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How do you talk to your roommates about COVID-19 safety? I’m nervous about cases spiking and want to make sure we’re all on the same page. – H
Hi H! I think it’s good to center the conversation around the rising cases and how your behaviors should change in response. Start by bringing up your feelings around COVID-19, then get into how you would like yourself and your roommates to respond. Ask them about how they’re feeling. Be specific: Fewer people visiting your space? More frequent testing? I think one of the most important topics to address is what to do if someone gets COVID-19. Will that person move into quarantine housing? Will the rest of your roommates quarantine? Whatever your goals are, frame them as things both your roommates and you can do, instead of asking for changes from your roommates alone. Even if they’re less concerned about COVID-19 than you are, it’s not unreasonable to ask for more precautions. If you’re concerned about possibly upsetting your roommates, I don’t think this conversation needs to be confrontational at all — as long as you’re honest about your feelings and goals.
I think my roommate might have a crush on me. What do I do? We get along really well, but I’m in a really happy relationship already. I don’t think she would act on it, so should I just ignore it? – B ’25 (she/they)
Hi B! Admittedly, that’s a tough one, but I think there are several ways to approach this. We can’t control who we develop feelings for, but we can control how we handle the situation. Assuming you’re right about your roommate’s feelings, the responsible thing on their part would be to respect your relationship and not act on their feelings. In this case, I would suggest leaving the situation alone and allowing your roommate space to work through their feelings. If they’re acting more flirtatious and you’re concerned about it affecting your friendship, it might be better to talk with them about their feelings. I’ll be honest, it will probably be awkward at first, but in this case, I think it would be best to be open so both of you can be on the same page.
The paradox of choice – I feel like I’m having a very hard time settling down and committing to someone because I’m always worried about something better coming along, or that I’ll like someone else I’m talking to more. How do I get over that? – L ’24 (she/her)
Hi L! I think it’s important to explore your options before getting into a serious relationship. Go on multiple casual dates with different people and see who you connect with the most. I think once you find someone that you really connect with, you shouldn’t find yourself being so concerned with the possibility of someone better. If you’re worried about finding someone else, then maybe it’s a sign that whoever you’re with isn’t working out. Be honest about your feelings and don’t rush into anything just because you feel obligated. I’d also suggest working through these concerns while you navigate the dating scene. What would something “better” look like? Would you feel trapped in a relationship? You’re never tied down to someone, but I hope that when you find someone, you feel confident about your feelings and unbothered by the thought of other possibilities.
Elizabeth Wolfe is an Opinion Advice Columnist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.