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?

Photo from ohmyapt.apartmentratings.com

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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Roommates, Student Life

Two’s Company & Three’s A Crowd: How to Manage Your Relationship with Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend and Your Roommate

While having your boyfriend or girlfriend around all the time might be great for you, it might not be for your roommate.  Whether you’re living in a dorm or you’re living in an apartment, it doesn’t matter: Sharing space with your roommate and your significant other can get tough to manage.  That’s why we’ve put a list together of all the things you can do to prevent a huge blow up between you, your roommate and your boyfriend/girlfriend.

In an article by Annie Maguire at College Cures, the first thing you want to do is set time boundaries.  This means that you should talk with your roommate about their schedule and when would be the best time for your boyfriend/girlfriend to come over.  You can also work with them to determine a cut-off time (10 pm, 11pm, etc.) for guests, and then stick to your guns.  Once it gets to the cut-off time, your boyfriend/girlfriend needs to go home and so should theirs.

The next thing Maguire suggests is setting spatial boundaries.  This means that you should establish with your roommate where your significant other can spend time in your room/apartment.  This means that you should establish with them (beforehand) where your boyfriend/girlfriend can hang out and what items they can use.

Another rule of thumb when it comes to managing these types of relationships is giving one another space.  This includes giving yourself, your roommate, and your significant other the space they need.  You should be sure that you and your significant other aren’t always hanging out in your room, and that you share time between each other’s places equally.  This way your roommate and their roommate get time alone too.

The most important concerns you should have when it comes to managing your relationship with your roommate and your significant other is to be considerate and to communicate with one another.  You and your significant others’ wants and needs are not superior to your roommate’s and vice versa.  The best way to manage this is to speak with one another frequently and often about what each other needs, wants, and feels about the situation and what each of you can do to make sure everyone is happy.

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