How Not to Kill Your Roommate Over Her Lovey-Dovey Skype Sessions

I'm a freshman in college, staying in the dorms. My roommate and I get along pretty well for the most part, except when it comes to her boyfriend. Don't get me wrong, her boyfriend lives across the country. But they Skype every day, loudly and gushingly, and after a while it really starts to drive me bananas. I happen to have broken up with my own boyfriend a few months ago, and my roommate knows this. Is it too much to ask her to tone it down some, or talk when I'm not in the room? I'm trying not to be bitter about it, but their lovey-dovey ways feel like a smack in the face at times. What can I do?

Ah yes, college roommates. You're probably still fresh from winter break, where privacy meant more than a "do not disturb" note on the white board (heart over the i, optional), and "rooms" in no way resembled a 10 X 10 concrete prison furnished by Target.

It's maddening to try to assert your privacy within the confines of a dorm room. It's similar to trying to assert your privacy in an airplane. You get four inches of wiggle room -- that's it. Attempting to exercise certain freedoms, like turning on the overhead light, or ordering coffee and orange juice will most likely get you assaulted by someone in your vicinity. This is all to say that you're limited in your ability to make requests in a dorm, especially because your roommate's boyfriend isn't physically occupying any of your space. However, I think this is less about the technological annoyance and more about your roommate's perceived lack of sensitivity to your broken heart. Otherwise, a good set of ear buds and some Adele would probably do the trick of easing your annoyance just fine.

You can't really ask a long-distance couple to tone down their effusiveness, especially since this is probably the first time they've been away from each other for a considerable time, and because they're 19. What are you gonna do? Set quotas on the amount of "Snuggle Bear" references that can be made per conversation? If they were Skype-fighting or Skype-sexing every night, that'd be one thing. Don't despair though, Pumpkin Face. What you can do is ask that your roommate stick to a basic Skype schedule, and then plan not to be around during those times. 

Being newly single does make it hard to be around happy couples, even if it's just their dopey faces on a screen talking about how much they lurve each other. I was chatting with my friend recently, and I asked whether she's going to miss seeing her boyfriend on Valentine's Day because she's traveling. She replied, "Every day is Valentine's Day." And then I stabbed her.

My point is, try not to take it as a personal affront. It's not. Couples are entitled to their happiness just as much as you are entitled to your bitterness. And know that it'll pass. Get busy. Meet people. Focus on what you can change and not the mildly noxious habits of others. And if none of that works, make some Justin Bieber/Bird mating call remixes and insist that you need them to fall asleep at night.

Social-media mistress Anna Pulley likes to give advice about how to play well with others on the internets. If you have a question about etiquette involving technology, shoot her a question at 

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LOL. this is great!

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