My male flatmate is so controlling & he's only my age – what can I do?

DEAR DEIDRE: MY flatmate is so controlling he acts like he’s my parent, but he’s only my age. 

I’m a woman of 23. I’ve known him from school days but only recently moved in to share a flat. He scolds me when I’m late home, lectures me about my diet and tells me off if I have something from a fast-food place.

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He tells me if my skirts are too short and, worst of all, he tells me if a new guy I bring back is right for me – and they’re usually not.

I do feel safe with him but if I go against his wishes, I get the silent treatment for days. 

I did something a few weeks ago which he didn’t like and we had planned to have dinner together. He suddenly cancelled our night out and went to bed. 

Why does he treat me like a child?

DEIDRE SAYS: Almost certainly because he would like to be more than friends. He cares for you but wants to control you, which is a worrying sign.

Assuming you don’t fancy him, explain you value his friendship but he can’t rule your life, you’re capable of making your own decisions.

My e-leaflet on Standing Up For Yourself explains assertiveness techniques to help you handle this.

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