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How to Deal With Your Roommates Significant Other

This is a guest blog post from our Student Ambassador at Iowa State University, Sylvia Murray

You and your roommate have lived together in an apartment for a year and a half and have had no problems thus far. You both pay rent on time, split up the dishes evenly, and have a weekly cleaning session. One night your roommate brings home a significant other, and everything from then on goes downhill. Living with a roommate who has a significant other can be very stressful and can ruin the connection between the two. So the second your roommate brings home a new lover, consider these things in order to ease the tension.

  1. Where’d All My Groceries Go?!: It can be very annoying to come home to find twice as much food gone before you left. Sit down with the roommate and decide how you are going to split up the groceries. It might be a good idea to put your names on the items that each of you have purchased, or even decide before you go grocery shopping, what items will be allowed to be shared. Or should the significant other actually contribute when on a grocery store outing?
  2. Noise annoyance: This can be a very awkward conversation to have when you are woken up in the middle of the night from loud noises. Be sure to get that talk out of the way as soon as possible, whether it be to try to keep the noise down, or compromise by giving them the option to be loud during the day or evening.
  3.  Frequency of visits: When a significant other is constantly over at your apartment, it can be very frustrating when trying to get stuff done such as homework, or cleaning. It can even be more frustrating when you can’t even take a shower in peace because you have to worry about the location of the person. Before it comes too much of a hassle, make sure you decide how much the significant other is allowed to be over; how many is too many visits? Maybe switch every other weekend when your roommate stays at their apartment and vice versa.
  4. To Pay Bills or to Not Pay Bills: If a significant other is over a lot and you are okay with that, will there be a problem when that expensive monthly electricity bill comes in the mail? Make sure to come to a consensus whether or not you are going to split the bills three ways or have the roommate pay more of the half.


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