Living in close quarters with someone can be very difficult, but having to share your room with a roommate and her boyfriend makes it even harder. In most cases, it’s bound to happen — you’ll have awkward moments when he comes over at 1 a.m. to “study” with her. If nothing is done about it, your rooming situation can get very uncomfortable, so here are a few tips to deal with this problem.
1. Go to sleep early.
If you and your roommate feel comfortable with each other — enough so that you would let him stay the night — go to bed as soon as he shows up. You can just quietly slip into bed while they chat and act like that’s all that’s going on.
Getting to sleep early will save you from hearing anything awkward, and you will feel rejuvenated in the morning.
2. Use headphones.
If you have a pair of headphones, plug them in and start listening to music loud enough that you cannot hear them, but quiet enough that they don’t realize it. Wearing headphones might make you seem antisocial whenever he shows up, but hey, it’s all about compromise.
3. Turn on a loud object.
A fan on high might just be loud enough to overpower the sounds of your roommate and her boyfriend making out.
It will keep them cool, keep you cool and keep you from having to endure their noises.
4. Get some work done.
Agree with your roommate about a specific time when her significant other will be over. Schedule specific times when you will not be in the room. You can go to the library and cram for that upcoming test, or you can go to the gym and get in that workout that you have been meaning to do.
In order to avoid walking into an awkward situation, practice prevention. Ask your roommate to put something outside the door, where you can see it. That way, when you walk up to the room you will know if you should be somewhere else.
If you don’t want to be cliché, you can use a discreet hair tie on the door handle or a specific bracelet. Small objects, like a plastic cup or water bottle, can also be placed on the floor outside your room. These objects are discreet, so people walking by will not assume that something is going on.
6. Tell her to go to his room.
Sometimes it’s just not the night for you to even try to be understanding. Talk to your roommate about your situation — for example if you have a big test the next day. Chances are that she will understand and be able to make an arrangement that works for you both. Suggest to her that she goes to his room to “study” — I’m sure he won’t mind at all.
This way you can get a perfect night sleep without wishing you were somewhere else for the night.
7. Screw it.
If she has someone over, then you should too.
Have a guy over while they are doing something casual, like watching a movie. Make out with him, so that she understands the awkward feeling you feel whenever her boyfriend is around.
If you have a good relationship with your roommate, you both could agree on having guys over at the same time — especially if both of you are not going to be having sex. She would be making out with her dude on her side and you would too.
If it gets too awkward, well, one of you has to cooperate and leave. If you guys are just making out, then there should be no huge issue, but if you are going to have sex then you might want to get another room.
The bottom line is that these issues need to be dealt with. These are delicate situations, but compromise is key. Just remember, don’t shy away from this topic just because it’s awkward — it will be worse when you walk in on them.
Maria is a member of the class of 2015.