Dear Harlan: My roommate is a disaster. She has basically moved her boyfriend into our place without asking me if it’s OK. He sleeps here, showers here, eats all his meals here. To me, that’s living here. However, she says he’s not actually living here, so he doesn’t have to share in the rent or utilities. Can you help me out? What is the definition of having someone living with you? Shouldn’t someone who basically lives with you be expected to help with the shared expenses? — Living with a Disaster
Dear Daughter: Instead of calling it “living” with you, how about calling it “cohabitating”? This means that you can have your own definition of what “living” with you means and she can have her own definition. What’s clear is that having this boyfriend living with you -I mean, “cohabitating” with you – is not what you expected or signed up for. Clearly you’re irritated, and you have every right to feel that way. You would have chosen a three-bedroom apartment if you wanted an extra roommate. So, what’s your exit strategy? I have an idea: Let him sublet your place, and then you can move into his place. This way he will no longer have to pay to live at the place he’s not living at and you can spend your energy in other places. I’m jumping right to the exit strategy because it’s hard to be reasonable with unreasonable people. For some reason, admitting he “lives” there is too much for her to handle. If having him around bothers you this much, then find a different place to live. If you want money for rent and
utilities, then ask her to pay more of the shared expenses because of the time he’s spending at your place. If that doesn’t work, then make sure you have a plan to get out. I know it’s totally unfair that you have to be inconvenienced, but life is unpredictable. Fighting won’t get you anything but a home filled with frustration, aggravation and a cohabiting man.