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home : columns : dear harriette May 13, 2021

3/26/2021 7:56:00 AM
Recent grad wants to move out of mom's

DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm a recent college graduate. I was one of the few who were lucky enough to find work immediately after college -- and in the middle of the pandemic. I moved back in with my mother after graduating, and because I made a good amount of money, I started to help her with the bills. I pay half of the rent and half of the utilities. I appreciate my mother letting me live here, but I really want to save up so I can live on my own. I don't want her struggling to pay rent in my absence, but I would be so much happier just living with a roommate for possibly a lot cheaper. How can I start a life of my own without leaving my mother with too much rent? -- Mom as Roommate

DEAR MOM AS ROOMMATE: As you are building your life, you have to manage all of your affairs. Naturally, you would never want to leave your mother in the lurch. Instead, talk to her about a plan. Let her know that you will be moving in a particular amount of time. Suggest that she scale back and move herself to a more affordable home or get another roommate. Your mother managed when you were not paying part of the rent. She can likely figure it out again, even if it requires downsizing. Help your mother construct her own plan of action. Keep her informed of your schedule. Do your best to eliminate surprises around your move. This will help with the transition.

If you can give her any money to lessen her load after you move, do so. Your mother sacrificed a lot for you to get where you are today. Don't forget her as you blossom.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend repeatedly chooses his friends over me. He is good friends with my friend's husband, "Alex," but Alex isn't a very good person. He mistreats my friend, "Sarah," constantly, and they are in the middle of a pretty confusing divorce. I will at times vent to my boyfriend about how poorly Alex treats Sarah.

Yesterday, Sarah was furious with me because of information that got back to Alex by way of my boyfriend, who doesn't seem to understand why he cannot run back to his friends about things I've told him in confidence. I don't want to feel like I can't vent about my life to someone I'm in a relationship with. What should I do? How can I make him understand? -- Him or Me

DEAR HIM OR ME: You are being naive to think that you can vent to your boyfriend about his good friend's behavior. It is too much to ask that he keep this information secret. You have to draw the line as to what you share with him. Talking about your friend's divorce has to be off-limits. Apologize to your friend for crossing the line. Promise that you won't do that again.

Regarding your boyfriend, let him know how uncomfortable you are with his lack of prioritizing your relationship. Tell him what you want, and ask him to show up in ways that will be supportive of your bond.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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