“Ask a Priest: What If a Roommate Wants Her Boyfriend to Stay With Her?”

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Q: I am in university, and one of my flat mates who is non-Catholic / non-religious asked me if it was okay for me if she brought her boyfriend to stay with her (in her room). We will be sharing the same bathroom and kitchen as her, but she and her boyfriend will be in her room as we have individual rooms. I was wondering if it was okay that I said it’s fine by me or should I have said no. This is because she is not a Christian, so I thought there was no purpose telling her about the chance of sin because they are not religious and don’t even know the fundamental beliefs, and I just met her only a few weeks ago. I am just scared of sinning. Thank you for your help. – T.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: It is certainly legitimate for you to tell your roomie that you aren’t comfortable with a man staying overnight, regardless of the moral implications. You have a right to feel safe in your own home.

You mention that this woman is one of your flat mates. If you are in an apartment with multiple rooms and shared living space, you might want to look at the legal side.

For instance, are overnight guests allowed in your flat? There might be legal rules that tie your hands – or perhaps give you leverage, if the lease limits the number of people allowed on the premises overnight.

In any case, you are justified in not wanting to support anything that you know or believe to be objectively sinful or at least a near occasion of grave sin.

It’s understandable that you roommate might not be familiar with basic moral norms if she indeed is “non-religious.”

Perhaps your roomie’s question caught you by surprise and you didn’t want to go into “lecture mode.” Nevertheless, your acquiescence could be construed as approval.

You might want to approach your roommate in a calm moment, and say that her initial question caught you off-guard, but that, on second thought, you don’t feel comfortable with having a man on the premises overnight.

You could explain that the prospect of bumping into a man in the middle of the night in the bathroom is not appealing.

If pressed, you could also share your beliefs about chastity, etc.

Perhaps you might take this to prayer first. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and your roomie. Try praying and offering sacrifices for her. Jesus wants her to get to heaven, too.

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One Comment
  1. Good answer, Father. There is lots ‘wrong’ with a ‘college roomie’ (someone not yet fully known) NOT telling the boyfriend flat out: NO! It’s wrong for the boyfriend to ask to stay, I’m sure he has his own accommodations so it is obvious why he wants to stay overnight with the girlfriend.

    This person has every right to ask the dorm manager for a new room, with another roomie for the sake of her safety. Unfortunately, stating the ‘sin angle’ will only make her a ‘target’ by this roomie and perhaps her boyfriend. YES, if she stays in a situation of KNOWN SIN, and thank God she knows, she would be an enabler and ‘denying Her God’ for a human friendship. This is NO FRIEND. A boyfriend who would think nothing of sleeping with a girlfriend would THINK NOTHING of ‘advancing’ himself to ANYONE.

    It is also a possibility this non religious one is TESTING this girl who she knows is a church goer. Mocking her faith. This roomie IS NASTY and living there with such persons would be a HELLISH experience.

    NO COLLEGE DEGREE is worth losing one’s soul. I suggest LEAVING THIS COLLEGE and going back home and commuting to a school while with one’s GOOD parents. Do not tell the roomie your address. GET OUT. God is speaking … GET SAFE

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