Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Roommate's Boyfriend Stays Over Too Often

DEAR HARRIETTE: My roommate and I get along well, except when it comes to her boyfriend. I don’t have an issue with his personality or the fact that they are together. What bothers me is the amount of time they spend in our room. He sleeps over every weekend and even some nights during the week. I feel like I am walking on eggshells in my own room, and I am so sick of it. How do I approach this situation without coming off as a crazy roommate? -- Frustrated Roommate, Philadelphia

DEAR FRUSTRATED ROOMMATE: Boyfriends and roommates almost always cause friction. The fact that you and your roommate literally share a room only makes it worse. You need to set boundaries with your roommate when her boyfriend isn’t around. Tell her that you like him fine, but you don't want another roommate -- you want your space back, at least some of the time. Ask her to work with you on scheduling so that he comes over less frequently. Maybe she can go over to his place sometimes? Tell her how awkward you feel in your own room and that you need to work out a compromise with her.

Do know that you may need to look for another roommate. Typically, when serious boyfriends enter the scenario, somebody ends up moving.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I still wear the necklace my ex-boyfriend got for me when we were together. We broke up over three years ago, but it is a very nice necklace that I love wearing.

My current partner hates that I still wear the necklace because he thinks I do it to stay connected to my ex. As absurd as it sounds, and as much as I have tried convincing my boyfriend I wear the necklace only because it’s nice, he is insistent on me not wearing it. Do I have to stop wearing the necklace from my ex? -- Wear My Ex's Necklace, San Mateo, California

DEAR WEAR MY EX'S NECKLACE: Take a walk in your boyfriend's shoes for a moment. How would you feel if he were wearing an item of jewelry given to him by his ex? I doubt it would make you feel comfortable. In this instance, I think your boyfriend is right. Put the necklace away, at least for now. Grow your relationship without any encumbrances from the past. Tell him that you value him more than a piece of jewelry, and you are not interested in your ex anymore.

Ideally, you should get rid of the necklace. Sell it, pawn it, get some money for it and buy yourself something beautiful that is no longer attached to the man from your past.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)