Monday, 24 December 2012
When my classmate’s sister, Alice, was a freshman in college, the university placed her in a triple dorm room with two other freshmen, Kate and Sharon. Alice, Kate, and Sharon had never met prior to their move-in date, but very soon after they moved in, Kate and Sharon became close – very close. Kate and Sharon were both lesbians and were very attracted to one another. By mid-November, Kate and Sharon were dating.
Alice, the third wheel to this relationship, would sometimes come back from class to find Kate and Sharon spooning in Kate’s bed and stroking each other’s hair; sometimes, they would be doing things that were a lot more intimate. This situation made her very uncomfortable, and she eventually requested a room change because she could not tolerate having to constantly walk in her room and see her two roommates doing intimate things with each other.
Situations like these may sometimes arise when a person lives with roommates. What happens when two people who are roommates form a romantic relationship? Sometimes, it creates tensions within the house or the apartment, especially if there are additional roommates sharing the living quarters with them. Will two roommates dating cause the other roommates to feel isolated, left out, or lonely? Will it create many uncomfortable situations in the house or apartment when other roommates see or walk in on the couple doing things that may not have been intended for other people to see?
In any relationship, there is also a likelihood that the couple will break up. What if the couple breaks up while they are still roommates? What will the breakup mean to other people living with them? When I was still in college, a group of my friends, two men and three women, decided to get a house together for one school year. One of the men and one of the women were dating at the time they all signed the lease, but they broke up early into their time living together. Tensions in the house were high as the two of them had to live together every day for the rest of the school year while being broken up, and the other housemates did not appreciate having to live with two people who still held bitter feelings towards one another and refused to talk to one another much of the time.
Another group of my friends, consisting of two women and three men, rented a house together for what ended up being two school years. In order to avoid awkward situations involving dating between housemates, at the beginning of their time living together, they all agreed that there would be no dating within the house. Everybody stuck to his or her word in the agreement, and these people, for the most part, got along very well as roommates and had a pleasant two years living together.
How do you feel about the idea of roommates or housemates dating one another while they are still living together? Do you believe it is best to avoid the situation altogether, or are there situations where it would be okay?