Roommates must be comfortable

hat do you do when your roommate always asks to use your computer only to end up loading porn on it?

Question: What do you do when your roommate always asks to use your computer only to end up loading porn on it?

This has happened multiple times, and I’m not sure how to bring this up without it turning into a confrontation.

Answer: This is so very wrong on so many levels.

First, you have no idea what he’s putting on your hard drive (illegal porn, underage porn, cookies that reveal your personal information, computer viruses, and things you don’t want your mom or girlfriend to see).

Second, I can only imagine what’s happening once he’s downloading the porn (now would be a good time to disinfect your keyboard).

This is not respecting your stuff.

So, for all these reasons, you must say something sooner rather than later.

Surprisingly, he might not think this is a problem. When you have a conversation (it’s not a confrontation), apply the “Uncomfortable Rule.” The Uncomfortable Rule states that when either roommate is uncomfortable as a result of living together, the roommate who is uncomfortable must share the problem within 24 hours. The other roommate must listen and try to help make the situation more comfortable.

Explain what makes you uncomfortable.

Make it clear that your computer is porn-free. If he can’t keep it porn-free, he doesn’t use it. Beyond this, consider putting a child porn filter on it and shut off the porn flow (just in case he uses it while you’re out of the room).

Question: I have an extremely close friend who I would do anything for.

His partner of almost nine years is a very loud man. He speaks his opinion, which is fantastic.

But he is a person who believes that if you don’t agree with him, then you are wrong! My friend loves this man.

He is a good man at heart, but I am at the end of my rope with him. I can no longer handle the comments (“religion is for morons”) and the snide remarks.

Again, this makes him out to be a huge jerk, but I trust my friend to know if he is partnered with a truly bad man. Should I just tolerate this man because he is here to stay? Or should I confront the problem and possibly cause more drama than needed?

Answer: You had nine years to say something about your good friend’s fantastic moron significant other.

What is he supposed to do with this information now? There’s no rule that says you need to like the guy.

Actually, the rule is that you don’t need to like him. The other rule is that you don’t wait nine years to say something if you don’t like him.

This isn’t your friend’s problem, it’s yours.

You don’t need to hang out with him. In fact, do your best to avoid him. When you are forced to be in the same room with him, make a new rule.

When stupid moronic comments start oozing from his lips, tell him you are no longer going to talk politics or religion with him.

If he can’t stop his stupid flow, tell him he’s making you uncomfortable and walk away.

The loud moronic man might have no idea you find him offensive.

For all he knows, for the past nine years he’s thought you found his comments cute and charming.

Write Harlan at or visit online: Send paper to Help Me, Harlan! 2506 N. Clark St., Ste. 223, Chicago, IL 60614.