A few months ago, my roommate and I moved into a new apartment. At the time, I was in between jobs and had no money to offer for the deposit and first month's rent. I also couldn't help with the utility bill deposit. When I finally found a job, it didn't pay much. And since I was so behind on other bills -- credit cards, school loans, etc. -- I was still unable to help my roommate with rent and utilities.
She began treating me like crap. Any time I tried to start a friendly conversation, she would find some way to berate me for being a worthless loser. We've been best girlfriends for years, so this really hurt my feelings.
Now, I'm finally getting back on my feet, and I've begun paying her off little by little. Though we haven't talked or hung out in months, she's suddenly acting like we're best buds again. She wants to go out and do stuff together and make nice.
But after the way she treated me, I'm not so sure I'm ready forgive her. In fact, I don't even know if I'm going to stay in the apartment once the lease is up later this year. I do miss her friendship, but now that I've seen her ugly side, I'm afraid too get too close to her again.
-- Not a Worthless Loser Anymore
Dear Not a Worthless Loser,
Money can tear relationships apart. It's ruined many marriages and likely just many friendships. As a general rule, don't loan money to friends if you expect to get it back promptly. I'd also say, never move in with your best friends because that's just asking for a strained relationship.
But it's too late to change that, so now you've got to pick up the pieces. Your friend had a right to be a little angry with you after the first month went by and you still didn't have bill money. At that point, she really had no choice but to pay the bills for you or else you'd both be kicked out.
However, moving in with someone who didn't have a job was stupid on her part. Because she made a dumb decision, she should have been kicking herself in the head instead of belittling you.
Talking down to you was probably her version of tough-love motivation. She may have been trying to get you off your butt and into the workforce. Maybe you were just lying around all day stuffing your face and watching "Top Chef" reruns. Or maybe you were out applying for jobs day after day. I don't know.
Regardless, it seems like the problem has blown over and she's trying move closer, but you're resisting. Do you really want to throw away years of friendship over some bill money?
Agree to a night out on the town the next time she offers. Get dressed up. Go to the club. Have a few drinks. Flirt with random guys. It'll be a bonding experience, and I promise you'll be friends again in the morning.
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