It’ll start out innocently enough. Two cash strapped young adults – male and female – decide to co-sign a lease together in an effort to save money on rent and utilities.
Then something begins to happen. You see each other every day and after a while, the mutual attraction can no longer be denied. You started out as roommates, but it has quickly become much more.
In the beginning, it’s nice to have someone to come home to after a long day. No expensive cab or train rides can keep you from seeing one another. Playing house is fun for a while – cooking for each other, binging on Netflix while cuddled on the sofa. It really is the best time ever.
But problems start to arise when you’re forced to be in the presence of your roommate/significant other 24/7. There’s no escape. Arguments about laundry and dirty dishes become commonplace – issues that typically only arise in long-term relationships. The union accelerates at an unnatural speed, which means that the chances of it ending well are slim to none.
So, given all of this, is dating your roommate worth it – even if it means saving big bucks every month?
The 24 hour affect
Dating your roommate might seem like quite a convenient arrangement at first. The person you adore the most is always there. But there will be days when you need alone time. Your companion will see you at your worst – zit cream, nightly retainer and all. Not only that, you will get sick of the wet towel left on the bathroom floor every morning and the sink full of dirty dishes that goes ignored every night. Suddenly, being in close proximity everyday doesn’t seem so appealing.
Sharing the wealth
Are you comfortable with your roommate/significant other knowing specific details about your financial situation? From your salary to your budgeting skills (or lack thereof), sharing finances is a relationship dynamic that usually doesn’t come into play until marriage.
The break up
If the romance fizzles, packing your bags to leave could cost you. Are you willing to break the lease and pay whatever fees come with it? Can you quickly find a roommate to replace you? Do you have the strength to remain in the apartment with your ex until the lease is up? If you can’t leave, how will your roommate react if and when you start dating again? Ending a relationship with your roommate can cause the affair to drag on when, in any other situation, you’d be able to move on immediately.
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If dating your roommate is inevitable, here are some tips to keep things as pleasant as possible.
Do some soul searching
What exactly is your reason for wanting to date your roommate? Do you genuinely like this person and see a future with them? If so, perhaps the risk will be worthwhile. But if you just like the benefit of having someone within arm’s reach at all times, you should reconsider your choice.
Are you and your roommate in a committed, exclusive relationship? Is he or she aware of this? Sometimes, roommate relationships walk a fuzzy line. You can’t get upset about your roommate bringing other “friends” into your apartment when you never officially discussed where your relationship stands. Set expectations up front to avoid getting your feelings hurt later.
Get a life
Both of you should remain active outside the apartment. Go out with friends or engage in a hobby. You do not need to spend every free moment together. Giving each other space is essential to a lasting relationship.
Have you ever dated a roommate? What was the experience like?
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