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by Abigail Van Buren

Roommate's Gifts to Girl Make Her Boyfriend Appear Cheap

DEAR ABBY: I am 18 years old and a freshman in college. I have been dating my girlfriend "Holly" for about eight months.

My roommate is also friends with Holly, and that is the problem. He treats Holly like she is a princess and gives her extravagant gifts, sometimes for no reason at all. This irritates me because it makes me look like a terrible boyfriend.

I cannot approach him about it since he is my roommate, and I have to live with him for the rest of the year. Holly realizes that it irritates me, but I can't have her say anything because then it would be extremely weird whenever she comes to visit -- even more than it is now.

How should I handle this? -- CONFUSED IN CLEMSON, S.C.

DEAR CONFUSED: You must speak up. For your roommate to buy expensive gifts for Holly, knowing she is your girlfriend, is inappropriate. (If you and Holly break up -- THAT'S the time he should make his move, but not now.)

For Holly to accept those gifts is insensitive. You're certainly within your rights to let them both know this bothers you. And there's no time like the present to make your roommate aware of your feelings.