Ask Moe & Jim

Dear Moe and Jim,

My friends and I hate my friend’s girlfriend. My friend used to be a pretty true dude, but man, we can’t stand his girlfriend. She has this really annoying high-pitched giggle, and she always says the ditziest things. But we’re not unreasonable dudes – we wouldn’t hate her just for that. She’s also incredibly demanding, possessive and jealous. I’ve been really polite to her for a while, but my patience is running thin. I just don’t want to be around her anymore, but am I being unfair?

Annoyed Friend

Dear Friend,

You are not being unfair here, and believe it or not, neither is your friend. There is only one culprit here and I doubt I have to remind you who she is. I guarantee you, especially considering the few details you have told me of this girl’s behavioral tendencies, that your friend largely prefers spending time with you and your other true dudes. The only thing stopping him is the cruel sexual hold that she has over him. All you need to do is remind your friend that, even on a campus as small as ours, there are countless other girls willing to give it up in desperate self-affirmation, and he therefore does not need to restrict himself to one.

Moe

Dear Friend,

No, you’re not being unfair, but you’re also not in a position to do anything about it. You don’t have to spend time with your friend when he’s with his girlfriend, but you also can’t say anything to him about how much you hate her. Either he really likes her and you’re going to screw it up, or she really is annoying. However, he needs to learn to discern her annoyingness for himself from his own infatuation of young love, or he’s going to screw himself over later in life.

Jim

Dear Moe and Jim,

I leave my door unlocked all the time – I like having a more laid-back attitude towards that sort of thing and trusting the community. The only thing is, one of my friends always comes into my room when I’m not there. He comes in and borrows stuff sometimes, or will use my computer since I use an ethernet cord. I’m not a possessive person, but I just get creeped out knowing someone has been in my room without my knowing. It might be my fault because once on the phone I told him it was okay to take something from my room, but he has since stopped asking me for permission. I don’t know what to do because I know if I start locking my door, he’ll know it was because of him since nothing else would make me do this.

Privacy please

Dear Privacy,

I think you should rent Home Alone and litter every corner of your room with similar examples of appallingly dangerous pranks, or at least leave the lights on and position a life-sized, cardboard figure of Michael Jordon in the center of your room to ward off invaders. A more effective approach might be to cover your floor with bear traps. This has nothing to do with your intrusive friend; my real concern is the all-too-easily overlooked danger of a potential bear attack.

Moe

Dear Privacy,

You’re being immature. Your friendship is dying. Friendships are built not from easy casual living, but from grinding the edges of your personalities together and smoothing out the friction. So here is an opportunity: tell him the problem. And by actually dealing with it you guys will learn something about each other. You have no other choice. You’ll probably find that he enjoys borrowing your stuff because in his mind, the transfer of physical objects further binds your abstract friendship. Talk to him; he’ll agree to ask to enter your room.

Jim

Dear Moe and Jim,

I hooked up with a guy a few times, but we have since stopped “seeing each other.” I thought I made it pretty clear that I wanted to be just friends, but he always texts me or calls me to see what I am doing. I think he may still have feelings for me, but I just can’t see anything happening there. What should I do? I want to be friends with him because I do think he is a nice guy. How can I make sure that he knows we aren’t going to hook up anymore without jeopardizing our friendly relationship?

Friend without benefits

Dear Friend,

What I find most interesting about this question is that I have already answered it at least twice in previous issues, yet the conflict persists. Perhaps this is true because the communicative problems that lead to these kinds of misunderstandings are pervasive in our environment, and this is the necessary result of such discrepancies between what any two people expect to get out of a relationship. However, what I really predict in this case is that you (referring collectively to everyone who has this problem) choose not to read or respect my advice, in which case I refuse to dignify your lack of faith, discipline and/or willpower with any further response.

Moe

Dear Friend,

You have to see him in everyday street situations: go to meals and hang out during the day. If you answer his texts and talk to him only at parties, he’s going to think you want to hook up with him, and he wouldn’t be unjustified in his reasoning. If you think he has genuine romantic feelings, then you should make it clear that you don’t feel the same way. You might also give the guy a chance. He’s nice enough to hook up with, and you think you can be friends with him. What’s wrong with him?

Jim