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How to survive dating your housemate

25th February 2013

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Maybe it’s because we’re surrounded by peers with the same interests as us, or maybe it’s just because we’re terrified about where our lives are going after graduating. Whatever the reason is, almost everyone’s hooking up at university.

But what if you’ve ended up living with your boyfriend/girlfriend in student housing? Perhaps you became friends with them in the first year and a big group of you decided to get a house together next year, before things started heating up? Or maybe it was intentional. You love each other, right? So what’s the problem with living together?

However, sometimes it’s tricky. Want your relationship to survive your living arrangements? Here’s how…

The Big Arguments

There’s no point denying it happens; every couple argues. But shouting at each other can get a bit uncomfortable for your other housemates. First, make sure you don’t involve them in on the argument. This is a given, I know, but it’s sometimes hard to resist asking your friend to back you up. Hold yourself back though, or the whole house will be at each other’s throats. Second, if the entire house can hear you screaming at each other it’ll make them feel extremely awkward. Just like at school, if you can’t use inside voices you’ve got to go outside. Go for a walk. Go somewhere you can really tear each other to shreds. Don’t make your housemates feel bad for hearing your problems. Remember: they’re friends with both of you and can’t take sides.

PDAL (Public Displays of Affection in the Lounge)

You’re in love, it’s wonderful! You want to kiss each other all of the time. I get it. But don’t you just hate it with other people do that? When watching a film in the lounge with the whole house, you don’t want to be that couple, the ones whose legs are wrapped together like vines and who just can’t stop touching. This isn’t to say you can’t be affectionate, just don’t go overboard when in front of your friends - save it for the bedroom.

Making Time for Yourself

Having the person you love in the same house as you can be distracting, especially when you have uni work to do. All you need to remember is that space is important, so try not to get offended when he/she asks for time alone to complete an essay or do some reading. If you’re both struggling to get work done, plan your time together. You live together but you may have separate rooms. Get your work done in the day time/early evening either in your own bedrooms or at the library, and reward yourself for being such good students by spending the evening together. Also, by living together so early, it may feel like you’ve rushed into a huge commitment. Try to keep things light and fun – we’re still young!

If it all goes wrong

You might not want to think about it. No one does. But just in case you do split up it’s important to remember a few things. First of all, you’re both adults, so even if he/she really upset you, try your hardest not to be childish - don’t let making them jealous be your biggest aim. The best thing you can do is give each other time and space. This will be hard because you live together so maybe, initially, stay a night or two at a friend’s house. Going home is also a good idea as seeing family is usually a great remedy. When things have cooled off remember why you became friends with this person in the first place and begin to work on your friendship together.

We hope these tips are useful to your relationship. As long as you remember to have fun with both your boyfriend/girlfriend and your housemates, you’ll all be able to survive.

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