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What is the best way to handle my overbearing roommate?
Friendship / 12:05 AM - Saturday October 09, 2010

What is the best way to handle my overbearing roommate?

I recently moved into a 2 bedroom apartment with a friend of a friend in a new city. The apartment is lovely-spacious, quaint, and in a nice neighborhood. We are splitting the rent and bills 50/50 and he is not the owner; merely the tenant, just as I am. The only difference is that he's lived here much longer than me.

My roommate and I get along for the most part. But something irks me about him; he treats me as if I am his tenant. He's a bit older than me and is an artist, so he seems to always have the first say about how the apartment is arranged. As we speak, I'm sitting in a living room that looks like his art gallery. In addition to that, he's a bit territorial. Since he's not employed he spends day and night sprawled on the couch watching TV. If I want to watch anything I have to ask him first. He usually "allows" me to, but not without grilling me about what I am going to watch.

Other peeves about him are that he is super-anal, nit-picky, cold at times (I once opened up to him that I was stressed about some things. His response to me was, "Speaking of stress, you owe me $80 for the cable bill..."), and did I mention territorial?

I try to look on the bright side: that he's friendly with all of my friends, has invited me to hang out with him, shares his meals with me sometimes, and that he is actually a tidy roommate. I just am not used to being "controlled." I'm used to living by myself, so this is overwhelming.

My question is this: do I have the right to express my grievances with him? If so, what is the best manner in which to do this?

I do plan to move out when I get back on my feet, in probably a year. So moving out is not an option. Thanks.

- Asked by A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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