For many young people, college or university is their first time living away from home as well as their first experience living with someone other than a relative.
And if you don’t attend school with a friend, it may mean living with a complete stranger.
While most schools make a cursory effort to match roommates up with compatible interests, these pairings aren’t always successful.
Sometimes the studious introvert ends up with the hard partying extrovert.
A young woman having trouble meshing with her roommate turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
“AITA for not agreeing with my roommate to never have sex in our dorm room?”
The original poster (OP) explained:
“For some background my (18, female) roommate (18, female) is an international student from China and this is both of our first semesters in university.”
“She’s polite, reserved, and VERY sheltered to the point where she gasped when she saw there were condom dispensers in the hall. I often worry that I’m ‘trampling’ over her politeness with my more assertive attitude.”
“I try and be mindful of our different cultural values but honestly it’s difficult sometimes without knowing what those values are despite the fact that my mom immigrated from Korea and I’m half Asian myself.”
“The weekend I left for winter break she decided to visit family friends for a couple nights, meaning she’d be gone Friday and Saturday night and get back on Sunday. With this knowledge I decided to invite my friend with benefits over.”
“We f*cked, cuddled, and then I kicked him out because two people cannot fit in a twin xl and that mf snores. The next night (Sunday) I was packing for home and talking to a friend on the phone and mentioned the previous night’s encounter and joked about how ‘my stuffed animals were traumatized’.”
“A couple days later I get a text from my roommate that I’ve copy and pasted below:”
“’Hi 🙂 Sry to bother you over break! I know we talked about allowing friends in the room before but we did not talk about having boyfriends over and I would rly appreciate it if you don’t have sex in the room as it is my space too. Merry Christmas!’.”
“While I understand some people aren’t comfortable with the topic of sex at all and we shouldn’t judge them for that, I gotta be honest in that I am judging her for THIS.”
“There has never been a time where I asked her to leave/stay out so I could have sex and I wouldn’t ever DREAM of being that gross roommate who brings a partner back while their roomie is sleeping. I also know that sex can have a smell so I made sure to burn our agreed upon scented candle.”
“I texted back that while I understand she’s uncomfortable with it, I’m not breaking any rules that could get us in trouble, not doing anything that affects her belongings, and it’s my room as much as her room meaning we can’t just ban activities the other deems ‘bad’ unilaterally.”
“I reassured her that I wouldn’t ever kick her out for sex or make her an unwilling witness. All she texted back was that she is willing to discuss this with an RA present when we get back from break.”
“I think it’s completely ridiculous and entitled that she wants to control my actions that she deems ‘bad’ when it’s both my room too and she isn’t even there.”
“However I’m also wondering if I’m both breaking some sort of roommate code about sex and making her uncomfortable by forcing sex into her life and thus being an a**hole.”
The OP added:
“I’ve actually already gone to the RA to put in a roommate transfer request due to her sleep yelling, but due to my school being greedy and admitting too many students there’s a super low chance I get moved.”
“According to the housing office my request is ‘low ranking’ due to the problem being solvable (I’ve tried 7+ brands of earplugs and headphones… it is not solvable) so at this point I’m just trying to make it work with what I have.”
“Luckily I’ve managed to time when I take my sleeping pill (insomnia) with her REM cycle so she usually doesn’t wake me up!”
The OP summed up their predicament.
“I might be the a**hole because I’m not taking into consideration what makes my roommate uncomfortable.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors were pretty evenly split in their judgment, with some saying the OP was not the a**hole (NTA)…
“It’s your room too. As much yours as hers. You’ve gone out of your way to respect her boundaries, and she has to respect your room is a shared space you have an equal right to.”
“It’d be different if you did something in her bed. Or while she was in the room. Even if she’d walked in on you, maybe she have a right to complain.”
“But you made sure not to do any of that and it’s every bit as much your room as hers and you had MORE than every right to do what you did. You pay just as much as her to live there, correct?”
“Even if not (scholarship or whatever) that room is your home. Continue being respectful and if she has a problem she can take it to the RA.”
“Most likely she’ll get some variation of the paragraph I just wrote, BUT if you’re lucky maybe she’ll be assigned a different room and then you’ll get a 2 person room all to yourself and can do whatever you want!”
“Which would be an AWESOME outcome! ABSOLUTELY NTA.” ~ calm_chowder
“NTA, I’m an RA and I encourage you to have a meeting with your RA. They will 100% agree with you.”
“If your roommate pitches a fit about this, it’s possible that your request to move from the sleep issues and her request to move combined may actually yield some results.”
“Either way though, her ask will not be supported by your RA.” ~ itsurbro7777
…others deciding OP was the a**hole (YTA)…
“YTA. You’re trying to paint your roommate as a sheltered virginal foreigner unfamiliar with your western values that you need to walk on eggshells around when nothing in her message points towards that.”
“She’s not trying to control your actions, nor is she judging you for having sex. She just doesn’t want you to have it in the same space she shares with you, which is a fair boundary.”
“Go have sex at your friends with benefits’ room, I doubt she’ll stop you from that.”
“She was polite and reasonable. The only judgmental one here is you.” ~ polandreh
“YTA. Yes, you’re allowed to have sex all you want, but you SHARE A ROOM with this girl. You are having sex in HER room too. It’s not just your room, so you should at least be considerate of your roommate’s feelings.”
“It’s perfectly reasonable for her to be uncomfortable with it, especially considering her culture could view things differently. It doesnt means she’s ‘sheltered’.”
“I’d vote differently if she was demanding you stop or being mean about it, but she was being polite about it and expressed how she felt and was even willing to talk with an RA present in hopes of coming to an agreement. Yet you pretty much shut that down and didn’t even want to work with her at all.”
“And now you’re claiming shes ‘entitled’ for not wanting you to have sex in your SHARED room, and that shes ‘controlling your actions’. Yet, you’re completely disregarding her feelings and acting as if your feelings are more important than hers.”
“Maybe you should learn what entitled means.”
“You already know you are making her uncomfortable. Even if you had sex on your side of the room, she would still feel uncomfortable that it happened in the same room as all her stuff.”
“Why can’t you go to our FWB’s room or something? How would you feel if someone did something that made you uncomfortable?
“I bet you would complain. And call them entitled.” ~ NoiseUnhappy28
…while some saw no a**holes here (NAH).
“NAH. Everyone has a right to their boundaries. She doesn’t want her roommates bringing guys around.”
“You want to be able to have sex in your own home. Unfortunately, this may mean you’re incompatible as roommates.”
“If you’re not breaking any sort of dorm or school rules, her going to the RA isn’t much of a threat. In fact, it could be good to have a third party helping mediate.”
“It’ll also be good, if this turns out to be a breaking point, to go ahead and get the complaints logged so you two can get different roommates.”
“Worst case scenario, just dig your heels in and refuse to accept any responsibility for wrongdoing—the RA is just another student and they usually can’t do that much.” ~ NE0099
“I’m gonna go with NAH.”
“You’re not the a**hole for having sex in your own home because that’s exactly what your dorm is; your home.”
“She’s also not the a**hole for being uncomfortable and wanting to set boundaries and she has a point that it’s her space too which I know you didn’t negate.”
“This is probably her first time navigating stuff like this and that’s technically what the RA is for, to help navigate roommate living accommodations on campus.” ~ flippflippflipp
Since these people were assigned to live together, it’s no great loss for either of them if they part ways.
But getting a new housing assignment sounds like a remote possibility. Hopefully with the RA’s assistance they can figure out a way to make it to the end of the school year.