Dear Wendy: “I Crashed At My Friend’s Pad For 5 Months And Now She Won’t Talk To Me”

For the last five months I lived with a good friend and her boyfriend while I finished school. They were kind enough to let me crash with them and I’m so thankful they did. However, now that I’m moved out I feel like our friendship is over. I’ve heard through mutual friends that she complained about me being messy, ignoring her, and being awful to live with. She would routinely send me tweets and Facebook messages detailing the various things I did that annoyed her (i.e., snore, nap, have a glass in my room). The thing is, I was always clean. I VERY rarely left a dish unwashed, I cleaned the bathroom, emptied the dishwasher … I’m just at a loss as to why she would stop talking to me. I did really stick to myself while I lived there and didn’t hang out with her and her boyfriend. I didn’t want to invade their space but she never made me feel anything other than it was best to stay away from them. So I did. I’m at the point now where I’ve been evaluating our whole friendship and she really hasn’t been a great friend over the years. But I’m still bothered that somehow she has completely stopped talking to me. Should I contact her to find out why? Or should I just let this die and get over it? We have lots of mutual friends so I don’t want things to be awkward if we no longer talk. I just don’t know where to go from here. — Baffled

Your friend’s passive-aggressive rudeness aside, five months is a very long time to “crash” with a friend and her significant other. I have to wonder if that was an agreed-upon time frame before you moved in? Considering the increasing tension between you and your friend, did you check in every six weeks or so and make sure your presence was still welcome? Did you contribute to the rent and bills? Did you help keep the place clean? Did you make sure to make yourself scarce every once in awhile so your “roommates” could have their place to themselves? At any point when your friend was leaving tweets and Facebook messages about the things that annoyed her about you, did you talk to her face-to-face about her issues with you and discuss what you could do to ease any tension between you? If you answered “no” to even one of these questions, the reason your friend stopped talking to you is pretty obvious: she feels used and taken advantage of.

I can sympathize that you’re feel rejected, but honestly, if you’re the one who crashed at your friend’s pad for five months, the responsibility to reach out and smooth things over is kind of on you, especially if you didn’t take that responsibility while you were living with her. Even if you have no interest in continuing a friendship with her, you at least owe her a huge, enormous thank you for giving you a place to stay for five months. And if you share mutual friends and don’t want things to be awkward when you all get together, I’d extend an olive branch and give an apology, too. Even if you don’t feel it 100 percent, in a situation like this it’s best to be the bigger person, suck it up, and apologize for whatever role you had in your friendship crumbling (and, like I said, if you answered “no” to any of the above questions, your role in that crumbling friendship is a lot bigger than you seem to think).

I graduated college earlier this year and ended a three-year relationship because I wasn’t attached enough to move across states with him and leave a full-time job in the city of my dreams. Being in a healthy relationship left me unaccustomed to rudeness, though, and I’m learning there’s a lot of rudeness out there! A couple weeks ago, for example, I was out dancing with my friends and I hit it off with someone, romantic comedy-style: we were dancing, flirting, drinking, he was charming, I was smitten, and I insisted that he give my friends his name and number before we left together. We then had mind-blowing sex during which he used his last condom (Fine, it screams PLAYER when a man only has one condom). He left the room to get another … and… didn’t come back. The scene went from romantic comedy to “Entourage” in an instant. I walked into his living room and his friend looked me right in the eye and said, “He probably isn’t coming back. Want me to drive you home?”

Caught up in the moment as I was, I understood that this was probably a one-night stand. I had wanted to have sex with him regardless, but was obviously hoping it might lead to a fling. The one night stand would have been all right, but I was completely blindsided! I stared at his friend in astonishment and didn’t accept the ride. I ran back into the room to collect my things, and in the process grabbed his iPhone from the floor and wrote an angry note (followed by another one on Facebook the next morning), and took a cab home alone at 4:30 AM. The next morning I fumed about being naive, reminded myself that he really had no obligation to me, fumed to my friends, and now I turn to the advice columnist I’ve been reading for over a year.

I’m a curious person and I want to have sexual experiences with different people, but I can’t let things like this get to me if I’m interested in sleeping around (for lack of a better phrase). How do I reconcile a strong interest in experimenting sexually with caring about how I am treated? — Too Self-Righteous For Casual Sex?

Well, you sort of already said it yourself, didn’t you? You can’t let things like this get to you if you’re interested in sleeping around. What you can do, though, is change your definition of “sleeping around” or accept that any time you leave a bar with someone you’ve just met, you’re more than likely setting yourself up for a one-night stand … or maybe a two-night stand. Sure, sometimes flings or even full-fledged relationships develop from these encounters, but it isn’t likely and it isn’t healthy to expect that. Better to expect that it’s probably going to be a one-night stand with someone who may or may not remember your name in the morning — if he even sticks around that long — and be pleasantly surprised if something more develops. Guys are going to be rude because they can. Without any history with you whatsoever, and no interest in any type of future (even as soon and as brief as the next day), there’s not a whole lot of incentive for a guy who just wants to get laid to stick around or be polite after he gets what he wants. That’s just how it goes. Accept the rules or stop playing the game.

As for reconciling your strong interest in experimenting sexually with caring about how you’re treated, start being a bit more judicious when deciding whom to boink. It’d be great to think that every hot guy we met at a club was going to treat us with respect after taking us home, but that’s neither realistic nor, frankly, very safe. If you want to increase your odds of being treated well, stick with getting a guy’s number the night you meet him and wait a day or two before hooking up. This way you can asses a guy’s booty call worthiness. Does he text you back when you text him? Is he still interested when he’s sober? Does he remember your name? Depending on what you’re looking for, having a small collection of reliable, respectful guys’ numbers you can call when you’re feeling frisky is a safer bet than going home with whatever guy you hit it off with at the club tonight.

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