I went to Europe with Rick for spring break, and before we left, he changed his plane ticket to come back a couple days early to be with Lucy. Since then, Lucy essentially lives in my house – she sleeps over every night, has a toothbrush in the holder etc, despite not paying rent and having an apartment of her own a 5 minute walk away.
I know that its bad to get involved with anyone else’s relationship, but I am worried about both Rick and Lucy, and my other roommates, his friends, and even her friends have all expressed the same sentiment. In April, a friend and I attempted to talk to Lucy without Rick present, and he almost banged down the door trying to get in so that we would not be alone with her. They frequently outright ignore other people, even if directly addressed, and only talk to each other. They have recently been fighting and arguing, but even through this they have not separated at all. As far as I know, they have not been separate for even an hour outside of work or classes. When classes were in session, one would walk the other to their class (if they didn’t have class at the same time), wait nearby and do homework until the other was done with their class, and then they would walk home together.
Recently, after coming home from work I knocked on Rick’s door to go talk to the two of them, and found him sitting on his computer, with Lucy perched on the end of the bed doing nothing. I mentioned I was about to watch a TV show, and Lucy said she wanted to watch it as well, but my roommate didn’t want to. She asked if it was “OK” for her to go watch the show, and he mumbled something that did not exactly deny her from going to watch, but expressed that he didn’t really want her to go, so she stayed in his room with him instead of coming to our living room to watch this show. I have more stories than this one about their co-dependence as well.
I’m worried about this relationship, and I don’t think its healthy for either of them to be in the sort of relationship they are currently in. I feel like there needs to be an intervention, or even some professional help. Should I do something, or just leave them alone? — Worried Sick
Is it the season? Is it the warm weather and the promise of long, lazy summer days ahead of us that’s making people “worry” so much about their friends and family’s relatively harmless relationships? Are people lonely? What’s going on? I don’t mean to pick on you specifically, WS; yours is just one example of the kinds of letters jamming my virtual in-box lately, and I’m simply wondering what these “concerns” so many of you are having are a symptom of. Because frankly, the relationships people are writing to me about do not warrant a response in an advice column, let alone an “intervention” or professional help.
Instead, the intervention that needs to happen is with the with the writers of all these letters I’ve been receiving. So, to you, WS, and everyone else who has written me similar messages of concern in recent weeks, I say exactly what I told “Tired of Being Lied To” earlier this month: get a life. I mean that in the most compassionate, non-condescending way possible (as much as a statement like that can be non-condescending). You’ve spent months fretting over a relationship that, while co-dependent, to be sure, is not unusual or of great concern. You’re talking about a college couple who has been together for four months and spends all their time together. That’s it! From your description, there’s no abuse, no infidelity, no shared addiction, no grave illness or anything else that would warrant the kind of worry you’ve expressed here. But your own accounts, this couple seems “happy,” so what’s the problem? I mean, what you’ve described is, like, 90% of every college couple out there, WS. New couples — especially young ones — spend their initial months together lost in a “couple bubble,” neglecting their other friendships and retreating to their rooms for hours and hours on end. That’s what they do. I assure you, this is not something that requires an intervention or professional help. The only thing a situation like this needs is the luxury of time, some patience and understanding from newly-neglected friends, and a little reprieve from the judgment of people who “mean well” but come off seeming more like nosy, jealous busybodies than anything else.
That doesn’t mean you don’t have a reason to be upset. If your roommate has basically let his girlfriend move into your home, and you and your other roommates feel she should begin contributing to the rent or household expenses, then that is a concern you can voice to him. But let me stress: this conversation should focus solely on how you and your roommates feel taken advantage of, not on all the reasons you’re worried about Rick’s relationship. Don’t use the fact that his girlfriend is living rent-free in your home as an excuse to “intervene” in a situation that does not concern you. Stick to the situation that does concern you. And then leave them alone. They’re young and in love. Let them enjoy it before the stress of reality eventually bursts that couple bubble they’re living in.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to follow me on Twitter.
kerrycontrary June 20, 2011, 10:27 am
Wendy I totally agree! What this guy described is very very similar to the relationship my college boyfriend and I shared. From keeping a toothbrush at his place when I only lived 5 mins away (who doesn’t want to brush their teeth ASAP in the morning?) and spending all of our free time together….It seems like the LW needs to get a significant other and see how people act when they are crazy, stupidly, in love. You have a ton of free time in college, and when you fall in love you DO want to be in a “couple bubble” as Wendy called it.
Maracuya June 20, 2011, 10:44 am
I call it a “love cocoon.” 😀
SpaceySteph June 20, 2011, 11:13 am
Haha when I had been dating my college boyfriend for 2 months, I bought him a 2-pack of toothbrushes as a Valentine’s Day gift. One for him to keep at my place (on the 4th floor of a dorm building) and one for me to keep at his (on the seventh, of the same building).
I thought I was being just so adorable and romantic. Ah, young love!
Britannia June 21, 2011, 3:09 am
I always think of Brittany Murphy in ‘Uptown Girls’ when it comes to such a stage of a relationship… she referred to it as “Dungeon Love”.
MsMisery June 20, 2011, 10:33 am
Well… maybe the LW is being a little nosy, but I have never acted like this in a relationship, no matter how new or infatuated. I’ve always managed to address people who speak to me (even if my *beloved* is in the room), walk to class without him without dying, and go into the next room without his approval. If THIS is normal then maybe that’s why none of my relationships have ever worked out. I’ve been doing it wrong! I think if you are worried about your friend (and not just being nosy or jealous), you should tell him so, but you’re going to have to choose your words very very carefully so that you don’t come off as judging his relationship or his girlfriend. Say that you and your other friends miss him.
And yes, you also do need to address the issue of her virtually-moving in. That’s just bad manners.
_jsw_ June 20, 2011, 10:37 am
I don’t think it’s typical so much as it’s not abnormal. I knew a lot of couples in college, and only a very few acted like this, and every one of those relationships exploded spectacularly afterwards. It was sort of like shaking up a can of soda and waiting for someone to open it. Everything was fine… everything was fine… everything was fine… and then BOOM! Mess everywhere.
But, hey, it happens. You can worry about it, or you can start a betting pool to see when the explosion will occur.
MsMisery June 20, 2011, 10:40 am
Starting a pool should give the LW something more lucrative to focus her energies on, at least!!
spaceboy761 June 20, 2011, 10:40 am
“But, hey, it happens. You can worry about it, or you can start a betting pool to see when the explosion will occur.”
I’m telling you… DearWendyBook.com. Let’s make it happen.
_jsw_ June 20, 2011, 10:43 am
I agree, but the LW cannot participate. Too easy to force the explosion. Shakey-shakey. They’re already arguing. All someone needs to do is pull the tab.
spaceboy761 June 20, 2011, 11:10 am
Here’s the plan:
Buy a Twix and take out one of the bars as carefully as you can. Then glue together the open end with rubber cement and let it dry overnight. Now leave the doctored Twix bar in Rick’s bedroom.
Rick: “Oh hey, a Twix bar! What are the odds?!”
Annoying GF: “Yay! One delicious chocolate-covered treat for each of us! I love you!
Rick: “Wait a second… it seems that there’s only one in here…”
[3 minutes later]
Annoying GF: “I NEVER LOVED YOU! BURN IN FUCKING HELL!!!” [slams door, storms out]
_jsw_ June 20, 2011, 11:15 am
I normally like your posts, but this one’s just crazy.
Who in their right mind is going to open a Twix wrapper and just eat one of them before sealing it back up?
spaceboy761 June 20, 2011, 11:20 am
You would have to buy a second Twix to have three bars for three roomates to keep yourself from going nuts. I didn’t say that the plan was for the meekly committed. It’s risky, but I think it’s worth it.
honeybeenicki June 20, 2011, 12:02 pm
I would have a hard time eating just one. I have a candy problem – it just compels me to eat it and I can’t help it!
_jsw_ June 20, 2011, 10:33 am
I agree that it could be really disconcerting to be a roommate in this situation, and I agree that a discussion about essentially bringing on another roommate without consent from the other roommates and without compensation is completely valid.
But this clinginess? It’ll either burn out or they’ll move to the woods in Maine and become recluses. Neither option should end up being a problem for the LW.
Enjoy the fact that you haven’t really gained a roommate, you’ve lost one, because they never leaves his room. More apartment for the rest of you!
Caris June 21, 2011, 7:49 pm
“More apartment for the rest of you!”
Tree_gal June 20, 2011, 10:36 am
Um, you didn’t find it worrisome that he freaked out when someone was trying to talk to her alone? That she had to ask permission to do something without him? I wasn’t there so maybe I am imaging things, but doesn’t that behavior seem controlling? I remember the college love bubbles (was in ’em, and saw a lot of ’em too), but something doesn’t seem quite right in this one. While I think you are right to tell the LW to butt out for now, I would still keep on eye on things.
_jsw_ June 20, 2011, 10:39 am
The thing is, I get the impression that it would have played out the same if he’d been the one asked to watch TV.
I agree it would be an issue if it seemed he was “keeping her in line,” but it really just seems like they’re in their own little universe for now. I don’t know if it was controlling so much as each now feels the other must be right there or else they feel vulnerable or something.
Tree_gal June 20, 2011, 10:48 am
Yeah, I looked at it from that side too, its hard to tell from just this letter what’s going on. Its certainly not the friends place to step in right now, but based on this description, I might keep an eye on things.
It did occur to me since my last post that while the LW really has no place to interfere (at least based on what they’ve said in this letter) with the relationship, I think it would be okay for them to address how they miss their friend, and want more time with him. While the clingyness of the relationship is none of her business, I think it would be legit to say something like “I am so thrilled you are happy, but I miss spending time with you. Could we schedule a rommate night where we all hang out?” It might be a gentle reminder that others exist, and that his other relationships are being impacted.
silver_dragon_girl June 20, 2011, 10:50 am
I don’t think she was asking permission so much as asking if he was ok with her leaving. That’s actually the polite thing to do- if you’re hanging out with someone you say, “is it OK if I leave to go do this?” He hemmed and hawed, but he didn’t *forbid* her, he just made it clear he didn’t want her to go.
Now, the banging-down-the-door thing is a little weird, but I’m willing to bet there’s way more to that story than we got here.
Christy June 20, 2011, 9:16 pm
I also don’t think she was asking permission to leave. It might just be that she didn’t know the roommate as well and didn’t feel completely comfortable hanging out with her alone, so she was asking if he would watch it with them. Or they had been planning to do something within the next hour and she was checking with him.
MiMi June 20, 2011, 11:00 am
I agree – it is quite easy to see Rick as an up and coming abuser, controlling Lucy’s behavior, isolating her and not wanting others to talk to her, waiting outside her classroom, coming home early from a trip, etc. Maybe she sleeps at his house all the time because he insists… LW said other friends have expressed some concern. Do they all need to get a life too?
If this is just a love bubble, Lucy will surely snap out of it because how fun is it, really, to sit at the bottom of someone’s bed staring off into space while they use the computer?
As Tree_gal said, keep an eye on things, LW.
jessicaxmx June 20, 2011, 11:52 am
It does seem controlling, but that’s how young relationships usually are. I will admit and I’m sure a lot of other people have, that I have been one to be in this kind of relationship. But we all need to be in relationships like this to help mold of what we really want out of one. For example, with my ex-boyfriends I’ve been with in the past has made me realize what I want and don’t want in a relationship as of now.
LW seems to be a little on the jealous side, which is understandable. I just think he needs to get used to the fact that his friend is one of those people who seclude themselves in a relationship (at least this one). The only thing he can possibly do is be a good friend when he his friend needs advice or just a good shoulder to lean on. That’s what he would do if he were a true friend and if his friend ever DID need advice he would be there for him instead of criticizing him for putting himself in that situation. Obviously there is no physical abuse going on as Wendy has said. It’s really none of LWs business.
Oh, and BTW, make that woman pay for somethin’! Whether it’s pitchin’ on groceries or cleaning the damn house.
katiebird June 20, 2011, 12:13 pm
I think this is really good advice, just because it never hurts to err on the side of caution. I had a good friend who was in a relationship similar to the one the LW describes that turned abusive, and for the record I am not saying that I think Rick and Lucy’s relationship is abusive, or that all couple bubble relationships turn abusive, just that the LW should keep her eye open for actual red flags just to be safe.
justpeachy June 20, 2011, 3:26 pm
I completely agree. I just see so much of myself in this girl and that’s what scares me. My first boyfriend was clingy in the beginning, and over time, slowly enough so that I really didn’t notice, he became controlling, manipulative, and emotional abusive. The only reason I realized the relationship was unhealthy was that I left for a summer internship on the other side of the country and, in my descriptions of him, the other interns wondered why I was with such a jerk. And he was a jerk. He tried to remain controlling even though we were thousands of miles apart and I finally got out after five years of being belittled.
I guess my point is, looking back, I have never been able to forgive some of my friends who didn’t say anything. They saw me in a horrible and unhealthy situation and didn’t say one word. They just fazed me out so they wouldn’t have to watch. I’m not saying you should voice your opinion to the girlfriend, but maybe invite her out for a girl’s night. Get to know her better and make sure to be honest and gentle with her if she ASKS you for your opinion on the situation.
LolaBeans June 20, 2011, 10:37 am
I’m pretty sure I was also like the girl in the letter once. Hasn’t everyone been like that?
Don’t worry so much about someone elses relationship… it shouldn’t bother you so much.
EmmieEm June 20, 2011, 10:45 am
While I understand that the ‘couple bubble’ phase can be annoying, nauseating even, to surrounding friends and loved ones, it happens to the best of us. I hate when my best single friends get into new relationships! It’s like they fall off of the face of the earth! But, I know that if I give them some time to wear off that ‘new car smell’ phase (as I like to call it), they’ll be back to normal. Sometimes, even better and happier than normal because they’ve found the SO of their dreams. So, it may be worth the temporary nausea.
silver_dragon_girl June 20, 2011, 10:46 am
Totally agree with Wendy. Although, really, is she causing your household bills to go up or something? Because unless that’s the case, I really don’t think you have any right to be upset that she’s “practically moved in.” If she’s taking a shower every day and cooking 3 course meals on your stove or cranking the air conditioning up, then yes. But if she’s just sitting in your roommate’s room with him, what’s the problem?
Anyway, this is NOT uncommon. My college roommate did essentially the same thing with her now-husband. Every waking moment was spent on webcam with him (even if they weren’t talking), on the phone, driving to or from his place, or at his place. Or he was in our dorm room, which was a little weird but I didn’t mind too much. And yes, my other good friend and I were VERY concerned about her…but nothing ever came of it. Things calmed down, they got married, and then she moved away when he was stationed somewhere else.
Different people have vastly different relationships. Just because someone’s relationship takes a form that you would never be comfortable with doesn’t mean something is wrong with it.
Heather June 20, 2011, 7:10 pm
Disagree, to an extent. To me anyways, it’s not just about using the space. Even if their not doing anything..I would be frustrated to come home and have someone just being there who wouldn’t normally be. Had it happen before. Sometimes I want to just come home and relax in my own place. If she doesn’t live there, I don’t think she should be there as much as she is. It isn’t fair to the other roomies.
Heather June 20, 2011, 7:19 pm
They’re* n00b mistake.
ArtsyGirl June 21, 2011, 10:07 am
props for the noob comment
PFG-SCR June 20, 2011, 11:02 am
I agree with Wendy – just let this one play out how it’s naturally going to happen. They’re likely spending so much time in his room because:
– they’re screwing like rabbits, and/or
– they’re staying out of everyone’s way because she is over so much, and they don’t want to “impose” by being in the common areas of the apartment.
Unless she’s eating your food or causing some other increase in expenses, I don’t think you should approach her about paying for part of the rent. If she’s just in his room and brushing her teeth a few times a day, there’s no incremental cost being incurred on her behalf.
spaceboy761 June 20, 2011, 11:03 am
I think that you have every right to confront Rick about essentially bringing on a freeloading roommate without consulting anybody else in the apartment, regardless of whom is banging whom. When he inevitably explodes into a “YOUR JUST JELOUS OF OUR LUV!!!1!!” tirade or dismisses you entirely, you can suggest that he find his own place or maybe (gasp!) spend any time at her nearby apartment. If they counter with, “Her roommates would totally hate that.”, you set up the terrific comeback, “Great, now you know how we feel!”. If another one of you points and yells “BAM!” right after that, it would be a really solid burn.
They ARE banging, right? Because it would be really weird if they weren’t. To hang and hover around each other all day and nuzzle and cuddle and not even like.. oh God.. oh God… this is creeping the fuck out of me. I have to go download some porn right now.
MsMisery June 20, 2011, 11:07 am
I would hope they’re frakking. Otherwise it just reminds me of Twilight. Worshipping eachother… touching… beathing each other’s air… coming so close to sin, BUT NO!!!!! ALAS WE CANNOT!
_jsw_ June 20, 2011, 11:10 am
Well, if they’re not having sex, one or more of the roommates in rooms with adjoining walls definitely should be having sex, loudly and frequently. Or at least simulating it.
Shakey-shakey. It’ll speed things up.
PFG-SCR June 20, 2011, 11:16 am
“Shakey-shakey. It’ll speed things up.”
Maybe you underestimate Rick’s stamina…
spaceboy761 June 20, 2011, 11:14 am
They don’t bang in Twilight?! Are you shitting me? I somehow hate that franchise more than I did five seconds ago, which is seemingly impossible. It’s like travelling faster than the speed of light.
MsMisery June 20, 2011, 11:17 am
AHAHAHA. The author is a Mormon. So it’s a sort-of morality tale. They don’t bang until (SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE OF YOU LIVING 5 YEARS AGO) they get married (which I can’t remember if it is the end of the 3rd book, or the 4th book).
I just read it cuz I like vampires, but it is a little… sparkly.
spaceboy761 June 20, 2011, 11:40 am
Real vampires don’t sparkle. They burst into hideous flames and then Buffy says somethign witty. Then Xander tries to say something wittier and fails hilariously.
RavageMaladie June 20, 2011, 12:00 pm
I applaud you.
Firegirl32 June 20, 2011, 12:38 pm
Exactly! They kick ass…not sparkle. Haven’t seen or read Twilight. Just can’t bring myself to tarnish the Buffy vampire legacy. Ha!
TaraMonster June 20, 2011, 12:51 pm
I can’t believe I’m late to Dear Wendy today and missed the Twilight bashing bonanza. As I wrote to my friend earlier who today who posted “Happy 110 birthday, Edward… <3" on FB:
I hate Twilight more than I love kittens. If I had the option of burning every twilight book in the series and saving a kitten… i'd burn the books. (Sorry, adorable kitten!!)
WORST. BOOKS. EVER. WRITTEN.
And no, my friend is not fourteen. She's twenty-six!!!
ArtsyGirl June 21, 2011, 10:31 am
ahh Spike be still my heart…..
honeybeenicki June 20, 2011, 12:04 pm
My stepdaughter LOVES Twilight. So much so that when I went to Seattle to visit an old friend, my stepdaughter begged and pleaded with me to take a trip to Forks to get pictures and buy her a souvenir. And I’m a sucker, so I did. Personally, I read about 20 pages of one book and haven’t ever seen a movie and I’m absolutely ok with that.
SpyGlassez June 20, 2011, 10:10 pm
My best friend and I invented a Twilight Drinking Game for the movie. One drink for every creepy long look by Edward, one drink every time he sparkles, one drink every time Bella is awkward….we had to slow down because the alcohol was going too fast.
ReginaRey June 20, 2011, 11:21 am
Funnily enough, I LOVED Twilight when I was in my co-dependent “I want to be in a tragic, epic love affair and I never want to see anyone but you” phase in college. Now, I find it all so ridiculously lame. Get some friends, Bella! And Edward, stop saying things like, “You are my reasoning for existing.” VOMIT. Also, Kristen Stewart is just the cherry on top of the awkward cake.
SpaceySteph June 20, 2011, 11:28 am
One million thumbs up. But I’ll have to settle for one…
MissDre June 20, 2011, 11:34 am
Hahaha me too, I used to think Twilight was so romantic… but after I got over my own co-dependency issues, I read it again and was like WOW this is SO unhealthy!!
caitie_didn't June 20, 2011, 11:45 am
The “Edward watches Bella sleep” thing? Too creepy. Couldn’t get past it.
kali June 21, 2011, 2:25 pm
Eh, I couldn’t get past sparkly, out in the daytime vamps.
RavageMaladie June 20, 2011, 11:59 am
Not to mention the ‘I’m so in love with you I HAVE to break into your room at night and watch you sleep, even if you say you don’t want me to’.
Super healthy relationship, BINGO!!
atlimbo June 20, 2011, 12:35 pm
Couldn’t agree more – when I had my stone-humored, old fashioned, British (ha!) controlling relationship going on, I tried to convince everyone that Edward was THE MAN.
_jsw_ June 20, 2011, 11:19 am
No banging (at least for most of the series), but there is a lot of sucking*.
* The words, the plot, the covers, the acting… it all sucks. 😉
LTC039 June 20, 2011, 11:18 am
They will in the new movie. They get married. lol. I’m not that big of a twilight fan but I’ve seen some of the movies & I know they do in the next movie.
_jsw_ June 20, 2011, 11:11 am
It frightens me, spaceboy, that you’d need to download porn.
It’s always prudent to have porn already on hand, as it were, just in case situations like this occur.
spaceboy761 June 20, 2011, 11:17 am
At work. HR wiped out my ‘away’ porn stash last month and I can’t find my thumb drive anywhere. They IP-blocked all of the normal sites here, but I hit up the Amanda Palmer website galleries so I should be OK until lunch.
_jsw_ June 20, 2011, 11:20 am
iPod touches are relatively inexpensive and appropriately named. I strongly recommend them for these types of situations.
beans629 June 20, 2011, 11:48 am
Ok, for the record…I want a job that allows me to have an ‘away’ porn stash on my computer and not get fired.
TheOtherMe June 20, 2011, 1:47 pm
I work from home, nothing blocked. EVER. I win.
PFG-SCR June 20, 2011, 11:13 am
If she was eating their food, sitting on the couch controlling the remote, spending hours in the bathroom getting ready, etc., then I could understand the other roommates getting annoyed with it. But, they’re not. If he has his own room, why does it make a difference if she’s there so much if she’s not in _their_ space and/or using _their_ resources?
leilani June 20, 2011, 11:07 am
If you’re being realistic here, even if you did intervene, it wouldn’t change anything. It would just strain your friendship further. Typically, relationships that develop these codependent patterns don’t end too well. And that’s fine. They’re in college, they’ll go hot and heavy, they’ll probably break up and then get back together and break up again. I did it in college, and while I wouldn’t be in a relationship like that again, I’m no worse off for it. Just let it play out how it will, because trust me, if any of my friends had ever tried to butt into how much time I spent with my boyfriend when I was in this kind of relationship, I would have been extremely pissed at my friend and would probably just have retreated further into my boyfriend cave. If they ask you your opinion, be honest, but otherwise, stay out of it.
mango June 20, 2011, 11:17 am
So I guess wendy is trying her damnedest to fulfil the “bitchy pregnant hormone fountain” stereotype these days.
_jsw_ June 20, 2011, 11:28 am
At one point in my stellar career, I spent a year in a 10’x10′ office with three female co-workers.
During the course of that year, all three of them became pregnant and eventually delivered. The timing was just awesome. It was a… joy… being the only male in that room.
If you consider these replies by Wendy to be fulfilling the “bitchy pregnant hormone fountain” stereotype, you really have no idea what you’re talking about.
_jsw_ June 20, 2011, 11:29 am
As a side note, I have never in my life felt sexier than when they were all in their second trimester together.
MsMisery June 20, 2011, 11:45 am
I’ve heard preggo’s get real horny. I bet they were all leeeeeeeering at you.
_jsw_ June 20, 2011, 11:53 am
I honestly started dressing better just to tease them. While I’d imaging being treated like a sex object gets really old really fast, it wasn’t so bad for a few months while only at work.
Of course, then came the final trimester. That was when it stopped being even remotely a good thing to be a man in that room.
_jsw_ June 20, 2011, 12:03 pm
“I’d imagine” not “I’d imaging”
SpaceySteph June 20, 2011, 11:36 am
Oh please! Wendy got a little snarkier on DW than she was on the Frisky (which I applaud because I like my advice with a little attitude)… but having spent every summer since I was 14 working in an OB/GYN office, I can second jsw… you have no effing idea what bitchy pregnant hormones are like.
Let me ask you mango, do you also believe that women cannot be president because at that time of the month they would just be too quick to push the little red button and vaporize a country? Misogyny for the win.
Wendy June 20, 2011, 11:19 am
Awesome! I was wondering when someone was going to play that card. Bravo, Mango — you win!
EmmieEm June 20, 2011, 2:15 pm
Ugh, that was just as annoying as those men who assume an upset/emotional woman is on her period.
melikeycheesecake June 20, 2011, 11:19 am
I was in a relationship like this during college. We spent every waking moment together. I was young (20 ~ 21). As time passed we realized we were spending too much time together… and started doing things without each other again. I had some friendships suffer because of our relationship but luckily they were not destroyed. Bottom line… Wendy is right that this is not necessarily a rare situation for puppy love college kids.
Dave Jay June 20, 2011, 11:20 am
Mostly agreeing with Wendy on this. Outside of the co-habitation, this really isn’t any of your business. I know you are concerned for your friend, but believe it or not, you will eventually lose all of your friends and roommates to relationships, careers, and geography. (I never would have believed this either at your age as I had a huge social circle, but 20+ years later, I barely have enough friends to define a line, nevermind a circle.) I’d hate to see a relationship that didn’t have some level of co-dependency. It would be like watching Donald Trump date himself. If you are not going to rely on a person for at least several things, why have them in your life at all?
It sounds like your roommate is forging a strong bond with his GF and is going through all the irrational emotional phases associated with falling in love (possessiveness, jealousy, etc.). They’ll eventually grow out of it together and establish their own happy medium, and God willing, they’ll continue to live and love happily ever after.
mango June 20, 2011, 11:24 am
Also to recap last week: guy complaining to girlfriend about her talking down to people is a “good old boy sexist asshole” this week a guy not letting his girlfriend leave his room is totally his business and get a life!!!
I’m thinking wendy needs to go on maternity leave, she had a hard enough time being consistent when she wasn’t hopped up on hormones
_jsw_ June 20, 2011, 11:32 am
Aw, mango, I feel really badly for you. I’m sure, at some point, Wendy will get around to answering your letter as well, and then you won’t need to feel left out and unwanted. While I can’t answer as well as she can, I’d say that, yes, that probably is an excessive number of times per day, but no, you won’t go blind.
spaceboy761 June 20, 2011, 4:32 pm
I know that I’m 13 years late with this, but
“You cannot have-a da Mango!”
sarolabelle June 20, 2011, 11:38 am
seriously? She is addressing the person that wrote the letter. If the girlfriend of the guy banging on the door wrote it she would have had a diferent response and a different letter. She is talking to the friend in this letter. In the other letter she was talking to the girlfriend. Don’t you see that?
melikeycheesecake June 20, 2011, 12:25 pm
“she had a hard enough time being consistent when she wasn’t hopped up on hormones”
Ummm what?!!!! Why don’t you just stop visiting the site.
Sarah June 20, 2011, 12:52 pm
hey, who accidentally clicked agree on this comment? Don’t worry, happens to everybody :).
Sarah June 20, 2011, 11:36 am
Ok, so putting away the issue about her being too much of a presence in your place, why do you care? Wendy is absolutely right. The status of their relationship is not your business, and I doubt you discussing this with everybody he knows is going to make him more likely to respond to you well anyhow.
If I thought you wanted to be healthy and practical about this, you would already know the answer is to talk to Rick about how long girlfriends can stay over and setting up a rule system that all the roommates will comply to. But you didn’t do that. You tried to talk to Lucy alone after you spent months talking behind her and Rick’s back. What would talking to Lucy alone do to remedy the situation? She’s not your roommate, and its not her job to keep you and your roommates happy. And what have you done since, confront Rick like any roommate would do, or just keep gossiping about how unhealthy he is behind his back? So, instead of fixing the problem, you’re sh*t-stirring. Talk to Rick. Get some hobbies.
BTW, am I the only one to get the twitter hashtag #whitegirlproblems stuck in my head when the LW was complaining that she didn’t have her roommate stay the whole time with her in Europe for Spring Break?
spaceboy761 June 20, 2011, 11:46 am
In Rick’s defense, the Pepperdine campus in beautiful in March.
Sarah June 20, 2011, 11:52 am
Good point, and Monte Carlo is just dreadful until late summer. Croquet, anyone?
spaceboy761 June 20, 2011, 1:23 pm
Oh, I’ve been to Monte Carlo in July and you don’t have to tell me. And the baccarat tables are in French!
SpaceySteph June 20, 2011, 1:21 pm
When I was home last time, my mom was complaining about how there was so much traffic on the road at 8:30 when she’s trying to get to Kickboxing class (she doesn’t work, and now all her kids are in college or past so she doesn’t mommy either).
I got mad at her for her sad upper middle class problems where all these people trying to get to their jobs are in the way of her and her recreational activities. Life is so rough.
Laurel June 20, 2011, 11:38 am
This really reminds me of how happy I am that my boyfriend and I don’t have roommates! Ughhh so many things in this letter sound familiar, both with the roommate/girlfriend’s side and the LW’s side. My advice? Don’t bitch about her being there unless she’s truly obnoxious and actually costing you money (ie, long daily showers, changing the thermostat, eating your food). If don’t interact with the rest of you now, how much do you think they will when she feels completely uncomfortable being there? You’re all adults, you’re allowed to have SO’s, and (I’m assuming) you’re allowed to have guests at your apartment. If the amount of time they spend over there is bothering you, ask why they don’t spend more time at the girlfriend’s place.
The other thing I would suggest is inviting the girlfriend out separately from your roommate. This would give you a chance to get to know her and get a better idea of what their dynamic is like. It should also make her more comfortable hanging out with you guys as a group.
ReginaRey June 20, 2011, 10:47 am
The relationship you describe sounds like my very first relationship. We were co-dependent and clearly unhealthy, and it irked my friends to no end because, like you, they cared that I was ignoring them and spending every waking second of my life with my boyfriend, and basically neglecting everything that had defined me before my boyfriend came along.
I understand the frustration you’re feeling. This happened to my roommate after I had finally gotten out of my co-dependent relationship, and I wanted her to realize that she shouldn’t go down that path. I wanted her to realize that she was doing everything she had once HATED about my relationship: Forsaking her friendships, never going to any events without him, asking his permission to participate in things. Like me, she transformed from a fun, independent person to someone totally dependent on her boyfriend’s every move. Like you, I tried to say something. I tried to get her to realize how much this paralleled the behavior she had hated in me. She got defensive, accused me of dragging her boyfriend into things, and has been distant from me ever since.
Was permanently damaging our friendship worth venting my frustrations with her relationship? In hindsight, it wasn’t. I should have realized that there are some things that you absolutely cannot convince another person, and what you’re attempting is one of them. You learn the most about life and relationships when you experience them yourself. This couple needs the chance to do that. In all likelihood, they’ll break up and you’ll get your chance to express your concerns in hindsight. But if they don’t, there’s really nothing you can say. You can’t convince people to break up or to make their relationship healthier when they refuse to believe that there’s anything wrong with it. It doesn’t matter how many people think it’s unhealthy or lacking.
You’ve tried to make them see it, and they don’t see it. So now you’ve got to bow out. As a friend, it’s not wrong to express your concerns about their relationship. But you can’t keep harping on it. They’ve refused to see what you want them to see, and nothing you’re going to say will change that. The only thing you’ll accomplish by harping on it is to totally break up your friendship with them. Be patient. Wait for them to figure some things out on their own, and be there for them if it goes south. But realize that it’s not your relationship, and that no matter how good your intentions, there IS a limit to how much you can intrude in another person’s relationship.
SpaceySteph June 20, 2011, 11:23 am
Yup yup yup. Same thing happened to me, only I was in your friend’s shoes. My friends tried to get me to realize that I was in a codependent mess of a relationship with a controlling jerk.
I did not want to hear it because, of course, they didn’t know him like I know him and what we had was special and blah blah blah. And though it didn’t ruin any friendships, it did some pretty significant damage (one girl stopped talking to me for 18 months of the 2 year long relationship). Eventually we burned out, because thats what those relationships do. Basically, there’s nothing you can do except make your relationship with both of them worse and push them closer together. So, butt out.
ReginaRey June 20, 2011, 11:26 am
Yeah, agreed. I think so many friends, who DO have a legitimate reason for being concerned, end up pushing the two closer together and alienating themselves by confronting them. I mean, the best way to make two ALREADY young and co-dependent people even more clingy is to make their relationship seem “misunderstood” and “star-crossed.” Then they’ll REALLY get dramatic…
SpaceySteph June 20, 2011, 2:08 pm
Early in me and my bf’s relationship, we were hanging out alot with his (30 year old) roommate and the roommate’s (21 year old) gf. They were a really messed up, codependent, effed up couple too. The roommate said something about how romantic Romeo and Juliet is, as a story, and she was just mooning all over about it.
I suggested that had it really been romantic then Romeo would have manned up and talked to Juliet’s dad about how he loved her and wasn’t gonna give her up and they could have been together happily ever after instead of killing themselves. They both looked at my like I had kicked their puppy. There’s no talking logic to people who want to be tragic lovers.
TheGirl June 21, 2011, 9:21 am
For real! Romeo was such a little bitch. Like, for the WHOLE play. Always whining and never really doing anything constructive. Then again, I’ve always been more of a Marlowe fan anyway. I like my tragedies with an extra helping of tragic.
caitie_didn't June 20, 2011, 11:51 am
Ugh, this reminds me of one of my former roommates and her boyfriend-only they never grew out of that phase!! Yeah, it’s gross (when they make out in front of you), yes it’s weird (when you can’t have a conversation with them b/c they will only talk to each other) and yes, it makes you kind of jealous when you’re single and could really use someone to cuddle with, but ultimately there’s nothing you can do about it.
Unless of course, said boyfriend is using your (one) shower in a 5-bedroom house every morning and making both you and a roommate late for class every day. Then, you can make a stink about it.
Quakergirl June 20, 2011, 11:55 am
Oh come on, we’ve all been there. Every one of my friends (and I, if I’m being honest) have lived in the extremely irritating couple bubble. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong, it just means they’re young, in a new relationship, and super annoying. Trust me, it’ll pass. Or, like _jsw_ said, it’ll blow up spectacularly. I’ve been on both sides of that coin. Frankly, the more people tried to point out that we spent too much time together, the less we wanted to spend time with them. Who wants to hang out with people who tell you you’re annoying and they think your SO is a pain in the ass/freeloader/creepy/too attached?
If you absolutely MUST say something, I would say that you would love to schedule some roommate hangout time doing whatever it is you all usually do together because you’ve missed doing that. But don’t say anything mean or negative about Lucy or their relationship, because right now there’s nothing to worry about. And don’t freak out at him if he turns your invitation down– just leave the invitation open so that he knows he can always turn to you guys if he wants. But it’s not your place to say Rick MUST hang out with you guys instead of Lucy any more than it’s Lucy’s place to say Rick has to hang out with her instead of you guys, so don’t force him.
And unless the girl is seriously sucking up resources, I wouldn’t ask her to pay rent or contribute to expenses. Right now, it sounds like the only thing she’s using is half of Rick’s bed and one spot in the toothbrush holder. You’re all adults– are you really that petty?
LTC039 June 20, 2011, 11:13 am
While I agree this couple sounds utterly annoying, I also agree that the LW needs a life. I mean, it is pretty pathetic that Lucy had to ask Rick if it was ok for her to watch aTV show, IN THE SAME APT, but, nonetheless LW, that’s not your problem. Wendy’s right. Stop worrying about other people’s relationships. There’s no life-threatening issues at hand. I’ve been in your position too, except my friend was getting verbally & physically abused, & even then I couldn’t do anything. I lost her friendship.
Maybe you have feelings for Rick? Idk, it’s a possibility. You’re upset your once good friend has all his free time taken up by his gf. Or maybe you just miss him generally.
But again, not your problem. Let it go. Def. bring up her free loading because you do have a say in that. But everything else…start focusing on yourself. Focus on going out & meeting new people, & school. Worrying about Rick & Lucy is not doing anything for you. You’re not part of their relationship.
PS. Did anyone else find it kinda creepy that the LW & her friends locked themselves & Lucy in a room to gang up on Lucy?? I don’t blame Rick for trying to break down the door, that’s just weird!!
Kare June 20, 2011, 12:29 pm
I don’t think this is that bad…then again my former roommate and her boyfriend would get into an argument if one peed without the other there. Oh and instead of walking to class, she would go to his engineering classes and pretend to be in the class.
ReginaRey June 20, 2011, 12:41 pm
Holy hell…she would sit in his class?? Are they still together?? That may be one of the worse cases of co-dependency I’ve heard yet!
Heather June 20, 2011, 7:17 pm
“OUR LOVE KNOWS NO BOUNDS! NOT EVEN CLASS SCHEDULES CAN SEPARATE OUR INTERTWINED BEATING HEARTS!!”
SGMcG June 20, 2011, 1:45 pm
Gawd, I’ve been in the girlfriend’s shoes with my college boyfriend. His roommate approached my boyfriend about our relationship and I overheard EVERYTHING. Nevermind the fact that I still had my friends and interests and my boyfriend had his – the roommate still thought I was clingy because I would stay in my boyfriend’s bedroom while they were free to pursue their gaming sessions so that we could spend the night together afterward. He even questioned my boyfriend why we were still dating! His comments about my clingyness and his relationship (and my boyfriend’s lack of my defense) caused lots of resentment on all sides and my relationship with my boyfriend exploded in SPECTACULAR fashion. My ex-boyfriend and I are still friendly, but I feel his roommate is still an obnoxioius oaf – especially since he’s has yet to have a relationship that lasted the duration that my ex and I did.
LW, I think you need to mind your business. For if this is what your roommate Rick wants in his relationship, he is free to pursue it all he wants. The only time you should talk to your roommate/friend about the relationship is if her presence means that she’s consuming the utilities that they jack up and/or food supplies are diminished while there. Otherwise anything you say will cause hurt feelings, jealousy accusations and potentially the end of your relationship with your roommate/friend.
K June 20, 2011, 5:38 pm
Whether the relationship is weird, unhealthy or whatever doesn’t matter. It’s THEIR relationship. What are you worried about, WS? That there might eventually be a messy break- up? That their dependence on each other might have an adverse effect on their relationships with other people? So what? Those things happen. They’ll get knowledge by working out their own problems that they can use to improve their relationship or take to future relationships. An intervention or professional help just because their relationship doesn’t suit you or because it causes YOU concern is over the top.
You don’t mention either one of them complaining or saying they’re worried about the constant togetherness so maybe they’re content as is. And when they’re not THEY can decide to change, break up, be miserable, etc.
My advice is MYOB about how they choose to conduct their relationship. The only legit complaint you have is the gf practically living there rent free.
Valerie June 20, 2011, 6:27 pm
All I could think about while reading this letter was the episode of How I Met Your Mother where they keep holding interventions for each other. Hehehee! 😀
lk June 21, 2011, 12:40 pm
Does anyone else think it’s funny that LW re-named his/her (incidentally, I can’t tell whether LW is male or female but a lot of people assumed female?) friends after “I Love Lucy” characters? Hahaha… oh boy.
GertietheDino June 21, 2011, 11:21 pm
My concern is the fact that this young girl feels the need to ask permission to hang out with other people and that the boyfriend won’t let her. And what is with this banging down the door so she won’t talk to others thing? Sounds like the beginnings of an abusive relationship to me.
Anonymous June 29, 2011, 2:05 pm
I don’t comment normally, but I agree with Gertie. I grew up in a household where my mother was absolutely controlled by my father. I remember driving in the car and she was told to look at her feet so she wouldn’t look out the window and potentially see other men. She reached out to other people and they did nothing, or told my father. And then she “got in trouble.” When she finally left him, 18 years later, it was the best thing she ever did for our family.
I don’t have all the facts, but this relationship sounds seriously screwed up and controlling. It’s very, very hard to get out of a relationship like this and intervention usually doesn’t go well, so I encourage the LW to try to be friends with Lucy, and be a support. One day she may need you very much.