Dear Annie: I'm getting sick of my living situation. After college, I moved in with a very close family friend. He has an awesome house right by the beach and was kind enough to offer me his spare bedroom for very cheap rent while I'm still looking for a full-time job. It was really perfect for the first few months; he's a really mellow, simple guy who generally keeps to himself. But lately, I feel as if I'm walking on eggshells at home.
You see, he's a bit older — in his 40s — and he has never been married. All of the furniture and appliances in the house are his. It's a pretty tiny space, so we agreed to just share appliances and things when I moved in. I've always been respectful of his space. At night, he likes to cook for hours and play video games in the living room until 11 o'clock or so. Lately, if he comes home to me watching a movie on his TV or cooking on his stove or even just stretching before a workout in the living room, he gets all bunged up and passive-aggressive. I'm only comfortable when confined to my room. What's the best way to handle this? — Tiptoeing
Dear Tiptoeing: To think — a 40-something single man who prefers to be alone and play video games doesn't like sharing his space?! Shocking.
You have a right to feel comfortable, so talk to him and see what happens. It's unrealistic for him to expect you to live like a ghost. But at the end of the day, you are in his home, and this was supposed to be temporary. So enough with the tiptoeing. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and march on to a new apartment.
Dear Annie: I'm finally finding my stride in life. I have a good job, am completely financially independent and am constantly busy working on projects. I feel good about my accomplishments.
I have a formerly close friend — let's call her Christine — who hasn't really grown in my direction. She met a 35-year-old wealthy artist last year and has been a kept lady since then. She casually floats between jobs and spends almost every day just doing yoga, going to the beach and smoking marijuana. It's as if she has no clear picture of what she wants to do with her life.
I was initially sad when she stopped putting in effort to hang out, but I've been sort of ambivalent since realizing we don't have much in common anymore. I would rather spend my time with people who are actually doing things with their lives.
She recently reached out to me and apologized for being off the radar, and she said she wants to hang out. I'm not sure whether I really want to rekindle the friendship. She'll probably show up high anyway. What do you think? — Losing Touch
Dear Losing Touch: How's the boyfriend's art? Any idea? Have you given her new life a chance, or are you dismissing it out of hand because it's not what you would choose for yourself?
We're all on our own paths. Perhaps hers is a meandering one. There's nothing wrong with that. You shouldn't compare your life, scoreboard-style, with anyone else's life — especially not a friend's. Christine no doubt senses the judgment, and that's why she's been distancing herself.
Meet up with her and have an open mind.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]
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