Is it OK to date your flatmate?
Don’t get drunk and do something stupid
Everyone’s told when starting uni “Don’t shit where you eat”. Doing the dirty with one of your flatmates (or housemates) is one of the most controversial things you can do as an undergrad. But what if you start first year and your perfect match is living in the room next to yours? Here’s what you need to think about before jumping in, genitals first.
Is it just a fling?
When asked for her opinion on handling fit housemates, Lily – who resisted her crush on a flatmate in first year – told us: “Don’t play them around, everyone will hate you for it”.
If you think they’re really hot and just want to hook up with them for the night, please don’t. By having a meaningless fling with someone in your flat it will more than likely lead to tears and a lot of hate from your other flatmates. Take some time to think before you jump into bed with them just because they look good on a night out. Making it clear what you want is essential. If your heart isn’t in it, make sure they’re aware of that.
Explore other options on campus first
Abbie lived with a couple in her first year flat. Her advice to anyone else planning on putting someone in a similarly awkward position? “Look outside your flat”.
There’s a whole world of other potential partners roaming around on campus, so don’t just fall for the first person you see. Take a few weeks to explore and settle in rather that wanting a flatmate just because they helped you move your stuff into your room and complimented your poster.
Think it through
Ben was in a relationship with his flatmate in first year at Cardiff before they both moved into the same house (with four other friends). He said: “It was definitely a good decision, until the end when there was a bit of awkwardness”.
Living with your partner may be hard enough at late teens or early twenties, but breaking up with them while living meters apart can also be challenging. Think about how it will work and whether you’re both willing to try.
Know the difference between beer goggles and real feelings
Aaron, a third year, lived with a couple for one year. “I saw my housemates kissing and then they stopped, like nothing had happened”. Turns out, Tesco Value vodka does bad things for the brain. Don’t let your other flatmates find you at 3am in the kitchen absolutely plastered and basically humping.
Don’t drag your other flatmates into it
“You need to have some established ground rules” says Hannah, a fourth year who lived with a couple. As much as your BFF in the flat loves gossip, leave them out of it. A relationship shouldn’t be plastered over anything, especially not your flat’s group chat.
If you argue, keep it quiet and don’t get the rest of the flat involved through passive-aggressive digs on the WhatsApp group. It will be awkward enough living with a flat couple: they don’t need to listen to your drama while they’re trying to order Dominoes.
Don’t be ‘that’ flat couple
Alana, a graduate from Surrey, has words of warning for any couples who don’t want to find they’ve got no friends left post-break up. “Don’t spend all of your time together, make sure you still see your other friends”.
No matter how early or late you get into a flat relationship, make sure you realise there are other people around you. By making your time in the flat less intense, you could make the time you spend together more special.