Dear Angela: When my roommate and I started living together, we were both active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and living similar standards. We didn’t have alcohol in the apartment, definitely no women spending the night, and we were both OK with hosting church-related activities in our shared spaces.
Recently, I’ve decided to take a break from church activity and while I don’t intend to start having parties every night, it’s a little uncomfortable for me to have the young single adults over at our apartment every Monday evening for family home evening while I’m going through this transition.
I get that I’m the one who is changing things up on my friend here, but I pay rent too, and I’m no longer comfortable hosting FHE.
Dear RoomieProbs: As with most roommate issues, this doesn’t seem like anything a little compromise can’t fix.
Two clarifying questions:
1. Are you two currently holding FHE at your home every Monday night?
2. Are you saying you’re uncomfortable with FHE being held at your home period or just not all the time?
Based on your question, it seems like you’re having FHE at your home every Monday night and you’re no longer comfortable with this schedule. Religious activity aside, it’s not an unreasonable request that you don’t have a group of people at your home every Monday night. Unless this is your roommate's calling and there is nowhere else for folks to congregate (e.g., the church building, another member’s home, a nearby park etc.), there should be a way to compromise.
Why don’t you just say, “Hey, I know we’ve been having FHE here every Monday night, but having so many people around every week is taking a toll on me — can we limit is to two times a month?” Seems fair, right?
This seems like a small issue.
If you’re uncomfortable with FHE at your home at all because of your feelings about the LDS Church, then I predict more trouble in roommate paradise down the road. Roommates don’t need to be the same religion in order to live successfully together, but if you moved in with the understanding that certain ground rules (FHE in the home, no sleepovers with the opposite sex to name a few) and now you’re feeling completely the opposite way, it may be time to look for a new place to live. Or at least have a very open and honest conversation about what the new expectations will be.
Either way, you mentioned that this roommate is actually a friend of yours. Having a conversation with your roommate will give you a shoulder to lean on while you’re working through spiritual things and help keeps the lines of communication open, which is a blessing to any/every household.
Hope this advice is helpful.
Readers: How have you settled challenges with your roommates? Do you think it's OK for RoomieProbs to request no FHE in the home?