Suffocating jealousy

A roommate is super-jealous? Time to move.

Got a problem? Write, email or leave a message for Joey at News & Review. Give your name, telephone number (for verification purposes only) and question—all correspondence will be kept strictly confidential.
Write Joey, 1124 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815; call (916) 498-1234, ext. 1360; or email

My roommate is so controlling and jealous, you can’t even breathe in the direction of a guy she likes, or even a guy she used to like, even if nothing happened between them. Is this normal? I need to know because I’ve been secretly seeing one of her exes. They had a fling two years ago. He broke it off and she was ruined. I didn’t want to tell her about him, but now he and I are serious. I’d like you to explain how to tell her so she won’t flip out.

Your roommate wants to control her boy toys and you want to control her emotions? That’s not pretty. Level up: She’s entitled to her emotions, and you have a right to yours. Neither of you have the right to blame your emotional response on the other. That’s true for all of us.

Instead of trying to manage your roommate, focus on facing your fear: You’re intimidated by her. Why not practice being her equal? Yes, she behaves as if she’s queen, but you’re not obligated to obey her pronouncements. She doesn’t own the men she’s flirted with or dated. She doesn’t own you. Stop behaving as if she does.

Find a new living situation. No excuses, please. Invest in staying open to rooming with someone who is kind and wants the best for you. If your roommate flips out because you’re moving or because you have a great guy in your life, shake it off. Her meltdown is not about you. It’s about her fear of being unimportant. Your responsibility is to move forward into the love the universe offers.

I went out for drinks with a guy I met online. He was at least 10 years older than his photos and not the greatest communicator. I stayed for nearly an hour to be polite and then excused myself. I had one cocktail. He had three beers and made a big deal of picking up the bill. A week later he sent me a Venmo that was more than half the cost of drinks. I reminded him he offered to pay. He called me, “a nasty, stuck up bitch,” and sent another Venmo request. Advice?

He has issues. You can refuse his Venmo request altogether, or only pay for your cocktail. I recommend door number two. You’ll get closure (ByeByeFelipe!) and he’ll get a dating lesson he clearly needs.

Whenever we make plans to get together my friend cancels, often last minute. She’s a therapist and says she has to see a client. She has helped me through a lot of problems and I value our relationship. Should I stop trying to make plans or let go altogether?

Neither. Place this friendship in the mental file folder marked “Crisis.” Your friend is a helper and seems most available when you or others need support. Reach out to her when you want a listening ear and solid advice. Be a true friend, too. Tell her you’re available if she’s ever overwhelmed and in need of a pal. Not all friendships look alike, and there’s no reason they should.

Meditation of the Week

“We can be blind to the obvious, and we are also blind to our blindness,” writes Daniel Kahneman in Thinking, Fast and Slow. When you offer constructive criticism, do you look in the mirror?