It’s up to you: should my sister stop bringing strangers to our roommate? | Sex
The charge: Mafalda
I’m not against my sister who goes out and has fun, but she also has to respect my limits
Before my older sister Mariana moved in last summer, I had my own space and my own routine in this apartment. I was nervous because she is so outgoing and I knew our lifestyles were different. Mariana loves going out, meeting new people and partying, even though I’m really not into all of that.
We made some rules right away, one of which was that we couldn’t have strangers here. I knew when my sister was living in college she would throw parties that got out of hand, so I said, “Only friends and friends of friends, no strangers. She didn’t like it and said that everything she does in her room should be her business, but I argued that it was a shared space and I wanted to feel safe. Mariana is much freer than I am, sexually and socially, but I told her she had to compromise and she finally agreed.
The first night I left her alone, Mariana threw a big party with a group she met at a club. It was very crowded in our apartment when I got back and the floor was sticky. The next morning, Mariana apologized, saying things had gotten out of hand; she looked so sorry that I let her down.
But about two months later she brought a random guy back for the night. She called at 2am that night to let me know and told me he was a friend of a friend who had lost his keys. She said it would be stuck if we didn’t let it crash so I agreed. But when I started chatting with them, it quickly became clear that the story wasn’t right.
I simmered everything the next morning; then Mariana confessed that she made up the story because she wanted it to stay. We got into a huge fight. Mariana thought I had overreacted but she broke my trust in a random guy, so what was she expecting?
Since then, Mariana has not brought anyone back (to my knowledge). I’m not against her casually going out, but she has to respect my limits. I also think it’s better for her to get to know someone before bringing them home. This rule is not to control it; it’s about protecting her and our shared space – why can’t she see it?
I’ve had some arguing with my younger sister about my love life – I’m offended that she doesn’t trust mee
My sister is special to have boys in the apartment. She’s younger than me, still in college, and has less experience in relationships. But I’m in my mid-twenties and the rule makes a big difference in my life. Before living with Mafalda, I lived with a friend and we did whatever we wanted. I’m sexually comfortable and used to bringing people into my space.
After my sister and I agreed on the rule, I was still really on the defensive. I said it was my room and my space.
When I first party, Mafalda wasn’t even there most of the night. There wasn’t much to apologize for while I cleaned up the mess. I had planned to invite a few people, but lots of people showed up at the door. However, I knew most of them.
We had a lot of arguments about my love life. Mafalda said if I had been dating for a while she would be fine, but if it was the first or second date she wouldn’t want them. She would feel uncomfortable. I was offended that she didn’t trust my judgment. Does she think I’m going for terrible and dangerous guys? She once said that I shouldn’t be having casual sex, which annoyed me – it’s none of her business. I tried to explain that I would never bring someone back who would put me in a dangerous situation, let alone her.
This time I brought a guy back and lied to him was stupid. Mafalda believed in it for a while, but we were clearly drunk and mentions. Afterwards, she and I had a big argument and she didn’t speak to me for days. I tried to apologize but she got really mad. Mafalda kept repeating that I had no regard for his well-being. She blew it all up, especially when I’m the one who cleans the house and cooks dinners – she forgot all about it.
After a few days we had a long conversation. Now ideally if I want to bring a guy home I’m going to prepare Mafalda and make sure she’s heard of him before so it’s no surprise. But there may be times when it doesn’t work or she doesn’t approve, and I can’t stop living my life at her convenience.
The Guardian Readers Jury
Should Mariana stop bringing strangers into the apartment?
Mariana is guilty of having reneged on the agreement she made with Mafalda. If Mariana thinks the conditions are turning out to be too restrictive, she must either try to find a new compromise or find another place to live.
Julie, 67 years old
Mariana should be allowed to bring random people back to her room and, when her sister is out, be allowed to party if she’s cleaning up afterwards. Mafalda should realize that it is safer for Mariana to bring random men back to her house than to go to them.
Coquelicot, 38 years old
Mariana seems to have been forced to come to terms with a rule that does not meet her needs. The moment she lied about the guy’s keys is a natural reaction – we’re breaking any rules we don’t agree with and haven’t made.
Sure, Mariana wants to have fun in her twenties, but not bringing strangers back to the apartment is a small compromise. She is also naive if she thinks she can identify a “dangerous guy” on a first meeting.
Despite all the talk of compromise, the rule is Mafalda’s, and Mariana’s “breach of the rule” since then makes it clear that this was neither a negotiation nor an agreed truce. Perhaps the seeds for real compromise are to be found in Mariana’s final statement – fair warning as often as possible, and trust where it isn’t.
Richard, 39 years old
Be the judge
So now you can be the judge, click on the poll below to tell us: Should Mariana stop bringing strangers into the apartment?
We’ll share the results next week, it’s up to you.
Voting will close on Thursday, January 13 at 9:00 a.m. GMT
The result of last week
We asked if Roland should pay more rent, since he earns more than her boyfriend, James.
53% of you said no – Roland is innocent
47% of you said yes – Roland is guilty
Do you have a dispute that you would like to settle? Or do you want to be part of our jury? Click here