Three’s company

Joey Garcia

This guy I’ve been dating (and really like) invited me to dinner at his apartment. It was totally romantic until just before dessert, when a bedroom door opens and his roommate—female—walks out in a tiny tank top and even tinier shorts. She has a killer body and even I had to stare. They just said “hey” to each other, but I didn’t know he had a roommate, that she was female and well, so hot. I felt totally uncomfortable. She got something to eat from the fridge and went back to her room, but I wasn’t into it anymore. I made an excuse as soon as dinner was over and I left. Was I a total idiot?

You felt uncomfortable and responded accordingly. Instead of berating yourself, investigate why you ran out on a man you like. Here’s an appetizing question for starters: Why didn’t you ask him more questions about himself before heading to his home? It’s normal to chat about where someone lives and what their living arrangements are. And it’s not uncommon for people to have roommates of other genders. I mean, hey, that woman could have been his sister, right? It worries me that you didn’t take better care of yourself by getting the basic information you needed to feel safe.

I want you to pay close attention to something else: You focused on the roommate’s physical assets and made a judgment about her and your date. If you knew and accepted your own insecurities, it’s likely that you would have responded, “Am I on another episode of The Girls Next Door? Geez, I need a new agent!” Or some other bit of nonsense before tucking back into the chocolate cheesecake.

One last thing, if you’re not comfortable with the girl-roomie situation, back out now. Often, those coed-style arrangements are purely platonic. But just as often, the romantic or sexual tension is prolific and obvious to all, except the pair in denial. Either way, your discomfort about the girl will be a constant source of irritation in your relationship with your guy.

My wife’s best friend is grossly overweight and hasn’t had a date in more than 10 years. No surprise. She is constantly complaining about men and how superficial they are. I am afraid that it is rubbing off on my wife. What can I do?

Open your heart and chat with your wife about your fears: “Honey, when we are with [her friend’s name here], I feel really uncomfortable listening to her comments about men. I don’t want to argue with her, but I want to protect you from her negativity. I am afraid it’s rubbing off on you. How do you feel about that?” Listen to your wife’s response without interrupting. Don’t let the conversation dissolve into a critique of the friend’s weight or dating status. Instead, use this situation to deepen the emotional intimacy between you and your wife. When that’s solid, there’s no chance of negative influences permeating your marriage.

I also want you to grow in love through this situation by letting go of your current opinion of your wife’s best friend. Open your intellect and discover the good things about her. The next time you see her, let her know what you appreciate in her. You need that shift. If you stay focused on hating, you’re contributing to her reasons for dissing men. Plus, you’re engaged in behavior that you claim to dislike. So stop already!

Meditation of the week
“Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies,” said Aristotle. Have you evolved into true friendship with the world yet? What do you need to let go of to live in that reality?

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