Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Roomie's Love Life Is Rough on Buddy's

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE'S MOM: When my friend and I decided to rent a two-bedroom apartment together we both had steady girlfriends. When things went south with his relationship he started "exploring his options," as he likes to put it. What that's meant is that I'm never sure who is going to turn up in our kitchen or living room in the morning, especially on weekends. It has rarely been the same girl twice, and we've already noticed things go missing from the apartment after some of his overnight visitors leave.

My girlfriend has begun to refuse coming over to my place because she doesn't feel safe with my roommate constantly bringing strangers home.

I pay half the rent, but don't feel much at home these days. My girlfriend and I are not in a position to move in together, so I feel stuck where I'm at. We still have nearly a year on the lease, but I'm thinking of bailing and taking my chances. Any suggestions to keep me from breaking a lease? --- HOMELESS AT HOME

DEAR HOMELESS AT HOME: You don't mention if you've spoken to your roommate about how you're feeling. If you haven't, he may not realize he's doing anything that's adversely affecting you.

It's disturbing that things are disappearing from your apartment, and if he's okay with that, you need to let him know you're not, and start locking your belongings up in your room if you can. Also let him know you're not comfortable bringing your girlfriend over.

If he brushes off your concerns, then it's time to tell him this arrangement isn't working and that you're going to start looking for someplace else to live. Hopefully you'll not end up having to break the lease, but feeling secure in your own home and being able to comfortably entertain guests are pretty basic priorities, and not too much to ask.

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