This question is being asked on behalf of a good friend of mine; I was not directly involved in the scenario.

This past semester, a friend of mine in college was going to have his girlfriend over to spend a day and a (Sunday) night in his dorm room. The two of them have a long-distance relationship, because they go to colleges over eight hours apart. The visit had been planned for about two months, and all the arrangements had been made - tickets were bought, a schedule was developed, and my friend's roommate was notified one month in advance and asked for his consent. The roommate agreed to spend the night elsewhere ("sexiling", as I believe it's called), and my friend was able to get two other friends to host him, with an air mattress and sheets.

Unfortunately, two weeks before the visit, the roommate found that he had a moderately important test the next day, a Monday. He told my friend that he was now reluctant about moving because he stated that he could not sleep well elsewhere and wanted to sleep in his room. My friend was annoyed by this, though he had some sympathy. After a short discussion (after asking my friend's girlfriend), they came to a compromise, where the roommate would sleep in their room while the girlfriend was there, but the couple would go to sleep long before he came back from studying. It was a very awkward arrangement, but it worked.

My friend and I have asked quite a few friends about this since then, and they've unanimously said that the roommate should have kept his promise. My friend agreed, but still had sympathy for his roommate; they've always been on very good terms (and the roommate did well on the test).

The question my friend has is this: Would it have been rude for him to be more assertive and continue to ask his friend to leave for the night?

  • 12
    Call me old-fashioned but a promise or agreement is a promise or agreement and has to be kept NO MATTER WHAT. It's a question of my own honor and integrity. Were I in the situation of the who agreed to go, I would pack my books and notes and go. I promised. Maybe i would make a joke out of what miserable idiot I am for forgetting about the test - if I was sure that my roommate and his GF understand my sense of humor. So I think (like in "i am of opinion") that's not a right question to ask to begin with.
    – Maciej
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 8:50
  • Was this a dorm-room or a flat-share?
    – Tom
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 10:09
  • Considering our changed policy on this type of question, I've closed it as POB.
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 13:56

7 Answers 7


I wouldn't say it's rude exactly, it's just asking for a pretty huge favor, and when asking for a pretty huge favor, you shouldn't​ be too worked up if someone says no or things don't work out as planned.

I would say that being young is like that... Friends do these things for each other on occasion, but it shouldn't be expected. Your friend should have probably saved a few extra dollars for a hotel room and made everyone's​ night a lot more enjoyable, he had a couple months to plan after all.

But ya... Being young is like that... Live and learn and get a room when needed.

My related personal experience...

When I was a teenager my mom had a habit of taking in stray delinquents. At the height of it there were 8 of us living in a two bedroom house. Obviously this meant that if anyone wanted to have a romantic evening they had to live with an audience or make other arrangements.

Making other arrangements was usually the best way to go.


Yes it would have been incredibly rude to insist that someone who is paying to have a place to stay, so that they have a constant controlled environment to rest, go find somewhere else the night before a big test, just so that you can do something with a visitor.

The primary purpose of being at the university is to get an education. Education related activities should always come first. While I understand why you would be upset that your plans with your LDR had to be changed, it is your responsibility to figure that out. While it is not inappropriate to ask for a night for your self of your roommate, if they tell you no it is still their room.

If the question were asked how could the roommate make it right, having had to change plans with short notice, I would suggest chipping in for a motel room or something similar so that they could have a night to themselves. But I would not feel that the roommate were required to do that, or that you had the right to expect or ask that of them.


If I was that roommate, and if you ask me, yes, your friend would have been rude, although I can understand that I have promised to "sexile". I have an important test, and in my opinion it's important to be able to study and sleep well before the test. It's my interest.

That roommate can even be considered rude to your friend for breaking his promise. I'm happy that the issue here has been solved through compromise, and it should have been like that - if there are two or more parties with a conflict of interest, I would have pursue a middle ground that provides win-win solution to all parties (not applicable to everything, though).


Asking someone to not sleep in their own bed is asking for a favor.

Insisting on it is being an ass (unless there's a real reason, such as the building being on fire).

Withdrawing a promised favor with 2 weeks advance notice and a proper reason is being nice.

Blaming or shaming the person who gracefully offered a favor but then had to withdraw it (giving 2 weeks notice and having a proper reason), is being an ass.

The socially correct solution would have been for the lovers to use these 2 weeks to adjust their plans for the romantic get together and pay for a nice room.


Would it have been rude for him to be more assertive and continue to ask his friend to leave for the night?

The situation you described is a bit complicated to give a simple answer to that question.

I believe that in some part, yes, it is somewhat rude, because your friend's roommate has the right to sleep in his room. When he agreed to let the room to your friend, he was doing him a favor because he didn't really mind, but he has no obligation to comply if something bigger comes up (an exam is pretty big). He was doing that just as a favor.

But on the other hand, he had an agreement with your friend. It must feel very unfair to have to redo the plans when everything was agreed. It was not your friend's fault that the exam was that day when they had already have their agreement.

But as I said in the beginning, in the end the roommate was doing them a favor. He can't be blamed for wanting to sleep in his room before an exam. It is very unlucky to have to rearrange, but I believe that your friend and his girlfriend should have had a backup plan for that case. Two weeks is a fair amount of time to put the backup plan to work.


I think this is more about coming back on an agreement.

When they made plans months in advance and from the get go the room-mate would have said no, the couple would have had a lot more time to make other accommodations. Now with only 2 weeks to go he put them on the hook.

In my opinion, it would have been rude to pressure the issue. The guy made a mistake about forgetting about his test but in the grand scale of things, doing well on your tests is more important.

No mistake should go unpunished (otherwise coming back on a deal is free and they become worthless), so I'd expect they guy to make up with his friend by like cooking a meal or taking over some chores for a day.

  • 2
    This is a minor comment, but I think that the roommate isn't really at much fault here. It wasn't that he forgot about the test, it's that he only found out about it close to the time of the visit - and I don't think any party involved could fault him for that.
    – HDE 226868
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 1:52

I'm gonna put my finger where it hurts:

The issue here is that the lovebirds could spend $50-70 on a motel, but they don't want to, because it's cheaper to convince the roommate to spend the night on an uncomfortable, sweaty air mattress at a friends' place, wake up with the brains of a drooling zombie, and fail his exam.

So, yeah, to answer the question, this is extremely rude.

Even more so, considering the lovebirds presumably spent a large sum of money on transportation to see each other, but now seem strangely disinclined to spend just a little bit more...

Earplugs are a thing. Once properly applied, the only thing that would bother your buddy would be the mere thought of people having sex in the next room. Shudders and cold sweat! It's his problem. We all exist because people had sex. It's a fact of life.

  • 3
    Do you have any experience whatsoever to back this up? I can assure you 100% that giving a roommate earplugs is not at all a good solution.
    – HDE 226868
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 1:54
  • Sure, lots of experience and years with roommates back in university. The bit of conversation that was deleted is also real.
    – user2135
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 3:40
  • Actually this answer brings up an interesting point! Are there separate rooms? Or is this a two twin beds (or, better yet, bunkbeds!) type of situation? It actually makes all the difference as to what's reasonable in this situation. @HDE226868!
    – A.fm.
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 6:02
  • @A.fm. Right! I hadn't even thought about bunk beds... This would be a tricky situation!
    – user2135
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 12:03

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