Maybe Marti Knows?? Week 3: Should I date my roommate?

Image via Flickr Creative Commons, by freestocks.org

Hey Marti!

So I’m going through a few big changes right now. I’m finally moving out and will be paying rent. (yes, I’m 24 and am just now starting to be an adult..lol) I found a roommate and will be subletting a room from this really cool guy!

But here’s the thing.. we matched on Bumble before we signed! He’s a guy around my age in the tech industry and is pretty cute. I took a poll from friends and it’s split down the middle: some say I should go for it, while others say DO NOT it will be a nightmare! I’m leaning toward not, but here’s the other thing. I kinda want to give him a hard time about it because I have a dark sense of humor and think it’s hilarious that we matched and are now stuck together in a lease. Like.. what are the odds?!

Anyway, let me know what you think.. is it too soon to joke about something like that to a brand new roommate/stranger?

Sincerely,

Roommate or Bumble Bro?


Dear Roommate or Bumble Bro,

Yikes. This sounds like something out of a sitcom. The pretty, eager girl moves to the big city and finds her dream apartment, but then, oh no, her roommate is a hottie with a body!! The sexual tension! The sparks! The accidental bras left out to dry!

If I were watching this play out on my TV I would be all in (especially if one of you had a dark, secret past or a scar of mysterious origin), but since this is your real, actual life and not a show I can yell at from the comfort of my couch, I’d say we should sort through the pros and cons of dating your roommate. I wish I had a whiteboard to write on.

The pros, as I see them, are that this guy is cute and conveniently located. Usually it’s one or the other. You almost always have to commute for cute. But this dude is right down the hall. You got a spider that needs killing? You got a dress that needs zipping? You got a back pimple that needs popping? Just give him a holler. You guys can makeout all the time and then order Thai food. Sign me up for that life.

BUT, there some clear cons. The first and biggest of which being that if you get all romantic and things don’t work out, you’re stuck in the same space with no hope of escape until the lease runs out. I won’t even go to my favorite bar because I’m worried about running into my ex, I can’t imagine not being able to go to the fridge. That would kill me.

Moving in with a new roommate is hard enough without also dealing with sexual undertones. You have to figure out shower schedules, toilet paper preferences, and who’s going to get sacrificed if the ghost who owned the place before you comes back for revenge as they’re known to do.

And even if it does work out, and you guys are awesome together, you’ll still end up compromising a lot of the great things that come with living on your own for the first time.

Moving out means being your own boss. You can go out whenever you want, go dancing or drinking or for a little solo brunch session and not have to worry about letting anybody know when you’ll be back. You can go to bed at 4 a.m. and eat cake for dinner every night and never have to explain why you’re not using a fork. You can buy a beanbag chair and immediately regret it without anyone saying “I told you so”.

Paying rent sucks a lot, but with it comes a sense of freedom and fun that you just wouldn’t get living with someone that you’re dating.

Don’t get me wrong, cohabitation is awesome! Like I said, makeouts and Thai food! But when couples decide to move in together, it usually comes after a period of getting to know each other from the comfort and safety of separate spaces. Living with someone you also kiss is a big, scary step that I wouldn’t advise just jumping into.

That being said, if it’s meant to be, it’ll probably happen. As cheesy as it sounds, (I promise, I’m rolling my eyes at myself) love finds a way.

If if there’s a mutual, consensual attraction and connection, no amount of professional conduct and pants on in shared spaces is going to stop an ill-advised romance from taking root. Love is weird and rude and inconvenient and doesn’t much care for rules and practicality.

Teasing him about the bumble match is definitely the easiest way to defuse any prefaced weirdness. Just be casual and breezy, and try to get him to laugh with you about it (even if that laughter is forced and accompanied by flop sweat). Be honest, be kind, and try to build a nice open communication that’ll serve you as roommates, lovers, or ghost busters.

Pay your rent on time, don’t leave dishes in the sink for more than a day, and most importantly be proud of yourself for all you’ve accomplished. Whether this guy is your true love, a weirdo down the hall, or just some rando dude you share a sink with, you’re still doing the damn thing with a key of your own and a place to hang your coat.

To be honest, you’re crushing it, and I hope you buy yourself some nice expensive scented candles, turn up the music, and dance around your new room for at least 27 minutes. It’s all yours, baby. Celebrate it.

Marti

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