I have a sexiling problem. My roommate is constantly kicking me out of our room to have her boyfriend over, like once or twice a week since the beginning of the semester. I know I should just talk to her about it, but I tend to avoid conflict and it’s going to be a super awkward conversation that I’m not really into having. I feel like I’m imposing on my friends and girlfriend by staying with them so much. My roommate and I lived together last year as well, and we’ve never really had any problems, but I want my space back. Dear Sexiled,
If only there were a way to address problems without addressing problems.
Seriously though, I understand how hard this kind of situation is. I, and so many other Smithies, are borderline incapable of confrontation. Maybe it’s because of being socialized to please other people, but sometimes we’re unable to stick up for ourselves when it means contradicting what other people want from us. Along this vein, take a deep breath and accept this as part of your Smith education: you are learning to advocate for yourself, to take your wants and needs seriously enough to make them a priority.
But as long as you try and avoid this conversation, you won’t get anywhere. Clearly, she’s benefitting from this situation. She’s not going to change unless she knows there’s a problem, and there’s no way for her to know that unless you tell her. Also, if you guys have been roommates previously and have a good, long-standing relationship, then she should be able to hear your request and respect it. (You should also respect her enough to want to be honest with her.)
This conversation is hard to have because it’s important to have — if this didn’t matter to you, it’d be easy. When you guys are casually hanging out in her room, bring it up. Raising it up in this way will ensure that she doesn’t feel attacked and thus is more likely to respond positively. Start by telling her that you love having her as a roommate this year and last, and because her relationship is important to you, you want to be honest about something that’s been bothering you. Using an “and” and “I” statement emphasizes the positive, rather than focusing to the negative. Then, tell her what’s up, and let her know that you need to be able to sleep in your own damn bed.
Stick to your guns — don’t create a compromise that doesn’t actually benefit you. Remember, you deserve to have your own space.