Ask Riley on roommate struggles and addictions (to bubbly)

Riley Brands

Editor’s note: This is an advice column written by in-house know-it-all Riley Brands. All answers are based on personal experience. Brands is not a licensed professional. Questions for Brands can be sent to [email protected]

Dearest Riley, 

I live with three other girls and we are all very close. One of my roommates has a new boyfriend, whom, suffice to say, none of us like. The worst part is, she doesn’t even seem that happy with him, despite claiming to be. We would all be able to ignore our personal distaste for him if we felt that she was truly happy. To complicate the issue, this new boyfriend is also our neighbor, so we cannot push her to end their relationship without awkward repercussions. What should we do?


Cringing Roommate 


Dear Cringing Roommate,

I think a little tough love may be in order. Have a talk with her to feel out whether she’s truly happy with him. If she’s not, tell her she has two choices: end it or move out. You can even start the search for her by compiling a list of potentials based on what she’s paying now.

However, if you don’t want to be quite so dramatic, tell her you’re concerned and only want to see her happy. Describe the changes you’ve seen in her since she started dating the Boyfriend of Bile. Hopefully, this will open her eyes not only to her own unhappiness but also to the toll it’s taking on you. If she doesn’t come around, tell her you don’t want her boyfriend coming around anymore. While it is her place, it’s yours, too, so you have just as much right to a calm, peaceful living environment. While she may not listen to your pleas to end the relationship, she should at the very least respect that right.  


Dearest Riley,

Thank you for taking the time to advise me. Over the past year, I have developed an unhealthy addiction to sparkling water. I consume, on average, three to four cans of La Croix bubbly water EVERY DAY! I’m worried about the potential health risks of my habit; some friends have warned me that too much carbon dioxide can be bad for your teeth. Additionally, I am beginning law school in the fall and am worried that the stress will only enhance my addiction. Help! I’m drowning in sparkles! What do I do?!

In hopes you can help,

Addicted to Bubbles


Dear Addicted to Bubbles,

I’m actually more worried you may blow up from all the carbon dioxide. You’ve got to put a stop to this before you explode and leave a big mess for someone to clean up, which would be the height of rudeness. Here’s what you need to do: Dilute every glass of the bubbly beverage until you can cut it out completely.

Start with two parts sparkling water to one part regular water. Then, once you get used to the weakened taste, water it down some more. Once you reach a point where it’s mostly water, throw caution to the wind and leave out the fizz completely. Chances are, you’ll hardly notice a difference. But if you do, it’s OK to fall back to the previous step. Take your time. There’s no reason to rush the process as long as you keep your end goal in sight and don’t stop until it’s achieved.