tips for roommate etiquette
  • | October 5, 2016
From hanging a tie on the door to awkward walks of shame, there’s a bro code and a roommate code to follow. Ideally you get along just fine with your roommate’s lady but that’s not always the case. It is possible to respect the roommate relationship while at the same time understanding and giving consideration to romantic relationships. Whichever side of the coin you are on, here are a few tips for roommate etiquette and girlfriends.

  1. Have a system. Whether it’s literally a tie on the door or a text to give someone a head’s up, if you know what you’re walking into (and if he knows too) you can avoid some awkward conversations and encounters. Remember that this is your home but it’s also his home too so you both have a right to it, but common courtesy and a little compromise here and there should be in order too.

  2. Don’t be creepy. Is your roommate’s girlfriend hot? Good for him. Stay out of it. Don’t leer, don’t make inappropriate comments, don’t try and be a third wheel. Maybe your fantasy is some hot three-way action but odds are that isn’t what they’re thinking so be realistic, lust in private, and stay out of it. Don’t be that guy. And that door swings both ways (pardon the pun). If your roommate can’t keep his eyes off your girlfriend or can’t stop making inappropriate sexual comments, have a talk with him and shut it down.

  3. Is she paying rent? I only ask because it seems like she’s spending six out of every seven nights here so I just wondered if we should put her on the lease. Obviously things are going well in the relationship if you get to this point but remember that she is NOT on the lease. If it’s your girlfriend who’s “moved in,” you need to have a talk with her about encroaching on the space. If things are going that well, maybe it’s time the two of you moved into your own place. If it’s your roommate’s girlfriend who’s shacked up, talk to your roommate. Explain that this is your house too and this is unacceptable.

  4. Be courteous. On both sides of the situation, be sensitive and courteous to what’s going on. Relationships of all kinds are important and need nurturing, whether that’s a girlfriend or a roommate. You have to be able to juggle both. This may mean compromising from time to time. Give them a night alone together while you go out and do something else, or discuss plans ahead of time so you can have the house free that night. Communication and understanding are key here.

  5. Talk it out. Clear the air, have the discussion, lay some ground rules down, put it on paper if you’d like. Discuss what your roommate policies are when it comes to girlfriends. It may sound corny but it’ll work. Use this time to bring up any existing gripes you have and figure out a compromise.

Roommates and girlfriends might not always mix well but there are ways to juggle both. In general, whether it’s your girlfriend or your roommates, it’s important to talk out any issues you might be having and try to reach an agreement. Your home is supposed to be a comfortable place to relax. There shouldn’t be any unnecessary stress floating around.

Good luck.