Life in the Real World

Here Are Some Steps To Take When Dating Your Housemate

Rule number 1 when sharing your university accommodation with other people: never date your housemate. It gets messy, it gets complicated and you’re going to regret it. That’s what I’ve been told when moving in for my master’s. Literally everyone I’ve every met says dating your housemate is the worst idea. However, I broke the rule and I’m happy I did, so here’s what I learnt from dating my housemate.

1. Recognise and admit you have a crush for your housemate.

The first thing I learnt is that there’s no point in trying to deny it or hide it to yourself. If you can’t wait to hear their steps on the stairs, if you eat your dinner in slow motion hoping to see your housemate entering the kitchen, it’s very likely that you have a crush on them. The quicker you realise it and admit it, the happier you’ll be!

2. Overcome fear and confusion and go for it.

Once you’ve admitted you have feelings for your housemate, I can guarantee that your next feeling is going to be fear, or at least worry, to mess up your relationship with a person that you’ll be seeing every day for the rest of your years at university. You’re very likely to also feel confused, because maybe you’ve never seen that person in this particular light – but it’s all normal and, once you’ve overcome the initial doubts, I assure you it could be the best relationship you’ve ever had. Although it seems scary, it’s important to just go for it when dating your housemate.

3. Tell the other housemates.

This is a really important one: don’t keep it as a secret and don’t be ashamed of it – there’s nothing wrong or stupid about it, and if the other people know it too you’ll avoid awkward or unpleasant situations. If they really are your friends, they will be happy for you.

4. Enjoy quotidian things.

In order to have a healthy relationship with someone that is living with you in a shared accommodation, it’s important to embrace the quotidian joy of sharing even the smallest things. Jam on toast for breakfast, a film night under the duvet, studying together on the kitchen table: find the beauty in these little moments and you’ll never regret dating them! This a super helpful tip when dating your housemate!

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5. Make a date out of everything.

Even a picnic in your back garden, or ordering takeaway and watching Netflix together could be turned into perfect dates, since you two live together – you just have to be creative and make them special! You could go out food shopping together and then have coffee in a nice coffee shop or you could go together to the library and then go out for dinner.

6. Sleep in separate beds.

It might seem a weird one, but trust me, it’s really important to get a good night sleep when you need to focus on your exams, deadlines and assignments. In student accommodations you often get a single bed (definitely too small for two!) and you end up getting the worst nights of sleep of your life if you share it. It’s ok to cuddle up in the same small bed sometimes, but make sure to allow yourself to get a good and resting sleep!

7. Find time to be alone with yourself.

This last point is connected to the one above: when living together with your partner it’s really important to find some time to dedicate only to yourself, to prevent being overwhelmed by the situation. Therefore, make sure to spend some time alone with yourself. Doing facial masks, reading, listening to your favourite music, it could be anything, as long as you find time to cultivate your interests! This is one of the most important points when dating your housemate. No matter what relationship you’re in, taking time for you will always be vital.

What are some other tips you have for dating your housemate? Let us know in the comments below!

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Anna Maria Colivicchi

Italian girl, currently a Master's student at the University of Warwick. In love with food, art and cats.

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