When you move in with a new roommate, whether it’s a stranger or your best friend, you’ll need to feel out the situation. Everyone has pet peeves, and everyone has different comfort levels. So when it comes to respecting boundaries, keeping the apartment clean, and remembering that you’re two very different people, it can be difficult.
Now, bring a date back to the apartment or add a significant other who frequently visits into the mix, and you’ve changed the playing field completely. We’re here to help you navigate these scenarios with your roommate before things get out of hand.
1. Communicate Boundaries and Stick to Them
You’ve just started dating this incredible person, and you can’t wait to spend all of your time with them. They come over, spend the night, use your shower, and maybe even use your washer from time to time. No problem, right? You’re so caught up in the moment that you don’t realize your new love interest is showering when your roommate needs to get ready for work.
Your roommate may be trying to avoid conflict but is consciously or unconsciously building up resentment, leading to a blowup. How can you avoid problems? Make sure to talk to your roommate. Is it okay for your partner to use utilities? How often? Should they help foot the bill? Don’t take advantage of the situation, find out the boundaries beforehand.
2. Bringing Dates Home
Maybe you’re a bachelor or bachelorette, and you’re enjoying the single life. To each their own, as long as you’re not interfering with your roommate’s life or their own romantic interests. For instance, if you bring a date home and get ready to Netflix and Chill, taking up the entire living room, make sure you ask your roommate if it’s cool to bring someone home and hang out. They’ll likely be happy for you, but if it’s a frequent occurrence and you’re pushing them out of common spaces, it’s not okay without communication.
3. Be Inclusive
If you’re in a relationship and your significant other is frequently at your apartment home, try your best not to make your roommate feel like a third wheel. If you and your partner are deep in conversation and your roommate is nearby, feel free to engage them and welcome them into the chat. On the flipside, if you’re the roommate, don’t be afraid to make friends and get involved in games or conversation. You’re not intruding, because it’s your house. If the couple wants alone time, they can retreat to their room for it.
4. Clean up After Yourself (and your date)
If your date comes over and leaves beer bottles, food containers, or dirty dishes all over the place, make sure to clean up after them. This should be common etiquette, but if it isn’t followed, it can sour a roommate relationship rapidly.