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by Abigail Van Buren

Roommate's Presence Complicates 'Friends With Benefits' Setup

DEAR ABBY: I've been spending time with a certain gentleman for more than five years. I am in love with him. We dated at first, then became friends with benefits. He had another woman move in with him a few years ago, but we are still friends with benefits, and he has become my best friend. He listens when I need someone to talk to and knows how to give a good pep talk when I need one. We talk several hours a day and text throughout the day.

I know in my heart we are meant to be together. He tells me he loves me but says he can't ask the other woman to move out because she doesn't have anywhere to go until she makes the person living in her house move out. How do I talk to him about this? -- OTHER WOMAN

DEAR OTHER WOMAN: Friends do not string friends along for years, which is what this "gentleman" has been doing to you.

He invited the other woman to move in because she is providing something he finds of value. (Are you sure they haven't gotten married or enjoy similar benefits?) If he wanted her out, he would find a way to do it. During your next "hourslong" phone call, tell him that as much as you care for him, you can no longer continue to live in limbo. Give him a deadline to get rid of his houseguest and, if he doesn't meet it, cut off his "benefits."