How to (Politely) Kick out your Roommate's Significant Other

By Gladys M Kisela

It’s 12:45 a.m., you have a quiz tomorrow, and all of your belongings are in your room. So is your roommate … and their significant other. Maybe this is the first encounter in a budding romance or maybe it’s a repeated affair. But you need to plug in your laptop and get some sleep. If you are standing at the door and pondering what to do, Flyby has some advice.

Text your roommate

This should always be the first step. Shoot a quick, “Let me know when I can come in” to signal that you’re a privacy-respecting, romance-supporting roommate, but that you are waiting at the door and please get the hell out. If they agree to let you know and you’re still waiting after a while, be honest and let them know that you really need to sleep. Hopefully your roommate has their ringer on, and this tactic will get the job done quickly and cleanly.

Knock on the door passive aggressively

As any proctor will tell you during opening days, passive aggression is the number one way to resolve roommate conflicts. This method is sure to induce some panicked shuffling, cries of “one second!,” and an avoidance of eye contact as you walk in. While the passive aggressive knock is efficient, it is low-impact. While mildly embarrassed, your roommate is unlikely to change their behavior in response to a meager knock. If you want your message to be received loud and clear, try our next tip.

Feign ignorance and just walk in

This tactic isn’t for the faint of heart, but sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do. Take a deep breath, muster your courage, and strut confidently on in. It is key to act surprised and apologetic when you catch them in the act, but that awkward look you’ll exchange is sure to kill the mood immediately. Additional benefits of this strategy include planting seeds of paranoia in your roommate going forward, and hopefully nudging them to do it in their partner’s room next time. If risking seeing something you don’t want to see isn’t worth it to you, move on to the next strategy.

Get your proctor

JUST KIDDING. Do not get your proctor.

Of course, open communication, honesty, and compromise are always viable tactics. But let’s be honest: What fun is that?

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