One of the hardest adjustments one makes their freshman year is learning how to live with a roommate, unless you’re lucky enough to snag a single room. Learning how to live with another person (especially a stranger) can be tricky. Learning how to date and respect your roommate at the same time is one of the most difficult aspects. 

Whether it’s a dorm, your fraternity or sorority house, an apartment or any other sort of group living situation on campus, it’s always important to figure out how to live together peacefully. When it comes to dating and meeting new people, the rules seem to get trickier. The following guidelines should help you keep the peace at your pad while dating freely. 

  1. Let your roommate know when you intend on having someone stop by. We all have those nights when we pull out the pajamas extra early or nights we intend on getting zero sleep because we’re studying for the hardest exam of the semester. To say the least, it’s not always a night for company. If you’re planning on having someone of interest stay the night or stop by for movie night, give your roommate the heads up and make sure they’re okay with it.
  2. If you’re going to stay out extra late or at someone else’s place – let your roommate know. We all have a huge feeling of independence once we get to school. We no longer have to constantly check in with our parents and we no longer have curfews. It is, however, common courtesy to let your roommate know where you are, especially if she/he is used to hearing from you often. When your roommate hasn’t seen you for a day or two or expected you home earlier, they may start to worry about you! They’re not your mom or dad and they’re not going to ground you, but keeping them informed will at least let them know what’s up so they don’t expect the worst.
  3. Keep it PG in public domains. No one likes being the third wheel or witnessing a tongue a mile down someone else’s throat, so if you’re having a date back at your place keep that stuff contained in your room. Even if your roommate isn’t home, keep in mind that they could walk through the door any moment. So if you’re in the living room, kitchen, etc., try to keep it to cuddling and maybe the occasional kiss if you really can’t resist each other.  
  4. If things become rated R, keep it private and keep it quiet. Not everyone in college is sleeping with someone else, but if you ever decide to make that decision you need to respect your roommate. Even if they claim that its okay, walking in or hearing something happening is always awkward.
  5. Find out what your roommate is and isn’t comfortable with. At one time or another you probably sat down and had the birds and the bees talk with your mom or dad. It’s going to be just as awkward, but sitting down and drawing out boundaries with your roommate about what she or he isn’t comfortable with in the apartment is necessary if you want to remain on good terms throughout the year. Preparation is the best tool in avoiding an awkward living situation.

By following these five guidelines, you’re set to conquer the dating world while keeping your roommate happy. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re sharing a bedroom or sleep on opposite sides of the apartment, keeping the person you live with comfortable in their own living quarters is extremely important. A happy roommate makes a happy home!