What it’s like to sleep with your housemate, from people who’ve done it

‘I had season five of Game of Thrones on my hard drive – he hadn’t seen it’


Don’t shag your flatmate – it’s something you’ve been warned since the days before you first stepped foot into any sort of co-living situation.

Whether at uni or in the wider world, opening the Pandora’s box of intra-flat relations will inevitably only lead to months of awkward kitchen bump-ins and tearful fights in the corridor. Or will it?

We spoke to some people who have actually done it and come out of the other side, to see if sleeping with your housemate really is the friendship-ruining faux pas you’ve been made to believe it is.

Elle

How did it come about?

We were on a night out and it was only a couple of us out – it just happened. I’d secretly fancied him for a while.

flat1

Did it come as a shock?

No, the tension had been building and building and building for months: it was only a matter of time. When you live with someone, the attraction is way more intense, because you spend far too much time with them.

Things the next morning were absolutely fine. We were good friends and I don’t think either of us were embarrassed or really regretted it.

Was it awkward?

Really awkward actually. I think we even had a discussion about how awkward it was, and how it was like that scene from Friends where Joey and Rachel really want to shag but just can’t.

Luckily we ended up in the same situation again, and it was much better then.

What did your other housemates say?

They loved it. Everyone loves it when there’s flat gossip that isn’t about them. Of course they spent the next few months trying to make it awkward at every single opportunity.

Did it harm your friendship?

Honestly, no. It didn’t harm our friendship at all, weirdly. Naturally, once both of us got with other people, our friendship became way less intense, and a bit more civil, and way less flirty.

flat7

Emma

How did it come about?

We were drunk at Freshers’, away from home for the first time and grew close. He wasn’t my type at all, so it was very surprising when it happened.

Where did it go afterwards?

We dated for all of first year, but the awkwardness really started in second year, where we still had to live together after we’d broken up.

What was the most awkward moment?

He didn’t deal with well – he once got in a fight with a group of rugby lads he thought I was going to sleep with. It was so messy.

Were your other flatmates bothered?

Yes, it was terribly awkward, especially on nights out when arguments would happen.

Ryan

How did it come about?

We always used to share a bed. We were very drunk one night after a friend’s birthday, and it just ended up happening. I can’t say it was a massive surprise.

flat8

What was it like afterwards?

It wasn’t too awkward to be honest, it never changed our friendship. It was probably the most awkward the next morning, and after we discussed it and said it couldn’t happen again it was chilled.

Until it happened again, after which I had to just put a stop to it.

Were there any awkward situations?

We never had awkward situations and people never found out, so while it seems like the biggest deal as long as you’re sensible and understand it as a fling it’s fine. You can sleep with your flatmate just as you can sleep with a friend.

Hannah

How did it come about?

A combination of prescription meds and too much time alone together, really.

What happened next?

In the weeks afterwards it was great, because we started dating. Then it all went sour.

flat9

Did your friendship survive?

No, not at all. It completely destroyed it – but given how things ended up, I’m glad to have him out of my life

Amy

How did it come about?

It was the week after Freshers’ and we had been flirting as soon as we met, but I insisted I’d never go there with a flatmate. However, after getting ridiculously drunk in a club we ended up kissing and went home and slept together.

I was shocked because even before I’d started uni I said I’d never do that.

Was it awkward?

It was kind of awkward at first – we didn’t know what to say to each other. We ended up sleeping together again and actually ended up dating for the remainder of the year, much to our other flatmates’ disgust.

feel like it wasn’t as awkward because something actually came out of it, otherwise I think it would have ruined everything!

flat6

What did your other flatmates say?

We kept it a secret for a couple of weeks because we didn’t want everyone to freak out about it, obviously. There was still a shit ton of tension in the living area, though.

When it eventually came out because he couldn’t hide it anymore, they accused us of making things awkward and said it could potientially ruin everyone’s year, which I thought was pretty dramatic.

From then on everyone sort of tiptoed around us or wouldn’t come make food in the kitchen if it was just us, even though we were literally just sat there eating.

Jenny

How did it come about?

Long story short, I had season five of Game of Thrones on my hard drive and he hadn’t seen it. I offered to catch him up. One episode turned into two, etc etc. Who says romance is dead?

Was it a big surprise?

Not really. I think we knew from the start we liked the look of each other – there was definitely a flirty vibe and a sense we both knew something was going to happen sooner or later.

How awkward was it?

It was only awkward in that ‘oh my god I just slept with that person and they’ve seen me naked’ sense and not for very long. It wasn’t just the once, either, which meant it faded pretty quickly as well. Everyone kind of knew and there was a bit of teasing but for the most part it was just not a big deal.

How were things like the next morning?

I can’t even remember. I’m pretty sure we both just went to lectures and life went on as normal. Bit boring of us really.

flat4

How were the weeks afterwards?

Again, it was a casual thing for a while. It got a bit messy when he got back together with his ex-girlfriend a month or two down the line and we had to kind of try and figure out how to be friends and not fuck about anymore.

There were some really difficult times because of that, but ultimately we were too close to let it mess with our friendship. Also we’re both quite private people, so if we ever did have arguments we had them in private and tried to keep it mostly between us so it didn’t really affect anyone else too much (I think.)

Did it harm your friendship?

Not exactly – he’s actually now my boyfriend.

Names have been changed.