Dating can be awkward if your living situation involves another person or a few roommates. But it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re inviting a date over to your apartment or have a long-term partner spending the night a lot, this is how dating works when you have roommates.
Communication is key.
Your roommate is most likely also your friend. They know your natural tendencies and quirks, what you like, what bothers you, how you unwind. Even if you don’t want to admit it, they probably know you better than most people. So why hide your love life? When you’re comfortable enough to, have a conversation about your dating lives. You’ll get a better sense of the other person and might even have advice for the other.
Set ground rules.
Your relationship with your roommate is just as important as the one with your significant other. As you would talk through expectations with your partner, talk through boundaries and ground rules with your roommate(s). Especially if you or your roommate are in a serious relationship and you don’t communicate these, you might find yourself in a living situation you’re not okay with.
Set ground rules like allowing sleepovers only on a certain days of the week or working around living patterns (bedtimes, when they shower, leaving before the roommate wakes up, etc.). Communication has to happen both ways, so make sure your opinions are known to the other.
Make a proper introduction.
“If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends.” The Spice Girls are right. Your significant other has to get along with (at least, respect) your roommate for this to work. Properly introduce one to another. They probably know a lot about each other prior, but they need to meet officially to move forward and develop some sort of comfort with seeing each other around.
Respect each other’s spaces.
This one’s obvious. Sharing an apartment takes work and compromise, so everyone needs to be considerate of common spaces and shared items. If you bring a date home and your roommate is watching a movie in the living room, go into your bedroom. If you want to watch a movie, then ask your roommate if you can join or if you can watch after. If your significant other stays the night often, have them buy some toilet paper for the apartment. Small acts of consideration can go a long way.
Again, communicate openly.
It’s okay to feel uncomfortable about having a stranger in your home. It is your home, after all. But it’s not okay to keep those concerns to yourself. You have to be comfortable sharing your feelings and talking through any problems you see arising. As roommates, you need to keep each other in check, so don’t take things to heart. Just remember that you’re all just trying to enjoy each other’s company.
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