Avoid conflict: set house rules

If you’ve ever lived with a roommate in a twelve-month lease and realized during the very first month, he doesn’t pick up after himself, ignores housework, and is always late with the money for the bills, then you’ve had a normal roommate experience.

While all these things are inexcusable, nothing can be more frustrating than having a roommate that doesn’t know the proper etiquette when you want to bring home company to the house you both share.

Now don’t get me wrong.

I’ve been that guy who’s busted in the house with a date late at night when my roommate is chilling on the couch watching TV, but I’ve also been that guy on the couch. It’s taken a few run-ins to understand the best way to deal with this.

If you’re the one bringing home company, the best thing to do is to tell your roommate before you make the date.

A good and empathetic roommate will understand and not try to keep you from your evening alone.

Yet, with every good comes some bad. A bad roommate will say it’s OK, then forget or disregard what you said.

Then when you return from Blockbuster with your movies and date, he’ll be sitting in his boxers with a corn dog in one hand and a quart of beer in his other saying something like, “What’s up guys?

Ya’ll hanging out? I’ll hang out.”

Now, if your roommate brings someone home unannounced and this makes you feel misplaced in your own home, the most respectful thing you can do, if they are truly bothering you, is suck it up and wait until the next day to talk about it.

If you embarrass your roommate and try to talk in front of company, they’ll be much less open to reason.

Less open, because you’ve not only challenged them, but you’ve done it in front of someone they’re trying to impress.

Also, the next day you will likely be calmer and more able to relay how they bothered you. Thus, avoiding giving each other the silent treatment all day.

The bottom line?

Your roommate’s not going anywhere, or at least not until your lease runs out.

Lay out ground rules ahead of time so there is no confusion when the situation does arise.

This will help eliminate arguments and make your time with your company more peaceful and relaxing.

Just remember, it’s your roommate, it’s a lease, and you’re pretty much stuck.

And if that means grabbing a corn dog and a quart and plopping down right next to them for a night of chilling out, then so be it.

After all, you only have 11 more months to go.

Danny Aller, 23, is a senior creative writing student from Crawfordville, Fla. He can be reached at dsa9803@garnet.acns.fsu.edu.