Two years ago, a man rediscovered his love for hiking, a passion rooted in their rural upbringing. To his delight, he had also found the perfect hiking partner, but the man soon realized that this would end if his friend kept inviting a third wheel.
A Rural Background
Living in a concrete jungle, the man found solace and improved mental well-being in these outdoor excursions. The disconnect from nature had taken a toll, and hiking became a therapeutic escape.
A Curious Friend Named James
One of the man’s friends, James, had noticed his periodic disappearances and inquired about them. The man explained his hiking trips, and James expressed interest in joining. Uncharacteristically, the man agreed, only because James shared his love for unwinding, walking, enjoying scenic views, and, notably, not talking incessantly.
A Weekly Hiking Routine
During the pandemic, the men found themselves with more time for hiking. Weekly excursions became the norm. They’d set off separately in their cars, ensuring individual autonomy.
Introducing a Third Wheel
A month ago, James asked if his roommate could tag along. Slightly hesitant, the man agreed, assuming it couldn’t hurt. Little did they both know, this decision would change the dynamic of their hikes dramatically.
The roommate, unfortunately, turned out to be an incredibly vexing addition. “He is always complaining about being tired after 15 minutes of hiking”, the man explained. “He puts on the wrong shoes, brings nothing to eat or drink, and JUST DOESN’T SHUT UP!”
Seeking Peaceful Escapes
The man, exasperated by this unwelcome transformation of his and James’ peaceful hikes, finally confronted the talkative roommate. He bluntly requested him to tone it down, but the message seemed to fall on deaf ears.
After a hike one day, the man laid down his new perspective with James. “I told him that if he wanted his friend to keep coming he needed to get him to bring the proper stuff and to, well, shut up frankly.”
A Repeated Offense
To the hikers’ dismay, the next hike played out almost identically to the previous one. The roommate had inserted himself into the group, uninvited, and James struggled to rein him in. Frustration mounted, and the man’s patience reached its limit.
A Final Ultimatum
During the last hike, the roommate persisted in his annoying behavior, and the man reached a breaking point. He issued an ultimatum to James: either stop inviting the roommate, or he would return to solo hikes.
James was disappointed to hear the man’s ultimatum. “He got mad since he loves the hikes, and feels like I am putting him in a position where he gets on bad terms with his roommate and will hurt his feelings”, he explained. “Meanwhile, I think he needs a spine since he clearly also ain’t enjoying having him along.”
Posting His Dilemma
The man understood the difficult position he put James in, but he simply could not face spending more time with the roommate. He shared his conundrum with an online community, seeking their advice on the matter. “Go without James, he can go with his roommate”, the top comment bluntly stated.
Consider Hiking Alone
Most readers agreed that it seemed that the man would be better off hiking alone. “It sounds like hiking is a meditative activity for you”, a commenter pointed out. “I would have one last conversation with the roommate and explain it to him in these terms: ‘If you were meditating, would he constantly be interrupting the quiet?’”
No Need for Guilt
It was clear that the man enjoyed James’ company, but one commenter chimed in stating that he shouldn’t feel guilty about no longer inviting him: “What the heck James, why keep bringing a friend, who hates hiking, ON A HIKE?! Have no guilt excluding James. He doesn’t seem to care about your needs on this hike, I wouldn’t put his roommate relationship above your sanity.”
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