Dear Annie: My roommate, “Jennifer,” and I began sharing a one-bedroom apartment a few months ago. The problem is her behavior when my boyfriend visits. Each time, I have politely asked whether she minded his coming over. She replies that it’s fine with her. My boyfriend and I would sit in the living room chatting and watching TV for a couple of hours. Nothing else. Jennifer would pointedly sequester herself in the bedroom, and after he left, she would snidely imply that we should hang out somewhere else. A couple of times, she left in a huff during his visit, only to return later and ignore me for the rest of the night.
My boyfriend is a nice guy, and we take pains not to show affection in public. He never stays too long or comes over at odd hours. Most importantly, he visits less than once a week.
Annie, am I wrong to feel entitled to visits from my boyfriend in my own apartment? Jennifer and I are both new to the area and are still making friends. I worry that she would behave the same way if I were to bring other people over. I want to be sensitive to her preferences, but if she had it her way, I’d probably be unwelcome in my own apartment.
What should I do when her behavior becomes unacceptable? – Nine Months Left on the Lease
Dear Nine Months: Jennifer is not being particularly accommodating, but this is a one-bedroom apartment, and when you have a guest over, she feels crowded out. It would help if she periodically entertained friends as well, but she doesn’t, so she reacts poorly to yours. One solution would be to invite over a couple of new people and do something together. Another is to see your boyfriend at his place. But you also should discuss this with Jennifer and ask how you can alleviate her discomfort when your boyfriend drops by.