It’s 1 am on a Wednesday night. Juliette is in bed because she has an exam in the morning.

However, she can hear her roommate, Emily, watching TV and talking loudly in the living room with her boyfriend. This has been happening more and more over the past few weeks, and Juliette is getting frustrated. She knows she needs to talk to Emily.

A girl is in bed and puts the pillow on her head in frustration.

Having a roommate can be great! Your roommate having their friends or partner over is also fine.

But you need to speak up if:

  • It feels like you gained a third roommate you didn’t sign up for.

  • It’s disrupting your home life. 


Speak up as the problem arises so the issue doesn't fester.

Find a good time to speak with your roommate one-on-one. You don’t want to wait until you’re so angry that it creates an argument.

A woman in an apartment talking to her roommate. She asks,

When it's time to talk, be direct and say what's on your mind. Say something like:

I think we need to talk about how your boyfriend has been staying here more often.

Confront The Issue

You want to go into the conversation with a plan. It helps to know what the issue is. You want something specific to work on. 

Some common issues are:

  • Noisiness — having their partner or friend over includes loud music and TVs or late-night noises

  • Higher bills — the bill went up since the "extra roommate" is always taking showers at your place

  • Messiness — you’re tired of coming home to the guest's dirty dishes

Woman saying 'Dirty dishes in the sink. I hate it.

Keep it focused on your feelings. Say something like:

I haven’t been able to sleep because of the extra noise when your boyfriend is over. It makes me tired the next day.

Prepare Some Solutions

Man saying 'Modern problems require modern solutions.

With the issues in mind, you can come up with possible solutions. 

Some ideas:

  • Set boundaries. Come up with rules and guidelines. 

  • Talk about your schedules. See if there are changes that can be made that work for both of you. 

  • Discuss possibly splitting the bill in a different way if it’s about finances.


Which is of these is an appropriate solution for Juliette to propose to Emily about the noise she and her boyfriend make at night while watching TV?

Take Action

A woman telling her roommate,

You want to be able to stand up for yourself, while your roommate is allowed to enjoy your shared space. You may have to compromise, so keep communicating with each other! 

Get ready by:


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