I live with my roommate, who is not a bad person in any way. However, it so happens he has issues keeping commitments.

A typical conversation:

Me: Do you want to go to X place at Y time.
Him: Yes, no problem.
Me: Are you sure. If you are busy, no problem, I can go on my own.
Him: No, no it's not an issue. I will definitely go.

Now as it happens, he has a habit of oversleeping and he has a better mode of transportation than I do have. I do not want to disturb a person who is usually sleeping, and sharing a ride with him decreases travel time a lot. Based on that two situation arises:

Situation 1 - He does not want to go.

If he does not want to go, he tells me at a moment where I am pretty much helpless. Using an inferior mode of transportation at the last minute is pretty useless - since I will miss the event anyway. I can not say him anything since it is his choice.

Situation 2 - He want to go.

Now even if he plans to go, it means he is awake and he is going to go. However, I will still be late due his lethargic attitude to be in time. I can not say no out of politeness and to avoid confrontation.

So, why am I interested in inviting him in the first place? I believe I am a social being and most of the time, I think that our interest might intersect. That's why if I do not invite him, I feel morally guilty. If I do invite him there is a very good chance that I might be affected in some way.

How can I communicate to my roommate that his repeated failure to follow through on commitments is bothering me?

  • 1
    We cannot decide for you if you should invite him or not. If you decide to keep inviting him, we could help you in explaining what bothers you. In that case you should edit your question so that it asks something like How can I communicate to my roommate that his lack of commitment is bothering me?
    – kscherrer
    Feb 26, 2018 at 8:03
  • 1
    Hi, motiur. It looks like you want to change your question to one about communication, as per your title edit. I've modified the question body to match up with that, which I think makes this on-topic for IPS. Feel free to edit if I've misinterpreted your intentions.
    – HDE 226868
    Mar 1, 2018 at 0:46

1 Answer 1


As long as he is unreliable, stop relying on him. If you want to go to an event that has a time constraint on it (like a concert for example, which has a fixed start and end time), tell him about it, but travel there on your own. If he decides to go, great! You can hang out together and probably catch a ride home with him. If he doesn't want to go, great! You still get to enjoy yourself, you don't get stuck missing out and regretting not going, and he also gets to do what he wants to do.

You may want to inform him before you leave that you are leaving to go to the event, but that you hope to see him there. This gives him a reminder that the event is occurring, while also creating an opportunity to clear up any uncertainty around whether or not he'll be attending. If he is actually planning on going, he'll say something like "Why are you leaving now? I thought we were going together." and you can decide to ride with him or not.

If he's sleeping this won't work, but being his roommate you likely know his schedule moderately well. If you think he may be sleeping around the time you would need to leave to travel solo, make a point of talking to him about the event earlier in the day, or the night prior. Phrase it like "So for the concert tomorrow, I was planning on leaving around 4 so that I can make it there in time. Have you thought about whether or not you'll go too?"

If he gets offended by your proposal to travel separately, simply explain to him that attending the event is important to you, that you don't want to miss it, that you've missed events in the past because of him oversleeping or bailing on your plans at the last minute, and that you don't want to rely on him for transportation if there's a chance that he'll be unreliable. If he takes the hint and adamantly assures you that he'll be able to provide transportation, decide whether you'll take him up on his offer or not. The important thing is he'll (hopefully) realize that he's impacted you in the past enough that you're willing to leave him behind in order for you to enjoy yourself. YMMV.

  • Since the question is 'How do I weigh between these two choices.' (which seems to relate to inviting said friend or not, and is off-topic btw), this is not an answer to the question, you're just telling the OP what to do in case they decide to invite him.
    – Tinkeringbell
    Feb 26, 2018 at 8:13

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