Going away to college and living in a dorm with someone you may have just met or barely know can be hard. Add their boyfriend or girlfriend to the mix, and it can turn into a difficult situation.
All of sudden you have this other person in your room all the time, and that’s not what you signed up for.
You don’t want to be the mean roommate or a jerk, but you also don’t want to be uncomfortable in your own room. Through my experiences and the experiences of my friends, I’ve put together some tips to help you deal with having a “third” roommate.
1. Set rules and boundaries.
If you know the person you are going to be living with is in a relationship, or even if he/she is not, talk to them about it. You are in college and at some point probably either or both of you will be dating. For example, if you feel uncomfortable with sleepovers, you have to be honest and not afraid to speak up and say so.
Otherwise, your roommate won’t know that it bothers you. You will get angry about when it happens, and they’ll get angry because you never said it was a problem before. They might not understand why they have to change.
2. Give them space.
To be fair, the room is not only yours but also your roommate’s. If they want some alone time with their boyfriend/girlfriend, they should be allowed to have some. That doesn’t mean it’s okay to be ‘sexiled’ or kicked out of your room all night. But, if your roommate needs some alone time, let them have some. It’s only fair.
3. Create a code.
Between you and your roommate there should be a signal or some form of communication so you know it may be one of those times when they just need to be alone with their significant other.
A common way of doing this is the old sock on the doorknob trick. However, a better and more convenient way would be for your roommate to send you a text saying something along the lines of, “Hey can you stay away from the room for a little bit? My boyfriend/girlfriend is here.”
That way you both avoid the awkwardness of you walking in on them.
4. Talk it out.
If your roommate cannot respect your reasonable wishes and you are constantly kicked out of the room because their significant other is over, sit down and have a conversation with them.
Help them understand that you’re not trying to get in the way of their relationship, but it’s not fair that you have to feel uncomfortable in your own room. If the problem persists, then talk to your RA. See if they can help you guys resolve the issue. This should be a last resort option. It would better to work it out between yourselves then to get a third party involved.
At the end of the day, just remember when dealing with a roommate who’s in relationship, think about if the roles were reversed.
He/she is happy in their relationship, and they may get caught up in their own world sometimes, forgetting about the other people around them. Remind him/her that you live there too. Be honest about how you feel, and be willing to compromise.
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