This is an advice column. You can come here for advice. You are welcome.
Hi, I need some advice. I haven’t been able to see my partner for some time due to COVID. I was excited for the new change of rules, but then quickly realized that it’s really hard for my roommates to decide who gets to have a guest over. Can you help mitigate this conflict in my household?
~ Sexually frustrated
This is a hard situation indeed. As communicated through the Davidson Emergency Covid Response’s new “experimental” rules, you are only allowed one guest (significant other/fuck buddy/it’s complicated) per apartment. When deciding who to invite over, it is definitely important to consider who needs it the most. Are you and your roommates close enough to be really honest to each other about the intensity of your desires? Are you even honest to yourself?
Some of our readers suggested a sort of rotational schedule where each roommate gets their turn. While a good idea, there are multiple issues with this approach. For one, you may feel pressured to find someone simply because it is your turn. We think that, at this point, it is important to note that for some of you, it’s best to take time to work on yourselves. Not everybody needs to get some. If you do end up deciding your turn is indeed your time, then please be mindful of the number of distinct individuals you associate with. Contrary to some people’s opinions, the pandemic is real, and so is self-care.
A second approach is something more democratic. Every Thursday night, the apartment sits down, and each roommate gets to give a PowerPoint presentation about why they were the best roommate that week. We encourage pictures of people vacuuming and going to the store, as well as simply being kind and generally not being gross. After all of the presentations, everyone deliberates and then gets the opportunity to cast their vote for “Best Roommate of the Week” (don’t vote for yourself, that is cheating). The winner earns the title “Best Roommate” and gets to enjoy a visitor that weekend. We recommend this approach for its fairness and also because it keeps the house clean.
Another option includes being selective … aka finding a friend off campus. This way, you will have much more freedom. But still, remember to keep your roommates informed of all contacts. If all else fails, a final option is organizing a competition where you battle your roommates for the right to a guest. We suggest a dance off, baking competition, or karaoke night, but if a feat of strength seems appropriate to you, who are we to judge? A possible outcome could be you having so much fun with your roommates that you no longer feel the need to socialize with other people. Of course, competition could also get the best of you, ruining the friendship forever and forcing you to couch-surf. This would be very dangerous in our COVID times.
In case you were looking for an honest response, here it is: communication. Communication is key. You and your roommates form an important entity that can support each other through highs and lows. Respect your relationship, their level of comfort in the pandemic reality, and make sure you remain honest with each other. Don’t sneak people in. Don’t visit people without keeping your roommates in the loop. It is important to make decisions together, because close contacts affect all of you. Be ready to compromise in order to honor each other’s needs.
Always here to answer your pressing queries.
Told You So.