“Three’s a crowd”: one student’s thoughts on navigating a relationship and a roommate

Andrea Hammack

Staff Writer


Sharing your space with one or more people can prove to be difficult in and of itself, but adding your significant other to the mix can create a whole new series of nightmares. 

Having roommates while in a relationship definitely has its ups and downs, depending on how the situation is handled. 

Some pros to having a significant other while living with roommates could be that:

­—You have someone who sees you with your SO probably on a daily basis, and you might feel as if you have someone to talk to when you are having relationship troubles. 

Having a roommate automatically gives you a confidante when you need one or someone you can complain to when your SO is being frustrating. 

—If you’re lucky, and you have a roommate who respects your privacy and is flexible, making time to hang out with your partner will be made a lot easier. 

—You get to extend your friend group and include both your roommate and SO in activities and get comfortable with each other. 

Though there are many different pros, there are some unfortunate cons that come along with having a roommate while in a relationship.

—If you are good friends with your roommate, jealousy or hurt feelings may arise. 

Though you might spend a lot of time around your roommate, being in a relationship can sometimes avert your attention from friends (this is most likely unintentional, but nevertheless, it happens).

—Your roommate might be understanding of your relationship, but they will still need to have their time and space respected, as well. 

This means that though they don’t mind you having your SO over, they will still probably want them gone by a certain time.

—If both you and your SO have roommates, it can also be hard to have personal time with each other. 

If that is important to your relationship, then it can be stressful.

There are a plethora of problems that can emerge, unless there is communication with all parties involved. 

However, we’ve thought of some ways to avoid trouble with your roommate and SO:

—Set specific boundaries between you and your roommate as soon as possible. 

The sooner everyone has talked through what they expect, the easier it will be on everyone. For example, if the rule is that you get to have your SO stay over, but they can’t walk around in just their underwear, then that’s an agreement that can be easily followed. 

—Plan some way that your roommate and partner can get together and get to know each other. 

The better the relationship they have, the better they can communicate and respect each other (though this bond shouldn’t overstep boundaries). 

—Schedule times with your roommate and friends to hang out. 

Show your roommate that though this other person has entered your life, you are still their roommate and friend first and you’ll always be there for them. 

The big thing to take away is that communication is key. Make sure you establish a continuous dialogue between you, your partner, and your roommate.

They will both appreciate the whole situation more if they both feel included. 

Everyone deals with situations like this all the time during their college life — however, as long as the situation is handled with patience and understanding, everyone can coexist and live in a peaceful environment. 

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