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How to tell a friend you don't want to room with them

  1. Dec 2, 2010 #1
    I have one really good friend right now in my freshman year of college. We're both engineering majors and get along great; we do fun activities as well as homework together. He asked me to room with him next year, and not knowing how to refuse, I said yes.
    Problem is, I go to bed early (before 11 p.m.) and get up early (before 7 a.m.) every day. He goes to bed after 2 a.m. and gets up after 9 a.m. How hard would it be to live with someone in a 10 x 12 box who is asleep for 3 hours of the day that you're awake and vise versa?
    I have another friend who seems to have habits more similar to mine who has suggested that he wants to be roommates.
    Basically, I don't know what to say to my good friend who I've experienced the freshman first semester with. I want to continue being good friends, but I think rooming with him would add too much tension. How can I say no to him when I've already said yes?

    (I realize this is a petty question, and I apologize for that.)
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2010 #2


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    It's not petty at all. In my experience, having a roommate can be either an efficient way to lose a good friend, or an equally efficient way for a stranger to become a good friend. I've had better luck rooming with total strangers...it seems counterintuitive but that's how it was for me.

    And you're right to focus on the sleep patterns. It's not a trivial concern, which you will realize the first time you have an exam the next day but your roommate is keeping you awake.

    Maybe you can bring it up by mentioning the difference in your sleep patterns. Ask your friend how flexible he would be about it.

    Btw, are you a light sleeper?
  4. Dec 2, 2010 #3


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    You can have him make an account on these forums and then send him a private message linking him to this thread.
  5. Dec 2, 2010 #4
    I am a light sleeper. I'm getting along well with my roommate now, but his use of a computer mouse wakes me up at times (he goes to bed around 12).

    I will try just bringing it up...I wish now that I would have said I'd think about it instead of just agreeing. :/

  6. Dec 3, 2010 #5
    In my experience, the only thing that bothered me about my roomie was his snoring... and his sleep talking, apart from that we had very different sleeping patterns
    i was up all night Partying or playing (alas) WoW while we was sleeping
    and the next morning he would help me cure my hangover HAHA
    he would always get up earlier than i did and that never bothered me
  7. Dec 3, 2010 #6


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    Better yet, make an account for him. Log in. Export the session cookies and email them to him with a link to his inbox. Inside will be the link to this thread.

    It would help if you could make John Philips Sousa play somehow.
  8. Dec 7, 2010 #7
    Why not just straight up tell him what you wrote here.

    Tell him you value him as a friend and also don't want to lose him if rooming is not gonna work out due to different sleep patterns.

    I hate it when people are being indirect and sneaky when trying to communicating something to me (usually it's because they can't say no). Just tell it like it is and be sincere.
  9. Dec 10, 2010 #8
    Just don't make up a pathetically fake reason and then insist on it and dodge his inquiries until he gets the hint that you just don't want to room with him for some reason that you're not telling. That's so annoying. What would make it even worse is if you blamed him for harassing you for questioning your (fake) reason - like on the show, Cheaters, when the person asks the cheater if the cheater gets defensive about the other person not trusting them.
  10. Dec 10, 2010 #9
    I say just be honest with him. In my case I was roommates with a guy first year who was basically nocturnal with his studying habits, but was all around a pretty good friend who I shared many values with. However his habit, combined with the fact that he wanted to live in a really cheap/bad apartment (for financial reasons I can sympathize with) I just had to tell him I couldn't room with him second year. Our friendship became distant for a while, but were still friends today.

    The point being, when it comes to living arrangements you have to do what works best for you, otherwise you'll just end up resenting each other.
  11. Dec 10, 2010 #10
    Or the tension could ignite into passion; but that would only happen in very rare cases.
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