My roommate and I have been friends for a long time. But his girlfriend … well, she’s annoying as hell. She goes to another school, so they talk on the phone all the time. Now, that doesn’t bother me during the day, but he talks to her at night, in our bedroom. A lot of the time, they fight on the phone. He gets pretty upset when they fight and I don’t want to seem like I’m ganging up on him too. I’m falling asleep in class because he keeps me up. What should I do?
– Sleepless at Simpson
Well, if this is affecting you in class, then you have every right to gang up on him. The simplest way to solve the problem is to invest in a good set of earplugs. But a more practical solution is for you two to set up some guidelines. First, set up a time frame for when it’s
OK for you guys to be on the phone. For example, between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., he can call his girlfriend, but if he wants to talk to her after that he needs to leave the room. If the living room is occupied, he can take it outside. I imagine come December he will learn to call her during the day.
I think the way to approach this is not to tell him all this when he’s fighting with his girlfriend, because you are correct – he may take it as “ganging up on him.” You should tell him when he’s calm. I would leave out the fact that you think his girlfriend is annoying – that could get you off on the wrong foot, and most guys realize that their girlfriends are annoying to everyone else. –
Um, hello isn’t this obvious? Tell him to dump the girlfriend so you can get some shut-eye. If they’re fighting more than they’re lovin’ it’s not worth losing sleep.
If telling your bud to ditch the girl isn’t an option – but if they argue as much as you say it’s only a matter of time before their relationship takes a nose dive – then tell him about the magical wonders of cell phones. Maybe he’s not aware cell phones give people the ability to fight with their girlfriends wherever they want – outside, in their car or any other place with no sleeping roomies.
It’s nice and all that you don’t want to make your roommate feel he’s being ganged up on, but the respect you’ve given him thus far isn’t being returned. So it’s a must you tell him his phone calls are keeping you awake. It doesn’t have to be some dramatic heart-to-heart talk where you get in touch with your feelings or anything. Just interrupt him the next time he’s yelling to his missus on the other line: “I’m trying to sleep – can you take it somewhere else?” It’s short yet very effective – just how I like it. Wait … you know what I mean.