What you learn when you’re the only girl in a boys’ house

I live with my boyfriend and three other boys

I live in a house with four guys. Before the inevitable spill of “I just get on with guys better, I’m just one of the guys”, I don’t and I’m not. Never would I have thought that I’d end up like Jess from New Girl: the only woman in an all-male household.

Interestingly enough last year, in halls, I lived with four girls. Across the corridor from us was a flat of five men with whom I bonded with almost instantly. Four out of five of these men I now live with, one of which has become my boyfriend. Here’s to you if you’re the only girl in your house (and well done for coping with these comments when someone finds out your living arrangements).

But boys are dirtier than girls, how do you cope?!

Honestly, I think I may be one of the messiest in the house. I remember last year, in the boys flat, a picture of a fork on the floor was posted in our group chat with the caption “to whom does this belong?”.

They’re ever so tidy (95% of the time). So, no, boys are not dirtier than girls and I am usually going to be the one they are moaning at to not leave dirty plates on the side or to pull all the hair out of the drain because “it’s all mine anyway”.

I don’t miss girls’ company

I haven’t been exiled! I still have female friends and I still get to see my female friends very often. It has bothered me a few times that I don’t have another girl in the house but only occasionally. A prime example is when I had my first shift with my new manager at my part time job and wanted to make a good impression.

I had woken up to a bit of spotting and realised I had no sanitary towels in the house. Yes, I’ll admit, then I really could have done with another woman. Rushed for time I made a makeshift one with loo roll and proceeded to get ready only to realise I’d forgotten I wasn’t allowed nail varnish at work. I tipped every draw in the house upside down and found no nail varnish remover.

At times like those I definitely could have done with living with women. But other than that dreadful morning, when I cursed men for not having a menstrual cycle or (often) wearing nail varnish, it really hasn’t bothered me much.

There is never a dull moment

From obsessively clicking each other’s backs to the constant abuse (all in good spirit and humour), they are just hilarious to be around. There’s always a very positive atmosphere in the house which makes coming home really nice.

There isn’t a weird atmosphere

We are all friends so it’s a very normal atmosphere. I think a lot of this atmosphere stems not just from the fact we all get on so well, but it’s also from how honest we all are with each other.

If something upsets or irritates one of us, we just come out and say it. It’s a really healthy way to deal with any issues which inevitably arise because there are no pent up grudges and everyone knows where they stand.

Nine times out of ten that person is likely to agree that “yes, you’re right, we don’t need the heating on 23 hours a day” or “yes, I’m sorry, I know my washing up has been on the side for two days, I’ve been really busy but I’ll sort it now”. It’s a lot better than silence and holding it all in.

Living with my boyfriend isn’t as big a deal as you may think

We practically lived together last year (it’s how we met) so it would actually have felt more strange and a bit of a step backwards to then go to living in different buildings. We both have our own rooms (on different floors!).

I think this is really important – having your own space to go to. Honestly I can’t imagine not living with him. We live with our best friends and I wouldn’t wish for a single one of us to be apart. We’ve signed our contract to see us through into our third year in the same house together.

Of course this is all probably more about living with the right people, rather than the gender of said people, so it would be a rather sweeping statement to say living with boys is easier than living with girls. But I have found some friends who I get on with so well irrespective of their gender and so yes, I am the only girl in my household.

I think at heart I am a girls’ girl. But the majority of my friends at uni have ended up being male. In secondary school I was in a mixed friendship group, pretty much an equal split of girls and boys. Come sixth form, this changed; I became part of a tight knight girl-group. As much as I loved this, I knew at university I wanted to have male friends as well.

It’s better to have a balance and I missed having male friends. With guys you tend to get this no-nonsense attitude – and that’s necessary.

They look after me, make sure I don’t walk home after dark alone, battle off creepy guys for me, tell me when I look stupid, need to pull my top up, need to get some sleep, will need a jacket out or need to get off the sofa and do some work.