One of the main challenges that roommates face is coming to an agreement when it comes to having a significant other over at the apartment. This is a very common issue between apartment mates, and can usually be solved easily if both parties are willing to compromise. (Of course, it would have been best if you and your roommates had established some rules on guests up front.)
I was a Resident Assistant in the dorms at San Francisco State University for three years, and I have helped a number of roommates get through this issue, and move onto more important things. Here is a list of 5 rules that every roommate should follow when it comes to having a significant other over for the night, or even just in general:
1. Do not allow your guest to eat your roommate’s food.
One of the main issues that people have when a roommate’s significant other comes over is that the person doesn’t understand the boundaries that have been set in place. It is likely that you and your roommates have discussed the rules around eating each other’s food. It is not necessarily the person’s fault, but they should be made aware that eating another roommate’s food is not an option.
2. Make sure that they clean up after themselves.
This goes especially for bathrooms, for obvious reasons. Most people don’t appreciate when a guest makes a mess and doesn’t clean it up. If your significant other uses the shower, give them a fresh towel to use, and tell them to hang it up. Make sure they know which soaps to use, and make sure they don’t leave a mess, at all. If your guest is making food in the kitchen, make sure that the dishes are dealt with properly, and that everything is completely clean by the time anyone else walks in the room.
3. If you are sharing a room, don’t bother your sleeping roommate.
If you are actually sharing a bedroom with your roommate, make sure that when the lights are out, you are quiet. Don’t use a bright computer or phone, and try to make sure not to snore or make noises. One thing that really upsets people is not getting enough sleep, so you should do everything in your power to make sure your roommate is able to get a good night’s sleep.
4. Make sure that your guest doesn’t overstay their welcome.
If you are hosting a guest, then they should be exactly that: A guest. Your significant other does not pay rent, therefore he or she should not be living with you. Communicate with your roommate clearly what you both feel is a reasonable amount of time for your guest to be in the apartment. Ask yourself if you are splitting your time evenly between your apartment and your guest’s, and make sure your guest is not taking advantage of you and your roommates.
5. Your significant other must be respectful of your roommates’ time and energy.
It won’t go well if your guest is rude to your roommates. They live there too, and they have the right to ask your guest to leave the apartment. It would be very smart of you to make sure that your significant other makes an effort to get along with your roommates. It’s in the best interest of your guest, too!
This can be a really tricky issue. If everyone isn’t getting along, nip it in the bud and sit down to talk about it. Set guidelines and figure it out. You don’t want to end up with a complete ban from having your significant other over!
Have you ever had this problem with someone? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments!