Everything you need to know

**Dear Janet,

Last night while I was working on something in my room, my housemate’s friend “Dave” barged into my room. Even though my housemate wasn’t home, he told Dave that he could come over. Dave hung around my room the entire night, and I couldn’t get anything done! I kept hinting, but he was totally oblivious to the fact that I wanted to be alone. This has happened before, but never to this extent. I don’t want to be mean, because he’s a nice guy, but I need my space!

—Cannot Really Operate When Distracted Every Day


Wow. That’s really uncomfortable. Why don’t you just tell your roommate not to invite him over when he’s not there? If that doesn’t work, another option is to call a girlfriend over and discuss the relative merits of tampons vs. pads in front of him. I’ve found this to be a surefire way to make a boy flee in terror. If he really won’t leave your room, just tell him that you need to take a shower.

Still, I’ve gotta tell you, I don’t think he’s coming over to wait for your housemate. In fact, I would venture to say that he’s there to see you, hotness! Your options are as follows: 1. Date him. 2. Reject him outright. 3. Try to discourage him subtly in hopes that he’ll get the hint. I’d go for the third suggestion in your situation, since it’s a lot less awkward and awful for all those involved (though, to be sure, it is still both awkward and awful).

If he just really isn’t getting the hint that you’d rather be alone, you could try telling him that you’re applying for a really important internship that you need to work on, and ask him nicely to chill out in the other room. Then close the door. If he won’t leave and starts asking you about the internship, be really nice and gracious and everything, but just say, “I’m really sorry, but I can’t concentrate with someone in the room.”

Be insistent and be increasingly direct until he leaves. It may make you feel bad to be so blatant, but unfortunately, some people just will not get the hint until you make your needs clear. Talk to all of your roommates and ask them not to invite him over when they’re not there, and ask them to (covertly) discourage his crush if it comes up in conversation. Remember, be nice and be courteous, and try to let him down gently.

**—Janet **