My new roommate just declared: no dates can ever spend the night here.
September 14, 2012 6:59 AM Subscribe
My new roommate just declared to me that there is a rule in our apartment: No dates are allowed to ever sleep over. Can you help me figure out how to have a productive discussion about this with her?
posted by anonymous to human relations (63 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I am a 28 year-old American woman and I just moved into a apartment last week with one female roommate, who was a friend before I moved in, but not a best friend. My new roommate has already been living in this apartment for about a year, so I feel like I'm the newcomer. She is Chinese, from one of the largest cities in China, and 21. We are living in a big Western city where we are both foreigners.
We were hanging out in the kitchen yesterday, talking about our plans for the weekend, and I mentioned that I have a date on Saturday with a new guy I'm excited about. And she said, "Oh! That's really exciting! But, you know, there's a rule in this apartment: no guys are allowed to spend the night. I don't want to be the third wheel. My last roommate had a boyfriend, and it was really awkward." I was so taken aback by this that I agreed with her, and said something cheerful (and not even totally serious because I'm not sure that this thing on Saturday is even a real date) about how this guy seems to have his own place, so if things go well then the not-in-this-apartment rule shouldn't be a problem. But by that point she was just looking at me in total horror, so I changed the subject.
It's been a long time since I've dated and even longer since I've had a roommate. Was it off-base for me to assume that if a date goes well, I could occasionally bring someone home without that being a huge deal? If you know anything about dating in China, can you give me some insight on her background here? That look she gave me made me feel really slutty and awful for even suggesting that I was thinking about sleeping with this guy in the near future. The idea of broaching the topic with her again makes my skin crawl, because I think it's going to feel like talking about how much I want to have sex right here in this apartment.
But I do want to talk to her again, because it made me uncomfortable having a rule handed down like that that without any prior discussion. I would like to actually discuss it and see if we can come to a compromise of some sort. Because the issue of guys staying over, or not, isn't important to me because I want to have loud sex with a different guy every night at 3 am, but because I like the other parts of having someone spend the night in my place: talking quietly late at night about things right before you fall asleep, waking up next to him. I know that those things can all happen at a guy's place, but there's something really nice about having someone I care about in my space too.
So could you give me some advice for how to have a productive discussion about this with her? Would it be inconsiderate to try and get her to change her mind and instead make some rules like: guys can only stay over once a week, must be appropriately covered whenever they leave the room, and if a particular time period is really stressful, either one of us could have a short-term veto on visitors? Also maybe relevant: our bedrooms share one wall that is a bit thin, and our apartment is small: it consists of two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen.
She seems like a really great roommate in all other respects: she's clean, quiet, and friendly, and she doesn't take it personally when I close the door and/or don't feel like chatting. She's also very direct about almost everything, so it's generally pretty easy to discuss problems with her. I'd really rather not move out if it were possible to resolve this. Thanks for your help.