Dear Barb – Great Expectations

Dear Barb:

I just started university and It’s my first time living away from home. I share a two-bedroom apartment with another girl, Shannon, who I met through a mutual friend. She seemed really nice so I didn’t see a problem. Boy was I wrong; She’s more like the roommate from hell! First, She’s a slob, never cleans her room, leaves dishes everywhere, and drops food all over the place. Second, She’s late with her rent almost every month, and I have to ask her over and over again for her half of the utility bills. She also has people over at all times of the day and night. I’m so frustrated! I tried talking to her and she says she will try to clean up and she does for a couple of days, but then goes back to being a slob. I know there are only a few months left of this semester, but I don’t think I can live with her any longer. The problem is that my name is on the lease, so I think she should move out, but I don’t know how to approach the subject with her as she really doesn’t think things are that bad between us. Please Help! Donna.

Hi Donna:

I have had a few roommates write in who are in similar situations and It’s always unfortunate. It’s difficult to tell what type of roommate someone will be if you have only met them once. You said that you don’t think she realizes how bad things are, so I perhaps you need to begin by letting her know how you feel. Writing out all the things that she does that you are not happy with and then sit down with her and discuss these issues. But remember that some things, like her room, are her personal space so she can do what she pleases there. After you have discussed everything, let her know that if she doesn’t pitch in and help that you want her to move out by a certain date. Give her an opportunity to do as you ask and if she doesn’t change provide her with 30 days? notice to move out. However, since you are getting pretty close to the end of the school semester, you may find it tough to find another roommate, so you may end up paying all the bills yourself. Hopefully you can both discuss this and come to a resolution that will get you both through to the end of the semester. Good Luck, Donna.

Dear Barb:

My husband doesn’t believe in doing anything for Valentine’s Day! All my friends get flowers or chocolates and I get nothing. My husband says that he shows me everyday how he feels about me, so he doesn’t need to have a special day to do it. I feel like he should buy me a card or something little just to follow the tradition. I always get him a card. What do you think? Thanks Melody.

Hi Melody:

Happy Valentine’s Day Melody! Valentine’s Day is viewed as a time to show your love and affection to someone you care about. However, if your husband chooses not to practice Valentine’s Day, I guess you will just have to let it be. Do you really want him to give you a card or gift just because you have made him feel guilty? Probably not. You could still take him out for dinner, or prepare a romantic dinner at home, followed by a special evening together. I suspect this will give him a different perspective on Valentine’s Day! Enjoy!

Email your questions to voice@voicemagazine.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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