March 31, 2010

A Headful of Roommates

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Dear A to Z,

My roommates make me a crazy person. Every time I come to them for advice they amp up my confidence level to a point that is just utterly ridiculous. For example, I recently hooked up with this boy twice in one weekend (God forbid!) and when I went to tell my roommates about it they had nothing but positive things to say to me. As I left our conversation I found myself obsessively checking my phone and constructing this image of him, in my head, as my boyfriend. Every time I have a minor encounter like this, this seems to happen when I go to my roommates for advice. The result is me getting much more upset about things then I would like to. Sincerely,Roommates in My Head

Dear Roommates in My Head,

Although the obvious solution would be to simply not tell your roommates details as they develop, we understand that this fix is not realistic. There is something extremely comforting about going home to an apartment full of close friends to whom you can divulge your secrets.So now we have to work on how you are divulging those secrets. It will be best if you enter into these conversations with a sense of caution. Do not let the conversation invite them to stroke your ego. Instead, go to them for advice in particular areas.As a replacement for going home and pronouncing, “I hooked up with Slampiece twice this weekend! Where do you think this is going?” Say, “I am starting to like Slampiece a lot — what do you think my next move with him should be?” Although, the difference in these questions is subtle, the importance lies in how you frame your request for input. Through your phrasing, you aren’t asking them to analyze the scope of your “relationship” — only to offer their advice on how to proceed.If your roommates are still pouring you drinks of confidence I would suggest talking to them, or having a movie night and watching He’s Just Not That into You. Friends need to recognize that although you think the highest of each other, this is not necessarily the sentiment shared by the people outside of your circle, such as new hook-ups and last week’s fling.The advice of a friend is always welcome. Indeed, it is important to understand their opinions and to value their insights. At the end of the day, however, only the two people directly involved understand the dynamic of their relationship. So, take their blind optimism for what it is — a vote of confidence and a network of support. Unless they are voicing their opinions passionately or collectively in a group, trust your own voice.We believe it is healthier to enter into new relationships realistically and not overly optimistically. Do not give up hope and optimism — just keep it under control and in the vein of realism. And as always, if you can’t go to your friends you can just ask us!

Xoxo,A to Z