Roommate Issues


Roommate Issues


your avatar   MA, 20-year-old woman

A friend I met at work and I moved into our first apartment. As soon as we moved in, she started dating this lowlife from work. He has bad hygiene and is many years older than her. She said she's always dated "weird" guys because of a self-confidence issue she has resulting from an irreversible sexually transmitted disease. I've tried to ignore them, but now the three of us work together and are home together. I'm not enjoying my new apartment life!

We agreed to having him only sleep over 3 nights a week instead of the 7 he was doing, but she just sneaks him in when I'm in bed. He's loud and annoying and wakes me up with his voice and heavy footsteps. I know this is also her first apartment but I am completely grossed out when I see them together and it's getting to be too much.

What can I do to avoid running in my room and hiding the rest of the night every time he's over? I've tried asking him for rent if he's going to be here every night, but he took it as a rude comment and told my roommate later on that night. I'm going crazy. Please help.


    Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT, LPC, LISAC, DCC

Hi MA,

I am really sorry that your first experience of moving out from your parents' house has to be so frustrating. I wish I could say that it is unusual, but actually it sounds very typical. When someone first moves out of their parents' house they have usually been harboring dreams for years of total freedom. Total freedom means that you don't have to be beholden to anyone at any time. It is a totally impossible dream that has no basis in reality, but that is not known when first moving out. There are always restrictions and other peoples needs, wants, and rights to be honored. When frustrated, the person then reverts to old childhood strategies like saying yes and then doing the opposite, which is what she is doing to you when she sneaks him in even though she agreed not to. I am sure that she either did this with her parents or really wanted to but was too scared.

There is no doubt however, that it is wrong and not a mature way to behave. Being an adult means taking responsibility for our actions and being willing to take other people's rights into consideration. It also means compromising so that everyone involved has their rights respected and gets at least part of what they want if it is at all possible.

I would try to get her alone and discuss some of these points with her. Understand her position and how much she wanted to not have to be answerable to anyone. Explain that you were looking for some of that as well and your rights are not being respected. Then, try to broker a compromise that she really will agree to. Remember that you don't have to like or respect the guy she has chosen. She has a right to have him stay over at least a few days a week, but you also have the right to alone time.

I hope it works out for you. If you're sure that she will not compromise or keep to her commitments however, then there is no real choice but to find a roommate who can, or to move out on your own. I realize that there might be financial problems that preclude living alone and that is another restriction that people often have when they move out.

Good luck and take care.


This question was answered by Jef Gazley M.S. Jef has practiced psychotherapy for twenty-five years, specializing in Love Addiction, Hypnotherapy, Relationship Management, Dysfunctional Families, Co-Dependency, Professional Coaching, and Trauma Issues. He is a trained counselor in EMDR, NET, TFT, and Applied Kinesiology. He is dedicated to guiding individuals to achieving a life long commitment to mental health and relationship mastery. His private practice locations are Scottsdale and Tempe, Arizona. You can also visit Jef at the internettherapist, the first audiovisual mental health online counseling center on the net.For more information visit:

Not all introverts are anti-social, not all extroverts are self-involved.
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
Dalai Lama
Your purpose in life is whatever you decide it is.