DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: Before breaking up with her boyfriend, my roommate was hardly ever around. Now that they’re done, she barely leaves the apartment, not even to go for a jog, which was always her second favorite thing to do after spending time with her boyfriend.
They were together for a long time, and I get how sad she is, but sometimes it feels like she’s using me to keep her entertained and distracted, regardless of what else I need to be doing. We’re both still working at least half-time from home, and that means even though we’re in different rooms during work hours, we’re still often together. In the evenings, she expects I’ll keep her company binging shows or playing cards, or basically being with her every waking minute. She even always wants me to go to the food store or on any other errands she needs to run.
It’s driving me a little crazy. I get she’s hurting and wants to be distracted and all that, but I’ve always been more of a loner, which is one reason our sharing a place has worked so well for as long as it has.
How do I get the message to her that I need to have some time off from her without it seeming like another rejection, like the one she just suffered from her ex? --- SLIGHTLY SMOTHERED
DEAR SLIGHTLY SMOTHERED: It sounds like you’ve been a good and supportive companion to your broken-hearted roommate. Although she may not usually be this clingy, it might be part of her recovery process.
You mentioned she used to jog. Perhaps with the weather improving, you could encourage her to get back on track with that. If the solitary nature of running doesn’t appeal to her right now, you might suggest she investigate local running clubs. Depending on where you live, organizations such as Road Runners Club of America and departments of recreation are finding ways to keep people connected and moving, which could provide both your roommate with safe socialization and much needed exercise — and some equally much needed time off for you.