Dear Harlan,

Everyone told me not to sleep with guys right off the bat. Well, guess what? I always sleep with guys right off the bat, even though I know what the outcome will be. This time, a guy and I hung out afterward and continued on the unknown path. Finally, I got to the point where I asked, “Where is this heading?” He said he couldn’t have anything more committed because he is transferring in January and some other reasons he didn’t list. I think he has another woman. He still wants to be friends. Should I tell him to forget it, or not get angry and play it cool?

Not Playing It Cool

Dear Not Cool,

You jumped into bed and then jumped to conclusions. This guy never knew what you wanted. But now that he knows and doesn’t want the same thing, you’re upset with him. You can hate him or give him space to miss you. If you give him space, you’ll be far more attractive. Hating him will just give him reason to hate you. So give him space and don’t sleep with him again until he can commit. Set boundaries. You still can do that. Date other men. If you jump into more beds with more men, jump into a therapist’s office and find out why you’re so jumpy.

Dear Harlan,

This is my first year having male roommates. One of them is very clean and respects the common living space. The other is a bit of a problem. He leaves his dishes in the sink, doesn’t put things back and has to be reminded to do his chores. If I want him to do something, I need to tell him. When I do ask him, he does it right away, but I’m not his mother. I don’t want to be passive-aggressive and put up signs, although the sign in our bathroom about putting the toilet seat down has been only semi-effective. On a related note, we share a bathroom, and he has very poor aim. I’ve brought this up with him once before, and asked him to clean up if he misses. It’s a sensitive topic, and I don’t want to bring it up again, even though our bathroom always smells like urine and it grosses me out. Help!

Tired of Messes

Dear Tired,

We miss. We have bad aim. Weekend nights can be difficult. Early mornings can be hard, too. Sometimes we miss without knowing. Other times we miss, clean up and still leave a little bit. Sometimes we get distracted. Once in a while, it will just misfire. Other times we are too fast. We don’t do it to upset our roommates, girlfriends, partners or wives. It just happens. I imagine it’s easier to sit and use the bathroom. This roommate sounds responsible and respectful. He also sounds incredibly distracted and unaware. You’re not his mother, but you and your other roommate will need to keep reminding him. Instead of telling him what to do, ask him for suggestions. When it comes to dishes, he can use paper plates to eat. When it comes to chores, maybe there are jobs he likes that are easier for him to do and remember. I know you don’t want to bring it up, but it’s part of living together. Who knows, he might feel so bad about the situation (and his aim) that he’ll be willing to sit and do his business.

Harlan is author of “Getting Naked: Five Steps to Finding the Love of Your Life (While Fully Clothed and Totally Sober)” (St. Martin’s Press). Write Harlan at [email protected] or visit online:

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