It’s 11:30 p.m.. You and your date have decided it’s time to move to a more private space. You go back to your place ready for some QT in front of the TV, but are instead greeted by your roommate in their PJs and glasses. It’s a tale as old as time — or at least the ‘90s.
A recent report found that in 2016, nearly twice as many people ages 18 to 34 were living with non-familial adults than did in 1975. A whopping 18 percent of us cohabitate with another unrelated adult, i.e. a roommate. And with these shared territories come rules, including those for bringing an S.O., potential S.O., or date over. But these agreed-upon terms are far from universal. Below, seven people share how they handle having room to hang while having roommates.
“Sometimes it’s like, ‘Hey, I was thinking so-and-so could sleep over tomorrow if you don’t mind’ and sometimes it’ll be, ‘is it OK if so-and-so comes over?’ We always warn each other. I personally prefer going to the other person’s place so I don’t have to deal with the ask or the tell. [I’ve found] their roommate usually doesn’t know I’m coming until I’m there.” —Nicole*, 25
“I don’t bring people home right now because I’m living with a 66-year-old retiree. We giggle and we talk about dating, but I’d never bring a man home.” —Allison, 26
“Jokingly, we wrote down when we moved in [together] that when you were having sex, it had to be so quiet no one could hear or so loud everyone could. But it’s not something we stick to much anymore.” —Michael, 24
“We usually just let each other know if something is going to be going down. We’re really chill about it. I don’t usually bring anyone home until I know them better, because my space [is my space], but if my roommate does, I’ll make myself scarce, especially if it’s a first-date situation.” —Hannah, 27
“I’ve lived with the same group of girls for four years now. Sometimes there will be multiple dates in the apartment and we’ll cook breakfast together. The worst part is that I had to get a TV in my bedroom because at one point, all three of us had boyfriends and we had to jockey for the prime spot in the living room.” —Julia, 25
“My roommates may have heard me having sex in my old apartment. [Mine] was an added bedroom off of the living room, which definitely affected my sex hours. Like if we started feeling it in the early evening, and everybody was in the living room, we may have resisted the urge.” —Jon, 28
“In my old place, we were just mature. I’d known these guys since freshman year [of college]. We were on the same page that we wanted [ours] be an adult place. I heard some things sometimes, but it wasn’t awkward for me. I’d just put on my headphones and go to bed. Now I’m living with family. I can’t bring home anyone real, because I have not come out to them yet.” —Adam, 25
*Names have been changed to protect innocent daters.