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Todd Parker Todd Parker
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Dear Todd Parker - (06/03/15)

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I've been living with a couple of friends of mine for about a year. We've all known each other for a really long time and sharing a house has been a great experience. Honestly, I'm not sure that I've ever had a better living situation.

Up until now.

Everything changed when the two of them started dating. All of a sudden, things that we all used to do together have becomedate-like. If one of them makes dinner or wants to watch a movie, I feel like I'm intruding if I hang out. Plus I don't need to make it weirder than it already is by being the third wheel.

They don't even notice that there's a problem. They keep trying to get me to hang out all the time like we used to, but every time I do, they immediately get all gross and couple-y. It's awkward for me, but they're so into each other right now that my discomfort doesn't even register.

I know I sound bitter, but I swear that isn't it. I don't begrudge them their happiness. I'm glad they figured things out and realized that they like each other. I just don't want to get guilted into hanging out, only to wind up watching them whisper and giggle and grope all night. They're still my friends and I still love them, but I don't want to feel like an intruder all the time.

How do I let them know that I don't feel comfortable hanging out with them during their couple time?

Uncomfortable in Orono

Dear Uncomfortable,

Condolences. Dealing with the significant others of friends is almost always awkward. Like it or not, friends change when they start dating; it's just a question of degree. Your situation is next-level, as both of them are already your friends. Throw in the fact that you all live together and we've ventured into legitimate sitcom territory.

To put it bluntly, you're pretty much boned.

There is no easy way out for you. Your friends are totally lost in their lovey-doviness. They don't see any problem and if you bring it up, they're going to be confused at best, angry at worst. You are going to be seen as trying to drive a wedge between them - especially if there have been any romantic inclinations toward either of them from your end.

It sucks that they're being inconsiderate, but they don't see it that way. They aren't doing it on purpose - like you said, they don't even notice your discomfort. But if you bring it up, they will notice. All the time. Even when there's no discomfort there, they'll see it. Everything will change, and probably not for the better.

Basically, you've got two choices. You can suck it up or you can move out. You can mention your feelings if you really need to, but you have to understand that it's the sort of thing that can significantly (and permanently) alter the dynamics of your relationship with your friends. It's up to you to decide whether the risk of festering resentment is worth getting this off your chest.

Personally, I would advise picking up a new hobby. And possibly earplugs.


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