My roommate almost never leaves the house!
March 3, 2008 2:37 PM   Subscribe

How do I get my roommate out of the house??

My roommate moved in with me and spent the first three months on my couch playing video games. And drinking beer. And doing a lot of scratching. Anyway, he paid his share of the rent every month but not the bills. Now he's finally found work and promises to pay what he owes me.

All this is peachy, but there's one thing I miss more -- my privacy! I had this naive idea that after he would finally find a job, he would acquire some form of a life.

No. He now spends all his FREE time playing video games. He has some real human friends but ultimately prefers to spend his downtime cursing out players on Halo.

Unfortunately, we work the same hours. I can't get one second in our apartment alone! I don't have any immediate plans to dance around naked or anything, but it would be nice to have some "me" time in the place, outside of my room. And if I hear one more "come on ---ers, we're storming this ship!" bellowing across the living room I think I may kill him.

Please help prevent this.
posted by bondgirl53001 to Home & Garden (29 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
So, do you ultimately want him gone? Or are you okay with him just not being around so much?
posted by Sassyfras at 2:48 PM on March 3, 2008


I'm ok with him as a roommate, he is a very nice person and we get along okay..it's just overkill to have him there all the time, in the living room, which is the center of the apartment (it's tiny). I've lived with people before and they had lives. It was a much less stressful environment. I feel like I'm constantly being watched.
posted by bondgirl53001 at 2:52 PM on March 3, 2008


Well, you could be an ass. Loud music, leaving crap around, things like that. If it is your place, you could just ask him to leave. If you want him as a roommate, you could try inviting him to out door events. Maybe when he sees how much fun you have he will start going out on his own.
posted by d4nj450n at 2:54 PM on March 3, 2008


Talk to him about it and hope he makes changes, ask him to move out and hope he does, or move. That's really all you can do.
posted by aspo at 2:54 PM on March 3, 2008


Oh and being passive aggressive about the whole thing will just make everyone miserable. Don't take d4nj450n's advice.
posted by aspo at 2:55 PM on March 3, 2008


Ok, so the first part of my previous answer was intended to be funny, but looking again, it did not come across like that so much. Sorry.
posted by d4nj450n at 2:58 PM on March 3, 2008


You could ask him to move the video game set-up to his own room. You don't have to give the exact brutal reason ("I'm #@$%ing sick of the sight of you") but can go with something gentler yet still truthful ("I don't use it but it still sort of prevents me from using the living room too, and I'd like to watch TV or read or have people over -- so since it's a you thing and not an us thing, would you mind relocating it to your space instead of our space?").

The tradeoff would be that you couldn't play the video game, but that sounds like a small, small price to pay.
posted by pineapple at 2:58 PM on March 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


He may be a nice person and the two of you get along, but it sounds like he's not a good roommate for you. Other than talking to him and hoping he'll change or kicking him out, I don't know what else you could do.

Does he have his own room? If so, could you ask him to move the gaming system in to his room?
posted by Sassyfras at 2:58 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Have you talked to him?

I was you my freshman year in college. Our first few months, my roommate had a guy in our room nearly every night. Every few days, a different guy. I complained to other people on my floor and not my roommate. Later on, I, deservedly, got a verbal smackdown from a friend of hers that I should talk to her rather than the entire floor. I feel ashamed whenever I think of that time in my life.

I was your roommate my sophomore year in college. (Rogue Spear, my team and I were pretty awesome and dammit, it takes practice) I found out later from friends on my floor that my sophmore year roommate was rather vocally complaining about me behind my back. I wasn't even aware of the situation. Had she calmly and rationally discussed the matter with me, I would have made arrangements. And to this day, I think she's a bitch. I'm sure my freshman year roommate thinks the same of me.

I'm sure you can force him out one way or another, but the path of least resistance is to move out yourself. If you want to find a solution in the middle, may I suggest both of you help each other by setting up a gaming mecca in his own room?
posted by spec80 at 3:01 PM on March 3, 2008 [7 favorites]


Asking him to move his setup into his own room (unless his bedroom is the living room, which I've seen before) is probably the only solution that doesn't involve both of you moving. If the TV belongs to him, you may have to sacrifice being able to use it on the rare occasions when he isn't Haloing it up, but that's probably a price you're willing to pay.

Honestly, the guy is a nerdy shut-in. Unless you've got a gullible female acquaintance you aren't particularly fond of, he's probably going to remain parked on the couch playing Halo. Best you can hope for is for him to move it into his room.

In all fairness, while annoying, it could be a lot worse. Halo nerd doesn't even move the needle on the awful roommate scale.
posted by Nelsormensch at 3:02 PM on March 3, 2008


And by "both of you moving", I mean one of you moving.
posted by Nelsormensch at 3:04 PM on March 3, 2008


"Hey, roomie, how's it going? Do you want one of these frosty delicious beers that I just bought? So, I've got a little thing I'd just like to get worked out -- it's no biggie. It feels like your video games have kind of been taking over our living room, and I haven't been able to really use it. I know I'm not really using it for anything in particular, but I would like to just be able to chill out on the couch sometimes and read a book quietly. So I was wondering if -- no! no! I'm not asking you to quit playing Halo! Please, just put down the knife! Ok? It's gonna be ok. So, anyway, I was just wondering if you could possibly move the game system to your room. That way, you can play all night long without bugging me, I get a little more access to our shared space, we both get a little more privacy, everyone's happy. Ok? Great. Have another beer."
posted by ourobouros at 3:05 PM on March 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


Sounds to me like it might be time for an awkward conversation to happen.
posted by HotPatatta at 3:13 PM on March 3, 2008


Yeah, I'd go with having him move his equipment into his room. Or say to him, "hey, I want to watch a movie/hang out with friends/whatever in here, so clear off, buddy." He probably doesn't realize that he's encroaching on your space - or he assumes that you're cool with it, because hey, you're not hanging out in the living room right now.

If you don't talk to him (friendly-like, and the sooner the better) you are probably going to end up with an invisible line dividing your space, and the living room will be claimed in the name of (insert witty Halo reference here).

He's not going to somehow turn into a house-leaving social butterfly; the best you can expect is that he's out of your way about 50% of the time.

Of course, I'm the most avoidant passive-aggressive nonconfrontational roommate anyone's ever had, and I know it's easier said than done.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:20 PM on March 3, 2008


yeah better to say something than stew. It's a tough situation. Roomates almost always suck. I'm very very good friends with an old one, actually several of them, but in each of them, by the time we split up, I was ready to strangle them all.

Also I suck. Living with people sucks.

But yeah, you should talk about it. There is a chance to change it. sounds like he's never going to say "hey, does me being an ass annoy you?" It might work to change things, saying nothing definitely won't.
posted by sully75 at 3:21 PM on March 3, 2008


"Hey roomie, you're great to have as a roommate, but I'd like to have some time in the apartment to myself every once in a while, just to chill out. Could you arrange to spend a few hours a week away from the apartment when I'm here. Thanks a bunch, I knew you'd understand."
posted by mpls2 at 3:22 PM on March 3, 2008


mpls2's idea is good, especially if he doesn't have room in his room for the game system, or if you can still hear him even if he plays in his room. It can be a completely alien concept to a roommate -- that you need time alone in the space, an evening or two per week -- so please be patient and don't be surprised or sarcastic if he does not know this. Just explain that a certain portion of the population needs time alone to think, you are one of them, and he can go hang out somewhere fun. You should, of course, be willing to do the same for him, but recognize that this may not be as important to him as to you; he may want some other concession from you instead.
posted by amtho at 3:46 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


One more thing -- he's turning 30 in a few months. Any chance of that triggering some maturity?
posted by bondgirl53001 at 3:46 PM on March 3, 2008


When I was younger, I read all my brother's X-Men comics. I was fairly confident that when I turned 12 or 13, I'd start burning things with my eyes or my hand would turn into organic metal. It didn't happen. Neither will a birthday turn someone into a mature, responsible adult.
posted by spec80 at 3:57 PM on March 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


One more thing -- he's turning 30 in a few months. Any chance of that triggering some maturity?

No. Plus there's a new map pack releasing for Halo 3 soon, I think...
posted by pilibeen at 3:58 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


We are explicit about wanting the common area to be focused on living. Occasional movies or video games are fine, but we don't want a constant din of the tube. If you're gonna constantly watch tv or play games move it to your room. This household rule was set up at the beginning. I would be harder to set it up in the middle like this, but I think it's the best way to go about it.

btw, 30 ain't gonna change nothing. Now if he gets a girlfriend that might change him.
posted by catcubed at 4:02 PM on March 3, 2008


Man, am I glad I don't have roommates and live alone. I'm home all the time (aside from work) and spend the majority of my time at home in my living room on my computer, either surfing the internet, messing around with PHP or doing school work. I've got an almost non-existent social life.
posted by Brian Puccio at 4:08 PM on March 3, 2008


One more thing -- he's turning 30 in a few months. Any chance of that triggering some maturity?

No. Go talk to your roommate.
posted by Mikey-San at 4:52 PM on March 3, 2008


One more thing -- he's turning 30 in a few months. Any chance of that triggering some maturity?

Nah. Maybe he'll want to win or whatever you do at Halo (I'm no gamer geek) before he turns 30, or maybe he'll sink into depression about being 30 and drink more beer, or maybe he'll be like whoa, I'm 30! before going back to playing.

Move the gamer setup into his room. Have the nice talk about not taking over the living room.

And be glad he's not like this party chick or that he hasn't introduced a de facto 3rd roommate or tried to get you evicted and that you're not arguing over the cable bill or the deposit and that you don't suspect him of shitting in your bed for revenge and he hasn't bullied you by spooging in your washrag!
posted by desuetude at 5:49 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


It could be worse. I think that telling him that the video games are getting to be obnoxious and you would like him to move it all into his bedroom is the best solution. If it irritates you that he never goes out, then you should probably look for a new roommate rather than try to make him change.
posted by nickerbocker at 6:45 PM on March 3, 2008


A lot of gyms give out free passes, sometimes for up to 7 days. Why not get a few and encourage him to get his gelatinous couch tater behind to the gym? Does he want to die a virgin? No girl is going to be interested in some wanker who does nothing but sit on the couch all day and plays some stupid video game. He is wasting his life away. Doesn't he have any friends who could drag him out once in a while? Definately tell him to move the game to his room. There is no reason you should have to be held hostage by some 9 year old in a 30 year old's body. Good luck.
posted by 45moore45 at 6:59 PM on March 3, 2008


The suggestions like "ask him to leave the apartment for x hours per week" and "get him to go to the gym" are off base. It's not your place to tell this guy how to live his life. You do have the right to ask him to let you actually share your shared space, though, and having him move the game to his bedroom sounds like the best way to handle it.
posted by boomchicka at 7:57 PM on March 3, 2008


Would you like to swap roommates, BondGirl? Or arrange to have your roomie move in here while I move in there?

Do you guys get along otherwise? Were you acquainted before? Is there anything he does other than work and play games? No one plays games that often, right? ...Right?

The "move the game system into his room" suggestion seems too obvious, so I'm guessing there's a reason why that doesn't seem feasible.

Is he aware that his constant presence gets on your nerves? Maybe he really does think you're fine with it and has never suspected a problem. I know first-hand that it can be scary to approach a roomie and directly address something like that.

One solution might be to propose some kind of schedule, where he goes out and does something on certain days of the week. You share the rent, he should respect your right to get some freedom around the house. Just kick ideas around, and maybe he'll think of something, or offer a compromise. If not, you'll have to make him consider moving out. You shouldn't be a prisoner in your own home.

Oh, and I loved your post, desuetude. Makes me think my own roomie situation could be a lot worse... And it makes me think of all the wackiness that goes on in Ask MeFi.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 11:22 PM on March 3, 2008


Who owns the video game system? I'm assuming he does. You get home at the same time, right? I suggest that if YOU own the video gaming system, you sell it. If it's his, and CANNOT be moved to his room, you sit down and work out a schedule.

This means you tell him that Wednesday night is your night to have the girls over to watch ANTM or whatever it is you'd like to do, and he needs to be gone from X time to X time. If he cannot understand that your idea of fun is not watching him play Halo, working out a time share for the common area should not be THAT big of a deal.

You want my real advice? Help him find a girlfriend. Set him up with people to go on dates. Or, if you don't have anyone you'd like to "gift" with him as a boyfriend, send him to me and I'll help him set up a dating profile online. I'm serious.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:26 AM on March 4, 2008


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