How To Talk To Your Roommate When Your Long-Distance Partner Comes To Visits
When you're doing long-distance, and your boo is about to visit, you're probably consumed with making fun date plans (that you might inevitably cancel because you both won't want to leave your bedroom.) Apart from general body grooming and outfit planning, long-term overnight guests may warrant some domestic pre-planning. If you have roomies, your far away bae isn't the only close personal relationship you're navigating. Knowing how to talk to your roommate about your long-distance partner coming to visit, can ensure a harmonious trip for you and boo (and your roomie, too).
Whether it's reserving the kitchen to cook a romantic meal for two, plotting sexy shower time, or asking your roomie to spend a night somewhere else — roommates and long-distance partners can always cause a tricky conversation. Establishing healthy boundaries is good in any living situation. It's important to feel comfortable in your own home! From "Don't use my shampoo" to "I won't touch the compost but I'm happy to recycle," having clear expectations can make everyone feel good. You work or study hard, and you deserve a place you feel good in to come back to after a long day.
I spoke with Demetrius Figueroa, dating and relationship writer and founder of A Mighty Love, about boundaries setting and how to talk to your roomie when your long-distance partner finally comes to visit.
Start A Dialogue
"Start a dialogue with your roommate around what boundaries you have, and any they might have around visitors," Figueroa tells Elite Daily. "The goal is to make sure you're both comfortable whenever each of you has any sort of romantic guests over, so having it be an open dialogue is key."
At the risk of sounding like a mom, it can be helpful to sit down and establish some general "house rules" (yes, I said it) when living with a new person. This can span from grocery shopping to chores, and should touch on overnight guests, if that's something you know you're interested in. This creates a foundation of mutual respect between you and your roomie!
"Part of that dialogue should center on privacy expectations," Figueroa says. "How much privacy do you expect when you have visitor? Do you expect to be able to use some or all of the common areas in private? Do you expect your roommate to vacate your place for a night, or vacate the common areas for a certain period of time?"
It can be hard to find enough one-on-one time with bae when your roommate is also hanging around. Maybe three is company and you all have fun together, but it's also natural to want privacy. It's no easy task asking someone to give you space, but establishing "We can all do dinner Saturday, but Sunday we want us time" before bae comes means less tension in the moment.
Be Honest And Gracious
It's important to be direct, but it's also important to be kind. Asking for solo use of common space isn't like snagging the last seat on the bus. You live with your roommate, and you're going to see them every day. It's good to be assertive, but it's also important to be thankful for the sacrifices they're making.
"It's not a major inconvenience for your roommate if you have a guest stay the night and pretty much only hang out in your bedroom. It is a major inconvenience to have your roommate spend the night some place else," Figueroa says. "Do everything you can to convey your gratitude if they can accommodate you, and understanding if they cannot."
Give Prep Time
You may await your boo Monica Geller style, with your bedspread ironed and everything bleached. Maybe you and your roommate are both super tidy, and that's why you get along. Prepping for a visitor can take time and effort. However, big setting up for bae is to you, and it may not be how your roommate wants to spend their weekend.
"The goal here is partnership, not demands. You share a space, and if you want that space prepped in a certain way for your guest, ask for, and not demand, your roommates help," Figueroa adds. "If that goes above and beyond what you'd normally do around your house, I'd highly recommend bribing your friend, promising them you'll return the favor, and most importantly, thank them."
If you're lucky enough to live with your BFF, perhaps you can ask for their help, and then shower them in Sweetgreen. If you have a loving roomie relationship, but you're still pretty clear roomies, or if you have a 100% we're only roomies vibe, you can take pressure off your housemate by asking outside friends to help.
Remind Them you Want One-On-One Time
"The easiest part is telling them you want them to meet your partner, but that you'd like to spend the majority of your time alone," Figueroa says. "If they don't seem to get that, remind them that you're in a long-distance relationship and that your time together is limited, so you want to make the most of it."
Whether your boo lives across the state or across the equator, when a long-distance love makes a visit, it's a big deal. Opening lines of communication well before the trip can help to maximize the fun. If your roommate is super stellar and helpful with prepping and planning, little things like buying them flowers or cleaning the bathroom are nice ways to show your gratitude. If you and your roommate are totally on the same page, hopefully you can return the favor when they have guests. Never forget: Home is where the heart is.