Dear Mistress Maeve,
My roommate's boyfriend is a total jerk. Because he lives with his parents, he's constantly at our apartment, eating our food, watching MY television and generally being a slob. My roommate is a grad student, and he even hangs around while she's at class. Last week, I came home to toenail clippings on the coffee table - that was the final straw.
He is nowhere near good enough for my roommate, and his constant presence in our home is driving a wedge between her and me. How can I tell her to ditch the freeloader?
Toenail clippings? That's just gross.
Unfortunately, you cannot tell your roommate to "ditch the freeloader." While you may think he's the spawn of Satan, your roommate likes him, and badmouthing him will only make you look like the bad guy. If he really is as awful as you claim, she'll figure it out eventually - and it's important that she learn from her own mistakes.
In the meantime, you can draw some clear boundaries at home. Talk to your roommate face to face (no passive-aggressive notes or off-handed comments). Tell her you like living with her, but you have some concerns about her boyfriend. Outline specific behaviors that bother you and ask her please to address them with him.
You should also set some ground rules that both of you will adhere to going forward. Decide how many nights per week a significant other can stay over without having to chip in for utilities and food. Talk about when it's acceptable for a significant other to be in the apartment alone and whether it's OK for significant others and friends to have keys.
You're in for a potentially uncomfortable conversation - but you'll feel better once you've hashed it out.
Roommate-less for good reason,