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I have lived with roommates for a while and have almost never had exclusive use of any bathroom where I have lived. I currently share the bathroom with a student from India. He mainly studies at home. When he first moved in he asked what the bathroom schedule was. I thought this was an odd question and told him there isn't one.

He literally spends 30-60 minutes 4 times per day. I think that part of the problem is the timing. For example most people eat lunch between noon to 1PM and need to use the toilet about an hour later. In North America people usually don't take a shower and brush their teeth between 1-2. This is really impacting me. I've started going to stores and buying things just so I can use their bathroom.

How can I address this issue? I would really like to stay on good terms with him. I don't like having many rules because there's always an exception.

I could try

I was thinking about when you first moved in you asked what the bathroom schedule is. Is there a certain time you normally use it?

but this just feel weird to me.

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  • Why don't you just knock and say you have to use the bathroom and ask if they could hurry up (politely)? That is typically the procedure for when someone is occupying the bathroom when another needs to use it. Mar 5, 2023 at 23:47

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Ask him to give you a chance to use the bathroom briefly before he goes in. That way, you won't have an emergency, and he can read the newspaper cover to cover. This is what we try to do at my house, where a certain person tends to have rather long bathroom visits.

Alternatively, try to track his start times, to see if there's a pattern. If there is, set a timer or alarm if you need to, so you can slip in shortly before a typical start time. Re the certain person at my house -- there is a certain predictable pattern.

Implementation Notes

The certain person is infamous for long visits, and another member of the family asked the certain person to check with others before entering, and pointed out that others' visits are quick. This is similar to checking before finishing leftovers in the fridge or someone's favorite food, e.g. let's say the pecans were bought for me, but someone else discovers them; it is considerate for the new pecan eater to ask if I mind if they finish the pecans. Same thing at the dinner table -- "Is it okay if I take another helping of the green beans and finish them off?"

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