Dear Prudence

Help! My Roommate Says She Dreams of Having Sex With My Boyfriend.

Dear Prudence answers more of your questions—only for Slate Plus members.

A woman in the background, at right, looks perplexed by the smiling woman in the foreground, at left.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Getty Images Plus.

Every week, Dear Prudence answers additional questions from readers, just for Slate Plus members.

Q. I feel uncomfortable about my friend’s intentions toward my boyfriend: I live with my boyfriend, “Tim,” and then another couple that consists of Tim’s best friend “Frank” and Frank’s girlfriend, “Mary.” I have gotten close with Mary since meeting her. I would even consider her one of my closest friends. Tim and Mary didn’t get along at first, but over the course of my relationship with Tim (nearly four years) they have become close. Very close.

In recent times, Tim and I have been having a bit of a rough patch where there is really not a lot of romance happening, but we are both in school so I wouldn’t call it too unusual considering all the stress going on! Mary drunkenly admitted a few months ago to both me and Tim that she dreams about sleeping with him. She apologized, but since then, Tim and I have been acting more independently while we finish out the semester, and she has been so flirty, bringing him small gifts or driving him to class. She even asked for her own kiss when he and I kissed goodbye. First she was telling me that she is bored with Frank and wants to explore more, but now she says, “Dump Tim ASAP because he isn’t making you a priority.”

I spoke to Tim about how I have felt a little uncomfortable with how she is around him lately, and while he was very reassuring that he loves me and is completely committed to me, he said that he’s actually really happy that they are becoming close friends after not being close for a few years. I am happy about that too! But how do I shake the feeling that she has other intentions?

A: I think Tim and Mary are already sleeping together or dating one another. We’re way past “other intentions.” Why would you want to shake this feeling? She has told you both she wants to sleep with him, brings him gifts, drives him to class, asks him to kiss her in front of you, and demands that you dump him—you’re not being paranoid. She’s being pretty upfront about the fact that she wants him for herself, and it looks like she’s making excellent progress. I don’t know how “reassuring” Tim is capable of being toward you as long as he’s continuing to accept these gestures. He tells you he’s “really happy” about their new relationship. If he’s really happy with the way things are, and you are uncomfortable and feel shunted aside, doesn’t that suggest to you that he’s really happy with your discomfort? And it’s not like you can get a lot of space from this dynamic because the four of you all live together.

If you tell your partner, “I’m uncomfortable with your relationship with someone else,” and your partner is “reassuring” but says they’re not going to change anything about that relationship, I think you’ve been given a pretty clear sign about just where you fall on your partner’s list of priorities. Do you have any other friends looking for roommates right now?