Roommate and Relationship Difficulties

One third of college student have problems with roommates and the same number report having relationship difficulties within a year. Roommate and relationship difficulties impact academics in 17% of students. Learn how to manage personal relationships and how to help others do the same.

Roommate Relationships
It’s very common to run into issues with a roommate, especially if you are not used to living with someone. About 1 in every 3 college students in the US reported roommate problems last year. These issues may be easily resolved, but at times these may develop into bigger problems if not addressed.

Friend or Romantic Relationships
According to 2012 National College Health Assessment data, approximately 35% of Georgetown students reported having relationship difficulties in the previous 12 months and over 10% felt that those problems negatively impacted their academics.

Problems in your friendships or romantic relationships can take many different forms. You might notice that one or both of you are:

  • Picking fights
  • Having feelings of resentment
  • Having trust issues
  • Communicating poorly
  • Being disrespectful

To improve the health of your relationships:

Establish open communication:

  • Try to understand reasons. Rather than focusing on actions, it may be that your roommate doesn’t realize they are acting in a way that you feel is disrespectful. Rather than accusing them of being inconsiderate or hurtful, try explaining how their actions make you feel by using “I” statements.
  • Be upfront about expectations that you have for your relationship, and listen closely to what your roommate, friend or partner has to say. Understanding one another is the key to laying the foundations to a healthy relationship.
  • For roommate difficulties, fill out your roommate agreement form and take the time to go through every question honestly. If you already have a roommate agreement but your roommate isn’t following it, then start the conversation by going back to it.
  • Be respectful. Respecting one another is an important part of having a successful relationship. Think about how you want to be treated, and listen to how they want to be treated.

Campus Resources:

If you need advice or would like to speak with a professional, check out the on-campus resources below.

Counseling & Psychiatric Services (CAPS)
One Darnall Hall
(202) 687-6985

Jen Luettel Schweer
Associate Director, Health Education Services/Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Services
1437 37th St. NW, Poulton Hall, Suite 101
(202) 687-0323

Your Resident Assistant or Community Director.
A great resource for difficulties with your roommate. His or her phone number and email should be readily available to you within your Residence Hall. More difficult issues may be handled by the Community Director.