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August 27, 2013

Living with Roommates: Housing Advice for Couples

Happy young couple relax at home

These days many people looking to save money find themselves rooming with friends or family rather than staying on their own. While this is an undesirable situation for many singletons, it can be a huge strain on couples having to share their living space with other roommates. Whether you’re considering moving your relationship into a home with other people, you’re part of a couple already sharing an abode and you’re looking for ways to make it work, or you’re looking to bail without creating any bad blood, keep these tips in mind.

Should You Make the Move?

If you haven’t yet moved into shared living quarters there are a few things you should consider about how this is going to affect you and your partner. Are you ready to have a constant audience and a distinct lack of alone time? The more roommates you have, the more likely it is that someone is going to be home when you and your sweetheart are looking to get busy, or even worse, when you’re having a fight. If you’re used to being a private couple, this privacy deficiency can become a problem very quickly. Not only will it be uncomfortable for you, but your roommates aren’t likely to enjoy the ups and downs in your relationship. If it’s not completely necessary to combine living spaces with other people outside of your relationship, you may want to avoid this option.

Already Made the Move?

If you’re already living with roommates, you should lay down a few ground rules as soon as possible. While it seems juvenile, signing a roommate agreement could help avoid major problems in the future. The agreement should cover things like who is responsible for chores or paying shared bills, how often guests are welcome, and how to deal with privacy issues among roommates. Figuring out everyone’s schedules will also help with planning times when you can be alone with your honey. Like most living situations, being open, honest and understanding will be the key to making things work and keeping everyone feeling happy and comfortable.

Time to Move Out?

When a living situation goes south it’s always awkward, but when your relationship is intimately involved in the situation things can become extra stressful very swiftly. Keeping things calm between you and your partner is most important.As long as you can come at this as a strong couple you can handle whatever comes your way. First, make your best attempt to end things amicably. The last thing you want is a smack-down-drag-out fight with your housemates. The easiest thing to do is to explain that for the sake of your relationship the two of you will need to seek other housing options. Staying until your lease is up or finding people to take over your portion of the rent are the best ways to make sure you’re doing your part as a good roommate up until the very end.

Besides food and water, shelter is one of our number one priorities as humans, so it’s understandable that figuring out the right housing situation for you and your partner can be a stressful chore. Before you jump on an offer to become a roommate with one or more other people think things through: How is this going to affect your relationship? Will you be able to spend adequate alone time with your partner? Will you be able to leave if the situation is not working for you, and how quickly?  While it may end up being more expensive to find your own place it can also save a lot of external hassle by keeping your partner as your only roommate. If, however, you think your relationship can withstand the difficulty of shared housing, make sure that you and your paramour do what’s needed to be good roommates while also keeping your relationship a priority. When all is said and done, whatever works best for your relationship is ultimately the best choice you can make.

For more advice about moving in together, check out When Your Lover Becomes Your Roommate: Tips for Moving In Together.

About the Author

Shana Diaz
Shana Diaz is a Colorado native finishing her BA in Creative Writing at Colorado Mesa University in the fall. Besides being a shameless romantic she also boasts of being a Nerdfighter, a Potterhead, and just an all around bookworm. When she isn’t stuck in the stacks at the library or working as a home health care aid, Shana enjoys spending her time gallivanting around the Internet with her long distance boyfriend and devouring the blogs of her favorite authors.

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