When mutual friends recommended you two get an apartment together to save money on rent and utilities, you figured you had nothing to lose, right? As responsible adults, you decided to include both of your names on the rental lease agreement and each of you would assume the responsibility of a utility bill in your name and splitting the costs 50/50.
What started off as a roommate situation escalated quickly and as you spend more time with each other, you start to wonder, could your relationship move from the roommate zone to a different type of relationship?
Before you start planning that romantic dinner, hold on. Playing house is one thing but here are five solid and smart reasons why you may want to rethink dating a roommate is a good idea.
What could be better than binging on Netflix and hanging out with your roommate that might lead to a romp in the bedroom? Well, what might happen if you want to Netflix and chill when the honeymoon is over?
No matter what we tell ourselves, getting sexually involved with someone changes the dynamic and when it's someone you see on a regular basis and you share a bathroom daily, it really changes the dynamic.
Sharing responsibilities and chores like cooking or laundry might seem convenient enough, and you may notice that you genuinely like each other's company. Until you don't.
Cooking dinner and eating together is fun but someone is going to have to do the dishes eventually. That laundry isn't going to fold itself. Those little annoyances get amplified when you're in a romantic relationship because you start to take things personally. Suddenly, you feel like you have no place to escape from your roommate because you literally live in the same space.
Do you really want your roommate to know the intricacies of your financial life (good or bad)? As roommates, making sure your bills are paid in full and on-time is important but you're not privy on what your roommate gets paid nor how well (or not well) they handle budgeting responsibilities.
Like any dating relationship, especially early on, it's unlikely you're going to be in an exclusive relationship. How will you feel if your roommate decides to bring back another date to your place?
Even if you're just friends with benefits, it might be hard to see your roommate go out on a date and come back late at night — or not at all. Worse, what if one of you thinks your relationship is more serious than it is?
It might be inevitable but what happens when you break up and you can't stand to even be within a mile of each other, let alone in the same apartment? How will you break your lease since you're both on it? Will one person move out and allow someone else to come in under a sublease? Will your landlord even allow such an arrangement?
What if things get really bad and one of you just can't stand it anymore and walks out — leaving the other one hanging with rent that will come due at the first of the month? The other scenario is you're left having to live with this person until your rental lease agreement is over, which could be many months.
If, after all these red flags don't deter you and you still think it's worth the risk to get involved with your roommate, there are a few things you can do to make it work out.
Like any good relationship, communicate when you're feeling upset or angry because your roommate forgot to hang the towel or didn't wash the dirty dishes. Not all of us are mind readers, and we did grow up in different households, so while something might annoy you, it might not annoy your roommate quite the same way. Consider writing a roommate agreement, so even in the event you do break-up, you can refer to it.
Even if friends recommended you move in together or maybe you end up becoming close friends with your roommate's friends, it's important to maintain your own friends, too. You can't really share your gripes with mutual friends since they may share your gripes with your roommate which defeats the first recommendation (ahem, communicate).
None of us need to really be with each other 24/7 and neither should you. Make sure to engage in a hobby, maintain a workout routine or attend events that require you to leave your apartment on a regular basis. Giving each other space is essential to a lasting and healthy relationship.
If you do end up having to break up with your roommate, there are ways you can do it amicably. After all, you're both adults.
While the temptation might be there at times, think twice about getting romantically involved with your roommate. It might seem like a good idea now, but you could really end up regretting it a few months later.