Ask Angela: My roommate and I disagree on house rules
My roommate and I disagree on the propriety of having boyfriends sleep over at our apartment. I think it's inappropriate and I don't like it; she says they aren't doing anything so there is no problem. When we moved in together, we agreed that we'd keep LDS Church standards, one of them being that we don't have boys sleep over in our apartment.
Now that's she's dating someone, she's changed her mind, and she keeps using the defense that they aren't breaking any commandments and that it's her room so she can do what she wants in her room. It's also frustrating that he'll be in the bathroom in the morning during the time that I need to get ready for work. How should I handle this situation?
These conversations can be hard because you don't want to be the commandment police, but you also don't want to live in a way or in a situation that's making you uncomfortable.
Communication is going to be your most valuable asset. Impress upon your roommate that you both want to build an atmosphere in your apartment that adheres to the standards that you previously discussed, and talk about how that will require a team effort. Then tell her clearly and sincerely that it makes you uncomfortable when her boyfriend sleeps over. You can talk about the difficulties in the morning, you can mention the religious standards that you want in your home, etc.
Hopefully, if you show that you're sincere but not judgmental about it, she'll respond favorably. If she seems defensive, give the Spirit some time to work on her feelings, and trust that it'll help you both to keep the commandments in your home.
If talking it out doesn't work, and the two of you can't come to an agreement, then you may need to find a new place to live. But, I hope it doesn't come to that.
A tip about finding a roommate
Even though a classified ad may specify "LDS standards," it's always a good idea to talk about specific expectations. Questions like, "Are you comfortable with guys sleeping over?" And "how do you feel about late visitors?" "Long-term visits?" "Even if you're not drinking, do you mind having alcohol in the house?" and even the more common-place questions like, "Who will buy the cleaning supplies?" and "Do you mind sharing food?" are all really important things to go over as is making your position clear on each question.
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