Q. I am a 30-year-old woman who recently relocated to a larger city for no good reason other than my desire for a change. I met my roommate on Craigslist. He rode a bus 300 miles to drive my moving van and pull my car, because I didn’t think I could drive it. Because I had only met him one time, but I am not ignorant of the male thought process, I knew immediately that he liked me. I was not initially attracted to him, but homesickness and opportunity seemed to coalesce, and we ended up sleeping together.
Foot rubs, handholding hikes, beachfront strolls, and dinner dates seem to have been figments of my imagination, because a complete transformation has occurred. He’s gone from the sweet, thoughtful, attentive guy who would text me throughout the day to a chauvinistic male stereotype who will barely clean up his dishes and can’t wait to tell me which of my new friends he finds attractive.
My friends warned me not to move in with a heterosexual male. Now the question is: Should I move? I don’t have a lease, but this housing situation was a true find in a very trendy/spendy city. The inconvenience of moving alone has kept me here, but it is silly to think we can remain roommates. He was not even a good lover, but now he acts like I am after him! He was after me and got me and then lost interest. Yes, I am bitter. This was the first guy I had clicked with in several years. But now I think I was just in a new city and lonely.
In any event, my ego is bruised. I believe in the Buddhist tenet that destruction of the ego leads to enlightenment, but I go back and forth between ego-angst and acceptance. And then he texts me to say how cute my friend is. Should I stay, or should I go?
A. Go. Or if you can manage it, tell him to go — though you say you are not on the lease, so I would guess you have no leverage. The Buddhists may be right that destruction of the ego leads to enlightenment, but I’ll bet the rest of that precept is: “Take your damaged ego and your newly enlightened self to a separate dwelling.” For your self-respect, you should sever this connection. Only a masochist would stay.
Q. The letter about getting “gifts” in one’s name to a charity was the most interesting letter ever. I would suggest to anyone who is displeased with the organization that benefits to ask the donor how they would feel if a donation was sent in their name to an organization they abhor.
I totally disagree that this is like any other gift and that people don’t get to choose the gift. Thoughtful gifts of this kind are donations to causes that would be welcome. Unless it’s a group situation (e.g., at Christmas, where a family’s card goes to everybody announcing “a gift has been made in your name”), I find it is passive-aggressive. People who are friends know the other’s beliefs. If someone doesn’t get agreement on this, they should return the favor and give to their own favorite LGBT group or Planned Parenthood in the other person’s name.
A. Sounds good to me. Though even if one chooses a supposed one-size-fits-all politically neutral charity, there could still be unhappiness. I know people who, for various reasons, don’t care for United Way or the Red Cross. Personally, I think the donation route is a lazy person’s way of gift-giving.