Her Story: My Roommate Started Dating My Ex

When you share a living space with somebody else, there are certain boundaries you should never, ever, cross if you enjoy living peacefully among one another. Somehow (unsurprisingly enough), my roommates never got this memo. Before I can really get into the mess of it all and in order for this story to make complete and total sense, I feel like I need to backtrack to the exact moment I realized my roommates would be a total nightmare. So, let's talk about move-in day, and how it practically set the tone for everything else that would come to happen.

My best friend Abigail and I were really excited to meet our other two roommates, especially because we'd gotten along with them so well in a group chat we put together shortly before move-in. Let's call them Sarah and Kim. In the chat, we planned what appliances we were going to share in the kitchen with Sarah and Kim and what we expected of each other as roommates. We all seemed to be on the same page as one another, so naturally, we weren't concerned about what they'd be like. Little did we know, our roommates were the complete opposite of what they'd claimed to be.

The night I moved in, they'd left unpacked boxes stacked everywhere in the kitchen, makeup all over the shared counter space and had left to go to the club without picking anything up. I really hoped it would be a one-time thing, but quickly realized in the time that followed thereafter that they had no sense of boundaries for sharing common spaces with others, at all. They would use our dishes without cleaning them, eat our food without owning up to it (or replacing it) and generally just never clean up after themselves. So, Abigail and I found ourselves cleaning up after them all the time, and personally, I began to resent them for it. 

After all, we had tried talking to them but they never followed through on fixing any of their behaviors. More than once, they'd left broken glass laying around in the kitchen. Sometimes it'd be glass from a cup of mine they'd break, but wouldn't admit to breaking when I asked. More than once, they'd take personal items from our rooms and drawers without asking. Eventually, we got seriously tired of hassling them and stopped altogether, mainly because while we actually did like them as people—they'd just continue to do the things we'd already asked them not to

So, to say the least, I pushed a lot of what they did aside when I shouldn't have, and maybe because of this they began to get too comfortable with crossing other types of boundaries—the kind no roommate should ever cross. 

I'd just gotten out of a really bad relationship when I met this guy—who we'll call Ryan—at a hangout with some mutual friends. I wasn't planning on dating again so soon, but he snuck up on me and we ended up dating for a little over three months. During this time, I fell for him really hard and I would constantly talk to Abigail, Sarah and Kim about him. It was through me that Sarah and Kim even met him in the first place. I felt secure enough in my relationship that I didn't mind when Sarah and Kim ended up becoming really good friends with Ryan either. I had zero doubts about their intentions. Aside from the living situation, I respected their character—who I thought they were as people.

But see, here's the thing. It's a lesson everyone needs to learn at one point or another: people who don't respect your things, your privacy or your boundaries do not respect you. Period. If their words don't match their actions, you need to reevaluate the situation and understand that yes, there really are people out there that are inconsiderate and disrespectful with no excuse. Stop making excuses for people that have already shown you who they really are, because trust me, they aren't looking out for you the same way you'd look out for them and they don't care about you the same way you care about them. 

Truthfully, when I started to sense some tension between Ryan and Kim, I tried to deny it and convince myself that she wouldn't try anything with him because I knew I would never do that to her if the roles had been reversed. 

He broke up with me a few days after I'd picked up that feeling that something could be going on between them and after another few days went by, I decided to confront Kim about it. I asked her to be honest if there was something happening with them, but she reassured me there wasn't and that she would never do anything to hurt me. I believed her. My friends were suspicious of her because they knew what living with her had been like, but I defended her and promised them that she wasn't like that. 

Turns out she's exactly like that.

Rather than being upfront and honest with me, she went behind my back, hooked up with my ex and came home with hickeys on her neck, wearing one of his sweaters, and talking about it with Sarah in the next room over. Instead of talking to me about it in person, she decided to call me over the phone later that day to tell me, insisting she didn't want any "bad blood." 

People who know they're in the wrong never want "bad blood," because that would mean admitting to themselves that what they did was wrong and had consequences. It would mean sitting down, talking and understanding that their actions caused somebody else pain. People like that don't want to be held accountable for their actions and would rather ignore what they did to hurt somebody else. 

That's probably part of the reason she chose to tell me over the phone rather than in person and truthfully, people like that—cowards—are not worth nearly the amount of energy you spend trying to get them to care. I was upset for a while and I wanted so badly to take it out on our living situation but realized it wouldn't be worth it.

Careless people are just that: careless. So, rather than giving them a reaction they could easily turn around and call childish or petty, I chose to take the high road. I let Kim know that while she had totally lost my respect, we would still need to be amicable as roommates. 

Truthfully, I think my reaction surprised her because since then, she's been nothing but immature, which is exactly what I'd expect from her anyways. The thing is, I'm not letting it get to me anymore because she simply isn't worth it. I know my worth more than anyone and I recognize when it's time to stop handing over my energy and attention to people who simply want to get a reaction from you that they think will justify the awful thing they did to you to begin with. 

I find my peace in knowing that I'm not giving her the attention she wants (blocked her on my social media) or the reactions she wants by being level-headed and mature about the whole situation. Even though it's tough, it reminds me that I've learned from my past mistakes—times where I was childish and how like most other people, I'm slowly but surely growing into the person I want to be by avoiding the actions that take away from my character rather than add something positive to it.

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