Dear Shelly

By on February 27, 2003

Dear Shelly,
My roommate has been seeing this guy for close to a month now. Needless to say, they spend a lot of time together. He doesn’t live on campus, so they usually end up at our place. What can I do? My room is cramped as it is. I am not interested in another roommate?
–Crowded in the Commons

Dear Crowded,
So it has come to be that you have inherited a fourth roommate without a say in the matter. If the nuisance of their constant drooling over each other and the reduced amount of privacy is starting to wear on your nerves, it is about time you have a chat with your roommate.
It is relatively early in the relationship, although in college time, a month may as well feel like six months, because every waking moment can be (but should not be) spent together.
Bring up these concerns with your roommate when he is not around. The two of you can review your rooming contract or the policies that you agreed to in August. Without being offensive, ask why he is always over, if there are any other places the two of them could be together and maybe some guidelines of times when he cannot be over. The rules and rights of guys in the room and what can and cannot be done physically while you are there should still apply.
By stepping up and making your concerns heard, before you explode, you will more likely be able to reach a compromise.
By now, I am sure you have gotten to know a little about your roommate’s partner by either spending time with him or through what she has shared. Part of your issue of the new “beau” always being over could possibly be influenced by your own judgment of his character.
It might not be that you are not at ease. In part you are worried for the welfare of your friend. Is he taking too much of her time? Or is he taking anything else of hers (or yours) and he sees no problem with it?
If it comes to the point when the outsider disrupts the balance of life in terms of academics, socialization or room dynamics, then the red flare should be signaled. Your roommate may be blind to her man’s clinginess or maybe she makes excuses because she understands his contempt for his own roommates and uses your place as a safe haven.
What it will finally boil down to is that if he is receiving free room board at the expense of your own comfort, it is an issue.
I hope your distress in this matter is minimal after your conversation with the roommate. If after your mentioning, the boyfriend does not get the hint, then you have to evaluate the strain of this situation.
If she is just a roommate and there are no future plans of you and her co-habiting, then be grateful this will not be a future concern.
But if you two are truly friends and the sidekick has not given some space, then put your foot down now, or prepare to be their third wheel.
Best of Luck,


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