Carolyn Hax: The thought of spending Christmas with girlfriend’s family rings false

DEAR CAROLYN: My girlfriend and I have been together for a year, and, as time goes on, I’m developing more and more questions about whether we’re a good fit. She, on the other hand, seems completely committed, and we haven’t yet spoken about my increasing doubts.

For months, she’s been eager for us to spend Christmas together, where I get to meet her parents for the first time. There’s no doubt it means a lot to her, both practically and symbolically.

Over our relationship, our work schedules have never really allowed us a long block of time to be together, so I think Christmas could be really helpful to me in making a decision. But should I be more sure about the relationship before agreeing to go?


DEAR ANONYMOUS: It sounds as if you should, but I’d phrase it differently: You don’t need certainty about your relationship so much as confidence in your doubts.

You’ve been together a year. Over that time, apparently, you’ve grown less interested in her, vs. more. How would a “long block of time” remedy this, besides temporarily clear daily-life obstacles?

There’s a logic gap here reminiscent of the old joke: “The food here is terrible!” “Yes, and such small portions!” If you’re not eager for more of her companionship given what you already know, then it’s hard to see what spending more time with her would solve.

DEAR CAROLYN: My roommate’s boyfriend is here most nights of the week. He’s not overly rude, he doesn’t make a mess, he’s just not my favorite person and he’s just always there. Compound that by the fact that he comes from a wealthy family, lives with his parents and doesn’t have a job, so he sleeps in and stays in the place while my roommate and I go to work. He doesn’t have a key (and I don’t plan on giving him one) so he can’t lock up properly behind himself, if he ever does leave.

Here’s the issue: I’m in a long-distance relationship. When my boyfriend comes to visit, he full-on lives with us for the two or so weeks he stays. How can I express to my roommate my frustrations with her boyfriend without looking like a total hypocrite?


DEAR H.: I suppose you could distinguish between extended visitor and virtual third roommate. But here’s why that will sound trumped up: You don’t like her boyfriend so you want him to leave. You like your boyfriend so you want him to stay.

I’m sympathetic to your feelings but not to the impulse to game the system in your favor. Charging him some rent/utilities would be fair – and you do need to talk about those locks.

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