WWMUD: My roommate wants to set a boundary around who I'm dating
And tips for setting healthy boundaries when you're grieving
Dear MU: My roommate introduced me to a guy (Josh) that she knows through her boyfriend (Sam)—the two men work together and are pretty close. Josh and I hit it off and started dating. A few weeks later, my roommate and her boyfriend broke up. Now she says it’s too painful to have Josh around, and asked me to stop seeing him. I told my roommate I wanted to keep dating Josh, and asked how I could do that and still be respectful of her feelings, but she says there isn’t a compromise here—these are her boundaries. What do I do? —Lonely in love
(Note, read to the end for tips on applying healthy boundaries to ANY difficult season, whether you’re grieving a break-up, a pregnancy loss, a job, or a parent.)
Your roommate telling you who you can and cannot date isn’t a boundary, it’s controlling and manipulative. Certainly, there are things you can do in this situation to be kind and respectful of her feelings, but that doesn’t include dumping your boyfriend because he brings up painful memories. Make a pact not to talk about Sam (her ex) in front of her, or talk about her with Josh, assuming he’s still friends with Sam. Basically, protect her privacy and respect her implied request not to have her ex’s ghost paraded around in front of her.
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