Something goes thump in the night
May 10, 2012 4:19 PM Subscribe
Thin walls, noisy partner; help me be a better neighbor?
posted by anonymous to human relations (35 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I live in a one-bedroom apartment in a two-story building with 10ish other units in it. Apparently, the walls and doors are paper thin as far as sound is concerned. This would be fine, as I am a pretty heavy sleeper, but I have a very... "expressive" (read: loud during sex) partner. I have read a few questions about the other side of this dispute (usually with music) but this time, I am the jerk. I do not want to be the jerk. Can't we all just get along?
Therein lies the rub:
-Two months ago, after a late night evening of "relations" the neighbor that I share a wall with came over to chat. I had never met him before, but he was very nice and pleasant and without mentioning anything specific, he said that the walls were thin and that he often has to get up early in the morning. I felt terrible! He almost certainly heard screaming, headboard banging, and and god knows what else at circa 1am on a weeknight.
-Within a week, I re-arranged my room to move my bed to another wall and instituted a no-sex-in-the-bedroom-at-night-on-weekdays rule. I have a corner unit (two walls to the outdoors, one wall to the neighbor, and one wall to the hallway) so I figured that doing it in the living room and putting my entire apartment between us and the neighbor wall would make weeknights doable.
-That went along fine until last night (circa 2am) when an angry guy (not the same guy as before I think) screamed from the hallway to "shut the f*ck up, close a window or something". So now it seems as though the front room doesn't work either (all the windows and doors were closed).
-Partner in question doesn't get off work until 10pm, so she can't come over until 11pm or so (already getting close to the witching hour before she even walks in the door)
-Sometimes I play music to try and mask the noise, I am not sure if making more sound is good or bad.
-I think last night's complainer may have been a temporary guest of my across-the-hall neighbor (so he would have been in the front room of that unit, effectively as close to my front room as any other room in the building)
I want to be a better neighbor. No one deserves to feel caged and uncomfortable in the place where they live and sleep. Yet, I have already gone out of my way to compromise. Where is the middle ground? Have you been in this position before? Give me your thoughts...
-Am I being unreasonable in having loudish sex at 2am on a weeknight (in the front room)? Is there a rule for weekends? This feels like a slippery slope. What is reasonable? How about mornings?
-How can I get/develop/intuit a schedule for when it is cool or not cool (in which room)?
-How can I let them know that I really do want to be a better neighbor?
-I have thought about giving people my phone number and asking them to call and hang up if there is an issue or putting out a little survey to get some indication of how bad it is and how I can best ameliorate the situation.
-I have tried the "be quiet" strategy and it works for a while, then fades off. The constant reminder is off-putting and distracting.
-A gag of some form might work (and she would probably be interested/accepting of that option) but it seems like a pretty extreme work around. Surely this probably has been resolved before without the use of a gag.
-I have thought about just giving them a slip of paper with the link to this post on it
The situation is annoying on both ends. What should I do? What has worked (on either side) for you in the past?