3 Simple Rules for Visits from BF/GF When You Have a Roommate.

There are three issues that can turn a roommate relationship ugly:  splitting expenses, housekeeping chores and roommate’s BF/GB overstaying their welcome.  I have already covered how to handle splitting expenses and housekeeping,  it’s now time to tackle the biggie that has brought an end to many a beautiful roommate relationship -how to hang out with the BF/GF without breaking up with your roommate.

Image from Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Okay, we’ve all been there. You’re at the end of a date (or a raging party) and you’d like to say “Wanna come up?” Or you’ve gone over to your boyfriend’s house so many time this past week they’re gonna start charging you rent. But before you invite your significant other over (potentially for hours and days) you just have to check with the roommate first.

And how long is too long to have them over? Like, can you watch the entire first season of Breaking Bad? Or do you have to keep it to one episode of New Girl? Does that candlelit home-cooked dinner for two have to be at 4:30p.m, so as to not disturb your fellow apartment dweller.

Here are three simple rules to maintain a healthy relationship on both ends:

1. Plan Plan Plan. If you want your boyfriend to come over on Saturday so you two can be super cute and cook dinner and then watch Julie & Julia, be polite and ask your roommate a week in advance. Yep, a week. Sorry, there’s no real spontaneity when you share a house. (Really the amount of notice you give your roommate depends on what you talked about when you made a roommate agreement. You did make one of those, didn’t you?)

2. It’s okay to say no. Let me repeat that: It’s okay to say NO. When your ladyfriend assumes that she can lounge on your couch and watch reruns of The Bachelor while painting her toenails, you can gently let her know that’s not cool with your roommate. This is great because you have someone to blame it on and you can just shrug your shoulder and give her sad eyes and then she will just have to forgive you. And um, while she’s at it, can she just get all her hair removal devices out of the bathroom? Just remember, it is NOT okay for your SO to take over your space. Unless he or she is paying rent, you must constantly remind yourself, she doesn’t live there. Therefore, she may not, ever, use the space as her own.

3. Use your head. I know you’ve got one, so use it. Put yourself in your roommate’s position before asking him or her something silly, like “Can my boyfriend and his friends do their annual PONG tournament here next Saturday?” That’s just silly. Come on people, have a little decency. Plus your roommate probably does not want hang out with your boyfriend. So don’t invite him on all your outings. That’s weird. I can’t repeat this enough: RESPECT YOUR ROOMMATE. If you don’t, you can bet your ass when they get a boyfriend or girlfriend, they won’t respect your privacy either.

Anybody have any stories of roommate/significant other screws ups? Please share!

Photo credit:Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Author My First Apartment

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Katherine currently resides in sunny LA where she is trying to reconcile the constant onslaught of those warm golden rays with the pale-as-the-grave complexion she inherited from the Scotts. She and her roommate are mimicking married life by hosting dinner parties in their new apartment and spending Saturday nights watching the entire 3rd season of "The Shield" while learning what it means to have the Martha Stewart of landlords. Also, the not-so-secret pleasure she gets from a Home Depot visit terrifies her.

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Comments (6)

  1. Laura

    I do not have a steady SO but i do occasionally like to have people spend the night. I don’t have a revolving door or anything but someone does stay with me for a night once a month. My roommate say she is not comfortable with this but her long-term bf practically lives in our apartment. I don’t understand how to show her that my monthly visitor is nothing compared to her bf who is hover 4-5 times a week.

    • Admin

      Hi Laura,
      You need to have the talk that you should have had when you moved in together with your roommate. Discuss candidly how you feel about her BF staying over so often and you need to hear in turn why your overnight guests bother your roommate. Having someone spend the night once a month is not excessive, but there is a difference between having a long-term BF staying over vs. someone your roommate knows nothing about. That difference is safety. Maybe she does not totally trust your judgment about these visitors. Maybe she is afraid that the silverware or the toaster will leave with your guest in the morning. Maybe she is afraid that her personal safety is at risk. These would be legitimate concerns. But you don’t know what it is until your have that talk.

  2. Veronica

    Hi Amber,
    I am in a very similar position. When I first moved into my apartment, I made it very explicit that I had a long term boyfriend who lived 2 hours away and who would visit on weekends. It has been a couple years of him visiting every other weekend, and then all of a sudden my apartmentmate says they are not comfortable with this frequency.

    I am left dejected and perplexed, and understand your frustration. Having discussed this with friends and reviewing forums, every other weekend is definitely on the lower end of the tolerance spectrum, so I think your frustration is fair and grounded in reasonable expectation (I think few people would consider every other weekend as a live-in SO):

    But I do think Alex has a point. Over-night-guest is different from a standing commitment over-night-guest. Given that, I would speak with your apartmentmate about the situation, and perhaps come up with a roommate agreement with more explicit wording, with quantitative values(days/hours) instead of qualitative values(over-night-guest and live-in-SO are such vague terms which can mean a lot of things to different people depending on their tolerance levels).


  3. Amber

    So,I have found myself in a bit of a predicament. I moved almost 4 hours away from my hometown to go to university. While searching for a place to stay, I had given my future dwelling place a few prerequistites, one of which would be the agreement of overnight out of town guests.

    My boyfriend and I have been together for over 5 months and of course he wants to see me as often as phsically possible. However, being almost a 4 hour drive away, that isn’t exactly practical. So my bf & I agreed on him driving up (cause I no longer have my car) every second weekend, where I feel he should be able to stay a few nights.

    My roommate claims not to be comfortable with this situation, and makes me feel like I’m being very inconsiderate of her feelings. However, countless nights (during the week no less) she’s hardly home & it’s not like I share a room with her. Am I justified in saying I should be able to do what I want? I am, after all, paying for half..

    I don’t know if I should start looking for another place or not.

    • Alex Alex

      Hi Amber,

      Thanks for writing. Me and my colleagues at My First Apartment feel like it’s a far different thing to tell a potential roommate to expect some overnight out-of-town guests than to have a standing commitment with a regular overnight guest who’s also (for the time he’s there) a live-in Significant Other. So, unless you specifically said the latter, I sympathize with your roommate — you’re in a tough position, but your roommate has a right to be angry. I would try to talk it out, or explore other options, including you paying more, or one of you moving.

  4. Danica

    This is fantastic! My roommate’s boyfriend has become our unofficial fourth roommate, so Friday night romantic dinners have become routine (thus awkwardness and displacement have become routine for us single roommates). I finally realized we need a house agreement when my roommate began letting her friends and family crash without any or much notice. You’re right. When you have roommates planning and communication is key.