Have you ever dated a guy, and on the third date found out that he doesn’t live alone? At first you picture him living in his parents basement, but you’re into the dude, the vibe is right and you debate in your head whether your willing to settle. Then he says he doesn’t live with his parents and you hope for the love-of-Chanel that he doesn’t have his ex living on his couch (the one who didn’t get away, a la Miranda and Steve circa Sex and the City Season 4). But then he tells you he lives with another roommate (insert image of Ernie and Bert here) and there it goes. You instantly imagine a frat house like environment, complete with bongs on the counter tops, dishes left in the sink, fridges filled only with juice and expired milk and over everything, you picture no privacy.
Just the knowledge that there is another guy around makes you worry how all your behaviours will be supervised. Goodbye fantasy image of making-out on the couch, hello negative thoughts of professing your feelings over The Talk with this new man (and much courage and pre in-front-of-mirror practice) only to have his roommate walk in to ruin the moment, completely oblivious.
Since University, I have never dated a guy with a roommate. This isn’t a coincidence. The idea of always having another guy around isn’t one I’m comfortable with. I think that it creates an unnatural environment where you can’t just be yourself. You have to make small talk with another person (potentially mid-fight when said roommate walks in – again, oblivious – with a big smile while all you feel is anger). You could get in after a night out with your man, ready to pounce on him and then who is there sitting watching TV insisting you watch this sports highlight, not taking no for an answer: you got it…roommate boy!
Picture the stages of getting closer with a guy:
– waking up in his oversized t-shirt and heading to the kitchen to make a coffee in nothing but that.
– enjoying the behind closed doors kind of stuff and using your vocal cords to share just how much you’re enjoying it.
– watching chick flicks on the couch, while sharing the same kleenex.
– sitting on the couch cuddling.
– showing up late nights to meet up with your man.
– embracing an intimate moment (whether it be a serious conversation, sharing tears and secrets).
None of the above can happen freely when your dude has another roommate because suddenly all these behaviours are judged. Your guy – conscious that there’s another guy in the house – has to keep up with his macho persona, and from what I’ve heard from girls who have dated guys with roommates, it’s as if they are dating two different guys; the one they fell for and the one who puts on a show in front of his friends.
What about a guy who lives solo when you start dating (with stints here and there of you staying at his place and him at yours) whose lease expires and boyfriend drops the ‘I-may-move-in-with-a-buddy-to-save-rent-money’ bomb on you?
In our twentysomethings, the relationships we form with men are one’s with substance. We’re out of University, we’ve had a heartache or two, and we are ready to settle down, open to the idea of finding The One. These days, if we don’t see a future with the guy we’re dealing with, we are quicker to cut it off so as not to lead the guy on and more importantly to not ‘waste their time’ (or ours). Imagine, you’re almost a year into the relationship, you’re preparing in your head when to have the ‘want to move in together’ talk, and boyfriend drops the ‘I-may-move-in-with-a-buddy-to-save-rent money’ bomb on you. Ouch. You instantly wonder if he’ll ever grow up. Because let’s face it, guys with roommates have a bad rap. If you argue he can run off to the other room, into the arms of his buddy, stopping you from voicing your opinion. He can ignore or push aside talks claiming ‘my roommate is in the other room, let’s discuss this later.’ The roommate becoming the perfect escape.
The guys who want another roomate aren’t the serious, looking-for-something kind of guys. They are keeping themselves in a frat-like place, a stalemate position, where video games and constant company reign supreme. Now I’m not saying you should forbid your blonde self from falling for a guy who shares his roof with another, i’m just saying you should make sure your ‘moments’ are shared at your place to prevent interruption or a fake face.
– Jenny Jen