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My roommate’s boyfriend is constantly around. I try to be alright with it but I never get to spend alone time with my roommate. What should I do?
– Annoyed Roommate
Dear Annoyed Roommate,
This is a tough one because there are a lot of factors to consider depending on the exact situation.
This problem has been in my life since high school and it definitely did not end in college.
My friends from high school and I always joke around about one of our friends. We call her the “non-independent” because she is constanly with a guy.
Even when she didn’t have a boyfriend, there would always be a ‘guy friend’ around. Now, her boyfriend is with her whether I call at one in the afternoon or 3 in the morning.
She even thinks it’s okay for him to come out with the girls on a Saturday night.
It got to the point where I would just stop going out because I did not want to see him and her together anymore.
It would be okay if they were normal and did not hang all over each other everywhere they went. The PDA actually started to make me sick.
At first I was extrememly annoyed, which made me hate him. I thought he should understand that girls need their girl-time and he should back off. I then realized that it was not him, it was my friend.
Think about it- when would a guy say no to hanging out with his girlfriend? He wouldn’t!
So instead of hating him, I decided to talk to my friend, which did not turn out so well because she just got defensive and assumed that I did hate him.
So this is what I advise you to do. Confront your roommate, not in a way that makes her get defensive, but in a way that she will realize you miss her. You miss hanging out with her, you miss being able to talk to her whenever you want. Tell her in the nicest way possible that it isn’t him, you just miss her friendship.
You can even suggest a schedule. If she is going to hang out with him on Friday night, then you and her get to hang out on Saturday night. If they go to the movies on a Tuesday night, invite her over on Wednesday to watch your favorite TV show.
I tried the schedule with my friend. She agreed to it. So I invited her over on a Thursday night to watch a movie. I was sure it would be the best girl night ever. I ordered pizza and rented 3 different movies. I didn’t see a reason why the night wouldn’t go perfectly but when I answered the door, there he was, standing right next to her.
I was furious. I did not understand why he would want to come to movie night at my house. Why couldn’t I just have three hours with my best friend?
The next day, I went to her house. I knew he was at work so it was a good time to have her alone to explain to her how I felt.
I told her that it wasn’t fair. I told her that my friendship with her meant a lot to me and I felt like I was losing her. It automatically made her realize that it was truly hurting me and that things needed to change.
You need to make sure you tell your roommate exactly how you feel, even if it is going to hurt her feelings. Sometimes others can’t see what they are doing unless it is brought to their attention by someone they trust.
I remember, after I told my friend that I felt like I was losing her, she automatically told her boyfriend that she will not and could not lose me. She told him that she needed to spend more alone time with me and he needed to understand that.
It actually worked out pretty well because he was excited to get some free nights for himself to hang out with the boys.
Every now and then we have a night where he comes along, but now it isn’t overwhelming because he isn’t constantly around. I have also gotten much closer to him because I explained how I felt to him as well.
It turned out that his friends were saying the same thing to him and actually came to the point of hating my friend, just like I was hating on him. Sometimes we all go out together and it is actually a lot of fun.
This problem is very common, but it could be solved. Friendship is a very important part of life, especially these four years in your life and you need to make your roommate understand that.
Make sure to discuss it with her, make a schedule and tell her how you really feel.
Remember that good communication is key. Good Luck!
(You can email me questions at Alicia.email@example.com, or you can drop off questions in the anonymous folder outside of the Chronicle office, upstairs in the student center)