Having a roommate can be a godsend if you want to live in an expensive city. But a roommate can also be a major annoyance in your life, especially if she or he has a habit of bringing home late night lovers or giving their partners all-access passes to your apartment. Headphones and an easy-going attitude can only get you so far. Luckily, there are ways to avoid roommate wars and uncomfortable confrontations. Here are a few things you can do to give yourself some peace of mind and some peace in your apartment.
- Turn up the volume: Blast your Pandora radio station with pride, and maybe the couple will get the message. If not, at least you don’t have to hear them climax.
- Make it a money issue: If you split the utilities with your roomie, and Mr. Stained Boxer Briefs keeps doing his whites in your laundry machine, bring it to your roommate’s attention. Ask her to cough up cash to cover this month’s overages. Or, when she is leaving to run errands, ask her to pick up dishwasher soap for all the extra dirty dishes sitting in the sink.
- Can I borrow a cup of sugar? Be a good neighbor. That way you have a place to escape if conditions worsen, and hey, you could make a few new friends out of it.
- Catch the offender red-handed: It’s 9 p.m. on Tuesday, aka “Glee” time, and annoying boyfriend is camped out in your spot on the couch eating your leftovers. Not OK! Call him out, and remind him that he’s in your territory. You get automatic ownership of the remote … always.
- Get your own partner: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Nothing will distract you better than having your own personal entertainment.
- Start a petition: Gather your other roommates and/or mutual friends and stage an intervention. There is power in numbers. If your canoodling roommate hears it from everyone, then maybe she will get the picture. Be careful not to attack her though; the last thing you want is a defensive argument.
- Set guidelines: What your roommate does in his or her own room is their business, but if their activities are taking place in communal space or are keeping you up at night, you need to speak up. You live there, too, after all! Make a joke about it in conversation, or simply ask them to keep it down. Yes, it’s awkward, but you’ll be glad you said something.