Ask Anna: that awkward moment

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Anna Lowenthal, Editor-in-Chief

Q: Dear Anna, my roommate has been having…intimate…relations in our room. I don’t want to seem like a prude, but how do I go about dealing with this situation?

A: College is an interesting, challenging and sometimes uncomfortable time to say the least. It’s never a ‘fun’ time when you walk into you and your roommate’s abode to find them shagging on their desk, where you accidentally left your keys.

This person might not necessarily be your closest friend, so you’re probably not able to casually work the “please give me a heads up before you plan to use the room for pantless parties” into a conversation with them. But if you’ve got a problem, it’s much healthier to talk it out with them rather than silently resent them over something that could have easily been resolved.

First, it’s important to understand that this is your space as well as theirs. That means that they can’t be using the room for boink-fests all the time, and you can’t expect them to never use the room for just that. It’s all about balance.

Though it’s understandable for you to feel uncomfortable with their sexcapades and you definitely shouldn’t be subjected to sleepless nights with your head under the covers as you wait for the awkwardness to end, your roommate should be given at least a little space, from time to time, to do as they wish.

Talk it out with them. Make a plan of compromise before you start the conversation, though, so that you don’t berate them with awkwardness and shame over the sex habits you might not approve of.

A simple “hey, next time you’ve got company over, would you send me a text to let me know the room is occupied?” lets them know that you don’t appreciate the occasional surprise mooning you’ve suffered, and would prefer to not have to deal with another without blatantly or rudely calling them out.

“Would you mind spending more time at your lady/man friend’s place?” is another way to subtly but firmly tell your roomy you’re being inconvenienced by their over-need for privacy in your communal living space.

If you feel like more of a line needs to be drawn, you can still be kind with your request. “I’ve got a really busy schedule and would like to be able to use our room at night during the week. Could you please only have overnight guests on the weekends?” is a simple yet effective way to establish the room as being yours, too, and that you can’t always be kicked out of it for your roommate’s extra curricular activities.

It’s guaranteed that you’re going to do things that annoy your roommate, too, and possibly nights that you’ll end up needing the room to yourself. It’s all about give and take, and while you can’t expect them to never bring a guest back to the room, you also can’t spend half of your evenings sleeping on the couch in the lounge.

College is all about new experiences, and while this might not be one you’d have expected, it’s definitely one many of us have had to deal with. Be respectable, be mature – be fair. There’s no reason for you not to solve this issue just because it’s a sensitive one.