Finally! You have found the perfect apartment after many weeks of hunting. You are only a 10-minute walk away from Trader Joes, the L train is just a short walk away, there is in-unit laundry, and best of all… a dishwasher sits comfortably next to the fridge. Your days of hand washing the dishes are finally over. It is almost too good to be true. Though, with it being a two bedroom, you must suddenly scramble to find a roommate. Searching through Facebook becomes tedious and you’re tired of talking about your interests — it all feels like a bad dating game. That’s until you come across the supposedly ideal candidate: they’re your age, incredibly anal when it comes to cleaning, enjoy shared meals, doesn’t party too often… The only thing is that they’re the opposite gender!
You’ve had your fair share of co-ed friend groups, lived with your partner and their roommates for a few months during your sophomore year of college, and don’t necessarily mind living with the opposite gender. But, you’re hesitant. How do you navigate this? Will it work out or will you have to have the dreaded conversation that entails parting ways six months into the twelve-month lease?
AreaVibes, a company that assists people in finding the best cities to live in the US and Canada, compiled a list of statistics regarding co-ed cohabitations. Don’t worry, though. We have sifted through their research and figured out some of the pros and cons of a co-ed living scenario in order to help cruise through your concerns.
PRO: DATING ADVICE IS ALWAYS READILY AVAILABLE
According to AreaVibes, men and women are almost as equally willing to lend their ear about dating around. Sure, you have that group chat with your friends where you can comfortably spill the beans, but it’s much easier to get advice right there and then. Especially when it’s dire.
The good thing about having a roommate of the opposite gender is that they will always be available to give you advice about that one Tinder match you can’t seem to navigate. You know, the one that could potentially be your next partner. Maybe it’s the opposite. Going through a breakup? That’s fine. Just knock on your roommate’s door and BOOM, you have an in-home therapist right at your fingertips!
Getting a third-party perspective from someone that spends a lot time with you can be extra helpful. Your roomie gets to see you in an environment no one else does, so they are able to have that additional insight. Men know how men think, women know how women think. Sounds straightforward, no?
CON: THEY SAID THEY WERE TIDY… BUT…
Your roommate swore up and down that they were cognizant about cleaning the common spaces. You have made it very clear time after time that you can’t function with hair in the sink and dust bunnies inhabiting the living room. When you finally took the chance living in a co-ed roommate scenario, you did not imagine the space would be a wreck for most of the week. This is NOT what you signed up for.
Between 60-70% of women often leave trails of hair behind on surfaces and around 75% of men frequently leave both the living room and kitchen a mess, reports AreaVibes. We’re talking about a pretty equal amount of fault here with either gender, so it is important to keep open and clear communication regarding our expectations. Your roomie will never be able to read your mind, so being passive aggressive and expecting them to fulfill your covert contracts will never work. We recommend establishing a chore list. I know it seems juvenile, but they’re a great reminder to both you and the roomie that you must pull your weight 50/50 when it comes to tidiness.
PRO: THE LIKELIHOOD OF THERE BEING LEFTOVERS IS HIGH
Having a roommate that is a fantastic cook is always a plus. After a long day at work all you want to do is come home, get into sweats, and order in some Chinese. Preparing a meal seems like too daunting of a task. I get it. But in reality, that adds up over time and an empty bank account with a bunch of UberEats charges is not a pretty sight. AreaVibes states that both women and men are 75-82% likely to leave their leftovers for grabs after cooking.
Great news, right? Don’t rely on this all the time, though. Be prepared to share your leftovers and be willing to help with group dinners. Even transactions will always make life easier. Plus, it won’t make your roommate feel like they’re doing all the work all the time! Possible fight number 3495 avoided.
CON: IT’S POSSIBLE YOU MAY WANT TO HOOKUP… DON’T
The frequency of awkward encounters with a roommate of the opposite gender seem to vary according to AreaVibes’ data. Although, it’s bound to happen at some point or another for whatever reason. One of those scenarios could very likely be something along the lines of a hookup. Actually, that is one of the most common reasons.
If you find yourself attracted to your roommate, it poses a very tricky situation. Even worse if they reciprocate. Convenience finds itself coming into play once again. You’re around, they’re around, what’s the harm in getting together?
In the grand scheme of things, it’s very possible that it may work out. But, it’s more likely that it won’t and then you’ll just be stuck with someone you definitely do not want to be around. The awkward morning coffees will be unbearable and you’ll find yourself avoiding them at every cost. Also take into consideration the time when you decide to move your separate ways and a new partner comes into the picture on either end. How do you navigate their presence in your home? It is supposed to be your safe haven, so keep it that way!
Carly is a freelance writer with interest in topics pertaining to lifestyle blogging, social justice, and anything to do with film/media. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a degree in English & Literary studies in hopes to write for a large music publication. When she is not writing, you can find her watching movies, cooking her famous Carbonara, and enjoying time outdoors.