Each share-house is unique, but there are a number of unspoken rules that come with the territory, the biggest of all being this one:
Don’t sleep with your flatmate.
We’ve all seen the awkwardness that ensues when a workplace romance ends, so it’s not hard to imagine the potential impacts of a share house tryst. That late-night rendezvous can quickly spiral into nightmares for weeks.
It might seem weird to be this invested in your flatmates’ sex lives, but the concern isn’t completely unfounded. Their casual relationship could quickly turn sour, potentially dragging the entire house dynamic down.
So, if you’ve recently noticed the flirting between your flatmates has picked up and you’re concerned it could lead to the bedroom, here’s how to handle the situation without putting anyone off-side.
Handing out a chastity belt to each flatmate isn’t the solution and to a lesser extent, neither is telling each other what to do. Let’s face it, telling someone they can’t do something will only drive the curiosity further.
In the end, it will either happen or it won’t. Sex between flatmates isn’t guaranteed to ruin the vibe of the whole household. Perhaps all they need is to get it out of their system…
Not unless you let it. It’s true that if you’re friends with your flatmates, it can be easy to get caught up in their lives. They might expect you to take their side when things go pear-shaped or to listen for hours (or weeks!) to them complain about the other person — who might actually be someone you quite enjoy having as a flatmate.
The best way to avoid the drama is to let things run their course and stay out of it. Be as objective as you can in your own mind and if necessary, explain to whoever wants a shoulder to cry on that you don’t want to talk about it, let alone get involved.
In many cases, the deed will be done and the household will continue on as if nothing ever happened. So don’t sweat the various possibilities before they even happen.
Sometimes, the flatmates decide to go back for seconds or even thirds. In some households, it won’t matter either way. But in others, where the flatmates are close or spend time together, it can cause others to feel left out and change the dynamic dramatically.
On the other hand, you might feel more comfortable to just wait it out — nothing lasts forever, after all, especially not the first flash of love (or lust). This too will pass and once it does, your flatmates are likely to fall back into the old patterns of hanging out with the rest of your gang. Give it time.
If the romance blossoms into something more than just a casual thing, you might have more to consider. Depending on how everyone feels, you may be happy to adjust to living with a couple, but if not, it might be time to discuss the possibility of their (or your) moving to a new place to preserve the friendship.
Where does the awkwardness stem? The flatmates doing the dirty or those they live with? If the problem lies with the other flatmate’s anxiety that things will get weird, it might be time to reassess the situation
One thing’s for sure: your home should be a place where you enjoy spending time, so if any flatmate is uncomfortable in the space, it’s time to stop and work out how to fix that. Sitting down as a group and having an honest chat about it can help so long as whoever is uncomfortable is okay discussing their feelings and can pinpoint what it actually is that makes them uneasy.
Should things actually get weird and it’s affecting everyone in the house, it could be time for one or both to move out. It’s important to recognise when it’s time to move on and have a frank conversation with the household.
Are you kidding? All those crazy thoughts and now you wanna get in on the action?