Let’s talk about sex for a minute. More accurately, let’s talk about sex in your apartment. No shame there. It’s a thing you like to so when you have your own place and no longer have to hang that awful orientation laniard on your door for 5 minutes alone with your S.O. Having your own apartment is a godsend because (unless you’re sharing a room and more power to you if you are) you have just rented yourself a little bit of privacy to be alone with your main squeeze. However, short of never cleaning up a mess and bringing home a family of timber wolves, very few things are as quick to tear apart a healthy roommie dynamic as bad etiquette over a plus one. Below are a few tips for both the lovestruck and their single roommates to make sure that a third wheel doesn’t break the cart.
1. Know when it’s your business.
Remember that adults are entitled to a private life. Does your roommate enjoy company of the overnight variety? Great. S/he is a grown person who is entitled to enjoy such things. Unless there is a non-stop string of people floating in and out of your apartment and it is interfering with your daily life/ safety, there’s no need for any sort of confrontation. Your roommate isn’t doing anything wrong. Don’t feel the need to pry into his/her personal life unless your relationship would allow for it. If your roommate wants to open up about it, s/he will.
2. Know when you’ve made it your roommate’s business.
Having an overnight guest? Have a boy/girlfriend who you can’t stand to be away from? Great. Nothing wrong with it. Can’t stand someone hovering over you asking you a thousand questions about any person who spends the night in your room? You are not alone. However, always make sure that your company remembers at all times that s/he is a guest and needs to act as such. You are inviting disdain and intrusive questions when your company starts doing things like: hogging the bathroom in the morning when other people (who pay rent) need to get to work, basically live in the apartment rent-free and consume utilities without contributing, uses common space/ makes him/herself at home to the point that your roommates can’t use public areas.
3. Keep the PDA to a minimum.
Be aware of your noise level. It is rude as hell to sit in the living room making out and effectively preventing anyone from leaving his/her room for fear of having to watch people suck face. Similarly, if your love noises are keeping people up, lower the volume. It’s an awkward conversation for you to force your roommate to have. Know how loud things are and safe the PDA for private spaces.
4. Don’t slut shame your roommate.
Adults are entitled to a sex life. No questions asked. It is not your business what two (or more) adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms. Unwelcome comments about your roommate’s private life is aggressive and invites conflict. If, say, your roommate consistently comes home blackout drunk with a different person every night and can’t seem to remember anything the next morning, then it may be time for a heart-to- heart. However, if no one is in danger and your day-to-day life isn’t interrupted, butt- out.
5. Recognize that your roommates may not always want your S.O. around 24/7.
Guests and fish, y’all. Sometimes roommates want private time where they don’t feel that they have to entertain or put up a front for people visiting their space. If your S.O. is over every night and you both sit in the living room or kitchen non-stop, don’t get angry if your roommates ask you to occasionally move the party somewhere else. You may be slightly inconsiderate. If your roommates are planning a guy’s night/ gal’s night out (just for roommates), they might get annoyed if you decide last minute to bring Pookie with you. Know that sometimes your friends just want to hang out with you, not you as a couple.
6. Don’t be too demanding of your roommate’s time.
Roommate dinners, movie nights, and gossip sessions are a gift from the extroverted Gods if you’re into them (just watch “The Golden Girls”). However, recognize that paying rent is not a social contract that automatically comes with quotas for spending time together. If your roommate wants to spend more time with his/her S.O. than with you, you may have to accept that. Be supportive and don’t be too demanding. No one likes a nag.