Roommates, Student Life

Talking with Your Roommate About Their Significant Other

You love your roommate; you get along well, they share their equal part of the responsibilities, and everything seems to be going great.  However, you start to realize that your roommate’s significant other starts showing up more often.  Whether they are great or not, it can be difficult finding out that you will be rooming with your roommate’s girlfriend or boyfriend, too.  It can be overwhelming for you, especially when they start eating your food, and parking themselves in the common areas.  So what do you do?

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Well it’s best to say something to your roommate, especially if the situation is really starting to bother you.  However, it certainly isn’t as easy as it sounds, because really:  How do you tell you roommate that you don’t want their significant other around as much, or that the things they do bother you?  Here are some things to keep in mind when you do decide to talk to your roommate about it:

Be aware of their feelings on the issue.  Before you say anything, think about how you would feel if you were in their shoes.  Use that as a basis for how you would want to approach your roommate about their significant other.  You especially don’t want to go in with guns blazing, and end up fighting with your roommate.

Refer to the behaviors that bother you the most.  Talk with your roommate about the behaviors that bother you the most, and specifically how those behaviors make you feel.  Avoid making it about their significant other’s personality; it won’t end well, as your roommate will think you are personally attacking them and their significant other.

Try to come to a solution where all of you can win.  Maybe the things that bother you the most are really just that their boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t pitch in with buying common foods, that they leave the dishes in the sink, or they leave their belongings in the common areas.  These are things that can certainly be fixed very easily.  By suggesting realistic and logical solutions to the problem, you can ensure that everyone wins.

The key is to keeping it simple, and being mindful of how you would feel if you were in their situation.  It’s always best to strategize first before getting into any discussion with your roommate about their significant other, so that you don’t say something you didn’t mean to say.  Just think ahead about what behaviors bother you the most, what solutions you could take to fix the problem, and what your roommate’s possible reactions might be.

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