 pm

    I had this problem in high school – my bff was beautiful and I swear almost every guy in our school had a crush on her. I was okay with this for a while until my crush had a crush on her and then it got difficult! I was mad because none of these boys knew either of our personalities and let’s just say she was a bit high-maintenence. We were almost inseparable for most of high school but at that point I tried to separate myself from her a little bit so that people would see that we were not just the same person in a different body. I gained some more self confidence by becoming more independent and I maintained our friendship. Maybe all LW needs is some distance so she does not have to deal with constant comparisons and she can regain some confidence.

    • avatar Anne (I Go To 11) February 22, 2011, 4:27 pm

      Same here, Savannah! I had a friend that I was close to in high school who just had guys following her around all the time. I had a number of guy friends that were pretty much obsessed with her, and I didn’t get it at all. Sure, she was beautiful, intelligent and her parents had money, but she was also pretty shallow and high-maintenance. We had a bit of a falling-out after high school, although we’re back in touch (not on a regular basis, though) via Facebook now. It drove me crazy back then, but now that it’s been 10 years, I’ve gained perspective. And you know what? We’ve all moved on. So LW, just hang in there; it may seem ridiculous right now, but if she’s as good a friend to you as you say, don’t end the friendship over these silly boys. Perhaps you could talk to her about how you’re feeling…chances are, she may not even realize what kind of effect she’s having on these boys.

  • avatar elisabeth February 22, 2011, 3:50 pm

    I’ve ended friendships before, when I was made to feel inferior, but it was because of actions that the other party took towards (against) me in particular. They were condescending on purpose. The reasons you list for being uncomfortable in your friendship? They are reasons to hold onto it! The people you know will rub off on you, so wouldn’t you rather take on traits of someone who is self-assured, confident, and who you think is a wonderful person?

  • avatar Amanda February 22, 2011, 3:52 pm

    I say, be her friend. Don’t dump her just because a small group of guys (college guys no less) engage her more. This may be a bit stereotypical but if she is still in a loving relationship with her highschool sweetheart I would bet she doesn’t know how “incredibly gorgeous” she is. I would actually go a little further and let her in on why you think she can’t keep friendships with other girls. Maybe you will end up being the best friend she never had the opportunity to have because no other girl took the time.

  • avatar TMSC February 22, 2011, 4:09 pm

    I don’t have much to add, I agree with Wendy and the previous commentators. Good girlfriends are invaluable and hard to find, I think you should hold on to the friendship.

  • avatar Rachelgrace53 February 22, 2011, 4:12 pm

    I was in this situation once. My best friend was beautiful, but a tomboy and couldn’t have cared less about dating, but guys always worshipped at her feet. My ex-boyfriend actually fell in love with her and they ended up dating for years. That was awful.
    But one boy in particular, was always trying to ask her out, for years (with no luck). I started going to the same college as he did, and he actually ended up falling in love with me. He eventually got his chance with her, as she apparently liked my “leftovers” for lack of a better term. He turned her down, telling me how foolish he had been for wanting her at all. He realized that he liked her in theory because she was appealing in a more obvious way to him, but he grew up and ended up falling for me.
    The point is that Wendy is right. This phase won’t last forever, and guys will grow up and realize you have amazing qualities, even if they aren’t as “obvious” right from the start.

  • avatar AKchic February 22, 2011, 4:38 pm

    Honey, you need to be honest with your roomie. She doesn’t know why she can’t keep friendships with girls, doesn’t ask for the attentions of these males, and you are getting mad at her?
    Tell her (NICELY) that the reason she probably can’t keep female friends is because the females in question are insecure around her. Explain to her that she is a knockout, and if she tries to shrug it off, bring up all of the times that you two have gone out, the times you bring male friends home, etc. Her humble humility does her credit. She cannot help the fact that she appears as the current standard of beauty. The only thing that matters is how she handles it.
    Once she knows, I bet that she will try to get the guys to include you in the conversations more, and try to bow out herself. She will be more quick to mention her boyfriend in passing when the boys are around.

    This girl is doing you a favor. She is weeding out the idiots who go for looks rather than substance. Would you really want a guy who is only interested in you for your looks, who will trade you in after you give him a kid or two for the next (younger) model? No.
    Stick around with this girl. She sounds like a good person to have as a friend.

    • avatar AnitaBath February 22, 2011, 5:41 pm

      I don’t know about sitting her down. Maybe if she mentions it again the LW could suggest people feel threatened and insecure around her, but to just sit her down and convince her of it, and then to tell her she’s wrong if she tries to argue and THIS is why she can’t keep friends seems a little pushy. There’s nothing she can do about it. If someone came up to me and said, “Look, girls don’t like you because you’re pretty. No, really. NO! Listen to me. This is why females hate you. Yes. I’m right. No, it’s not because of that. Remember that one time I felt horrible? Let me give you another example of when you unknowingly and unintentionally made me feel like crap do to no fault of your own. Still arguing with me? No, you’re wrong. Here, let me provide another example that make you feel guilty and horrible enough that you finally accept that your good looks are why women hate you.”

      • avatar thyme February 25, 2011, 8:02 pm

        I don’t really think that was what AKchic was suggesting. I think she was saying that she shouldn’t play ignorant when the friend wonders why she has a hard time keeping female friends. She didn’t instruct her to get beligerent about it. I think she was imagining something more along the lines of, “I think it’s because you’re beautiful, men like you when you aren’t even trying to attract attention, and insecure people can get jealous. Even I’ve caught myself feeling jealous of you. I know that’s silly of me, and I’m working on my own self-esteem, but in the meantine, I feel so fortunate to have a good friend like you–even if you are hotter than me!”

  • SixtyFour SmileRhode February 22, 2011, 4:50 pm

    You mention that your roommate is the sweetest and funniest girl that you know, besides being very attractive. Are you not sweet and funny? If not, maybe you should work on that. Or what about hobbies? Do you have interests that are unique to you and that you don’t share with your roommate? Stop focusing on what’s so great about your roommate and figure out what you love about yourself! And if there are things you don’t love, then work to make them better. You can’t help that your roommate is apparently god’s gift to the world, but you can help being resentful and jealous, both qualities that will just make you feel worse. Plus it sounds like you really value her friendship, and you wouldn’t want to lose a great friend over something like this.

  • avatar TheOtherMe February 22, 2011, 5:21 pm

    Unfortunately, often times, girls who are very pretty get a lot of attention but not always the good kind. Even if they are extremely beautiful on the inside, some men just don’t bother looking past the exterior.

    That can also be very damaging to your self esteem…

    • avatar thyme February 25, 2011, 8:05 pm

      I thought of that too. Maybe the hot roommate could even be a little jealous of the LW too because she doesn’t always have to feel like a piece of meat. At least, that would be a good way for the LW to look at it.

  • avatar Mainer February 22, 2011, 5:23 pm

    Unfortunately, as a guy, I do not have any advice on girl-to-girl friendships. If I were you, I would just get a nice bubble bath going, light a few candles, relax just the two of you, and…wait. Dammit, I’m so bad at this.

    No, but guys have this same problem. There’s always one person in our group who just kills it with the ladies. Aside from lowering our self-esteem, his task is also to get our hopes up by doing recognizance on the group of girls across the room to see if they, or even just one, would at least wave to us. We try to nonchalantly update ourselves on the situation, looking up from the brims of our beer mugs, and then perk up like a pack of meerkats as he returns to inform us that they do not, in fact, have any interest in talking with any one of us. But he always points out the invitation he just received to go to the next bar with them, and he’ll be calling us in the morning for breakfast.

    But the best you can do is just learn to have fun with the situation. You can’t look at every single interaction as a potential future boyfriend. Because one day, this girl will likely attract an entire soccer team over to your table, and at least one of those guys is going to be into the girl who doesn’t have to always be the center of attention. Those are they types of girls I notice in a group, anyway. I hate being the center of attention, it is by far my biggest pet peeve. Followed very closely by friends of mine who get phone numbers while buying a book of stamps.

    • avatar cdj0815 February 23, 2011, 8:20 am

      Thanks for the male point of view. I always appreciate that.

      • avatar thyme February 25, 2011, 8:08 pm

        Excellent imagery, Mainer! Meerkats… ha ha ha

        Incidentally, I have a female friend who always goes for the quiet, awkward guy in the group.

  • avatar Kerrycontrary February 22, 2011, 7:31 pm

    I faced a similar problem with my roomate and college best friend during my junior/senior year of college. The thing is, that at that point in time I had broken up with a boyfriend of 2 years and was actively looking for someone. Men can sense when you are desperate (which I was at this point in time). After I relaxed and just had fun going out to bars with my best friend, I easily found boyfriends. Perhaps you are trying to attract men while your friend is comfortable in her own skin because she has a secure relationship. This kind of confidence easily attracts the opposite sex.

    Take Wendy’s advice and wait it out until you become more comfortable with yourself and the men come to you. I promise, it WILL change and get better.

  • avatar Anastasiachs February 22, 2011, 9:17 pm

    I had this problem with my 1st and 2nd year roommate, except, and this sounds totally and completely vain (and oh my god I’m going to hell for saying this), my friend wasn’t totally gorgeous, she’s pretty, earthy, has a great personality, but not what the vain would classify as a “catch” on first 10 second glance.
    After about a year and a half of being around her guy magnetness, I realized that part of the reason why I never got any attention around her is because I have a strong personality, I am not docile or meek (and you can tell with in about 5 seconds of meeting me), whereas my roommate does come off as the shy type, and the guys at my univ. LOVE the shy type (they are pretty much the guys who look for women to marry who will do what every they say, you know the “obey thy husband” vow, these are the guys who are keeping that alive). Long story short, if this is just happening within a certain community, it could just be some sort of personality preference that comes out.

    Now, I’m not saying that there is anything I regret or that I feel is wrong with my personality or who I am, I just now realized I don’t mesh with about 80% of the guys on my campus, and I’m okay with that.

    In terms of your male friends who ignore you, I agree with TheGirl, call them out on that bull. My mother would call that rude.

  • caitie_didnt caitie_didn't February 22, 2011, 9:24 pm

    One of my roommates and closest university friends is similar to the LW’s friend. She’s beautiful, bubbly and outgoing and instantly has guys falling all over themselves for her. I love her to death but sometimes I do get resentful when we go out and she’s getting all this attention while I’m being entirely ignored. It’s not that I’m unattractive and it’s not that I’m not a nice person- I’m just very shy. I think a lot of people mistake shy for stand-offish, and I easily get overshadowed by more outgoing people. So, my solution was that I needed to stop putting myself in situations that made me miserable. For me, I found parties where I didn’t know a lot of people were the worst. My man-magnet friend was a triple varsity athlete, so was always dragging me off to house parties for various teams, where she knew almost everyone and I only knew her. She’d get tonnes of attention and I’d want to melt into the floor. By my second year, I realized that these were not social situations that allowed me to shine, and I found other ones that did; some that included her, and others with other friends. We’re still good friends, and still able to go out and have fun together, but I had to learn by myself that I’m just not cut out to be the life of the party- and learn to be okay with that.

  • avatar Andie February 22, 2011, 9:25 pm

    Awesome advice from Wendy! You do not need to dump your friend. Honestly, you wouldn’t want the kind of guys she attracts anyway. I had a similar relationship with my best friend all through high shcool and college (and we are still best friends). I am now happily married with 2 kids and she has been divorced twice. :( She can easily find guys to go out with but they never seem to be quality people. Follow Wendy’s advice and you will be just fine!!!

  • Chicago-Dude Chicago_Dan February 23, 2011, 1:59 am

    LW: control the controllables and in this case, the controllable is your attitude towards your roommate’s perceived fart-don’t-stink-in-front-of-boys actions.
    Stop worrying about what she’s doing and focus on yourself.

    What are you learning about yourself during this period that will help make you a people-magnet; a good person; a good conversationalist, etc?

    May I recommend a book – “How to Win Friends & Influence People” – Dale Carnegie.
    Lots of common sense, but easily forgettable tips on… (you guessed it)… winning friends and influencing people.

    All the best.

    • avatar MissDre February 23, 2011, 8:40 am

      I was going to suggest that too… great book!

  • avatar ReginaRey February 23, 2011, 9:08 am

    I totally agree with Wendy – this friend will be very helpful in showing you what guys are quality, and which to pass over. Also – just because this friend is beautiful and sweet and fantastic doesn’t mean you AREN’T all of those things, too! You seem to be intimidated by her, which is understandable, but I hope you recognize that you have just as many winning qualities as she does, and you shouldn’t be too shy or afraid to let other people see them. When you invite your guy friends over or when you two go out, make sure you speak up – don’t feel like you need to hide in her shadow! The good guys like girls who aren’t afraid to have an opinion and be themselves, and who are totally confident that they are just as beautiful and awesome as their roommate.

  • parton_doll parton_doll February 23, 2011, 9:34 am

    My current best friend of a few years is just as the LW described. She is beautiful and doesn’t always understand why she is receiving the male attention that she receives. I have always been more of a “personality” girl than a “looks” girl, and for a while I felt inferior to her. But I noticed over time with us just being friends, she would suggest things for me to wear or different ways to carry myself to boost my own confidence. For instance, she would recommend colors that looked good on me or styles that accentuated my features. All of this was in general conversation and never critical. And I was able to do the same for her in the personlity department. (We are each other’s wingperson … good fun let me tell you). This just happened over the course of us growing in friendship. I wouldn’t trade her for the world. My life is so much more enriched because of her. So I say definitely continue the friendship and focus on building a strong bond with the two of you … male attention excluded. I’m not saying you won’t feel awkward around her but as the bond with the two of you grows, that awkwardness will hopefully dimish.

  • avatar Finikki February 23, 2011, 11:31 am

    I have the same type of friend: beautiful, sweet, hilarious, and incredibly friendly and open. Ever since I’ve known her, all my male friends can’t get enough of being around her and are constantly wondering how they can date her, even though she’s pretty much always taken.

    Before I introduced my now-boyfriend to her, I warned him that all men seem to immediately fall in love with her and that I would appreciate it if he didn’t. God knows if he was telling the truth or not but, after he met her, he told me that he didn’t see what the big deal was and that there was no way he’d ever prefer to be with her rather than me. Yes, he is a wonderful, wonderful man.

    This just proves that Wendy’s advice is right on. When you meet a real, mature man that you want to be with, he will likely value your awesome traits over someone that may be gorgeous and sweet, but certainly has her flaws just like everyone else.

  • avatar Isabel February 23, 2011, 1:10 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with Wendy.

    It’s not easy to deal with envy but honestly that feeling only harms you and no one else. Your friend seems genuenly nice, and you’re thinking of losing that great friendship for some boys you’ll not even remember 5 years from now? I bet you’re smarter than that. Keep developing this friendship that may even become a life-lasting one and tell your friends that ignoring you is rude (not in your roomate prescence) and tease them about being so shallow.

  • avatar DebMoore February 23, 2011, 2:59 pm

    I know how you feel, I have been through it! It really sucks and it does take a toll on ones self esteem. I had two friends like that (at different times) one really did stuff like that on purpose (and not just to me to everybody) so I did drop her. The other firend really just was/is a vibrant, cute, nice, fun girl that people like. We’d get approched by guys all the time that would talk to her and ignore me, and yes it did suck. BUT since she was such a great person and we had fun and she was really nice person I hung on to our freindship. After a while I got over myself and came to realize there were guys out there that liked me too. It also made me try a little harder to be more charming and friendly like her. Eventullay it just didn’t matter anymore. We are both married, so no more cruising for boys! We are still friends, so it was worth it!

  • avatar Chicka Bow Bow February 23, 2011, 7:27 pm

    I was hesitant to post because I was afraid I would sound narcissistic or something, but I just wanted to throw in my two cents. I found I have the opposite problem: I suppose I’m what you could call “conventionally attractive” and my closest two girlfriends are big girls with less conventional looks. They have almost the exact same look and body type as each other, but there’s one huge difference: confidence.
    With the one friend (who is a lesbian, and I am bisexual -though in a committed relationship), she would act shy and awkward in public and complain when girls (and guys, when in a nongay bar) came over to hit on me and not her. She felt self-conscious and wouldn’t make eye contact with people. She’d clam up in conversations and try to make herself invisible. She’d cover up her body however she could (big clothes, lots of layers, crossed arms, slouching behind obstructions, etc). I tried being a “wing girl” by introducing the ladies who came to talk to me to her, but she really had no faith that she could “compete” with me and didn’t even try, so it never worked.
    The other friend totally OWNS her round, feminine body and rocks it. She flaunts what she’s got, plants on a sassy smile, and absolutely radiates her own unique sex appeal. She doesn’t “think” she’s sexy or “act like” she’s sexy: She KNOWS she’s sexy. She walks and talks with confidence. When we go out together in public, we couldn’t be a more opposite-looking pair, yet men come up and talk to us in pretty much equal amounts. She is never lacking in male companionship! Her attitude comes from the inside and shines right through to the outside, and men totally respond to it.
    I think we can all learn a lot from my second friend! :)

  • avatar Ana February 23, 2011, 9:57 pm

    So, pretty much the same thing happened to me, my roommate is a wonderful person but everyone seems to love her and I’ve felt left behind sometimes. However, because of her magnetic personality I was able to meet my current friends and I have become much more sociable. My problems also stemmed back to previous issues with self-esteem I had had before coming to college. However I have no problem with her anymore, I’m sure that the friends I have like me for me (and not just to hang out with my roommate) and I found an awesome guy who wasn’t even slightly interested in her. I would say keep her as a roommate (at least until the end of your lease) and definitely keep her as a friend if she is as awesome as you say she is. BTW, that was great advice Wendy

  • avatar OldFashioned March 7, 2011, 8:30 pm

    Sometimes things that mess with your self esteem need to be avoided. Even if they’re good things. I wouldn’t break up the friendship with the person but honestly I probably wouldn’t live there anymore if it contributed to bad self esteem. Maybe taking some space from this girl for awhile (in the sense of not living with her) might be good for you and give you a chance to build yourself up instead of always being shot down and feel desirable for once. When someone’s a roomate it’s hard to go out at all without them coming along. The guys are lame and it guy friends who talk to you like your one of their frat brothers are the most annoying creatures to slither around this planet.

    However, please know that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. This is not this girl’s fault but you should take time away to work on your self esteem and see what it’s like to have people come to your house to see YOU

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