Paul and his Cat: Dealing with a change in your housing arrangement

Paul and his cat

Paul and His Cat

Dear Paul and his cat,

Housing renewal has started, and I’m not sure I want to live with my current roommate next year. I want to branch out, but I don’t want to offend them. How can I deliver the news while keeping our friendship intact?

Paul : First of all, evaluate your roommate experience. If it’s been a mismatch from the get-go, then there’s an easy way out. Say that while you love being their friend, being roommates just isn’t working out. Maybe they’re too messy or you’re just too much of a morning person.

Now, if it has been all smooth sailing with an abundance of selfies and Instagram posts to prove it, your situation is more difficult. When your issue becomes more about the person and less about a habit or characteristic, then people tend to get personally offended.

One way is just to tell them you want to live with other people next year. Just be direct and straight to the point. It isn’t anything about them personally; you just want your college experience to be varied. This might hurt their feelings, and the next few days might be awkward. But they will have plenty of time to find another arrangement, and it probably won’t wreck your friendship.

Paulís cat : Of course, you don’t have to be so direct about it, meow. You could try to wear down your roommate to the point that they tell you that they’re moving out. You’ll need to be pretty rude and offensive, though. Scratch up their belongings, throw your litter around, maybe have some of your cat friends over late at night. Soon enough, your little problem will resolve itself.

Paul : Another way is to quietly slip it into conversation. “So, what are you doing about housing next year?” you say while enjoying your fourth Chick-Fil-A dinner of the week. This makes it vaguely clear that you two aren’t attached at the hip and that you are pursuing other living options.

Paulís cat : If that’s too subtle, you could step it up a few notches. “So have you found a roommate for next year yet?” you ask, as you fill a saucer with milk to lick up with your sandpaper tongue. “Oh jeez, you weren’t still thinking about living with me, right?”

Paul : There are a few very bad, friendship-ending things you could do: One is to sign a lease and not tell them until they find out on their own. If you did that, you probably deserve to be friend-dumped.

And you definitely don’t want to tell everyone in your friend group except for them that you are planning to live with someone else.

Paulís cat : Or maybe you do want to do that. Maybe you should tell them all at once, but time it perfectly so that your roommate walks up right as you say it. Maybe. Just a thought.

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