In today’s economy a lot of people are sharing apartments and homes. Having roommates is very common and in some cities, wholly necessary. However many people who are couples choose to live alone.
I own a townhome with my fiance and we rent out the spare bedroom to a good friend. He’s fun, and kind, but having a roommate does not come without issues or complications—ESPECIALLY when you are a couple. The roommate becomes the third wheel, while being fun to hang out with can often get in the way of romance or walk in on serious conversations.
Just thought I’d list the top 10 most significant annoyances or changes living with a 3rd wheel will bring you.
10. Disagreements can become awkward 3-way conversations. There are things our housemate does, personal habits, that make me extremely uncomfortable and irritated. However, to change a habit everyone in the house/apartment has to agree that the habit is an annoying one (like leaving dirty underwear on the couch—big no no). Sometimes your opinion won’t be enough, but it will bother you enough that your significant other will step in to mediate. Then you have three people all talking to each other about annoying habits instead of sitting down and having an honest group discussion.
9. Laundry privacy mishaps. It’s weird when other people see my laundry. It’s even weirder when your roommate of the opposite sex decides to do laundry without telling you and opens the dryer to see an array of all of your lacey, sporty, pretty, or even see-through undergarments. It is not fun to have a 3rd wheel housemate that probably knows what you’ll be wearing if you were to “get it on”.
8. Indecency. No, not the kind you’re thinking of. Being a couple, we try to be discrete about everything around our housemate. I try not to leave any bras laying around the house like I did back when we lived alone (I have a habit of changing wherever I happen to be in the house, don’t judge me!). I make sure everything is covered and don’t wear my skimpy pajama shorts and tank tops outside of the bedroom. However, the 3rd wheel might not take the hint and dress like a slob. I often see ass crack. I don’t even see my own fiance’s ass crack as often as I see my housemate’s. It’s more annoying dealing with this after you feel you’ve worked your butt off to be discrete.
7. Plans can get awkward. We usually invite our roommate out with us when we go places. Sometimes though, we want to sneak off on a date night alone (no, not for that! get your mind out of the gutter!). It’s kind of awkward having question where you went every time you go out to a romantic dinner or movie somewhere. No private life. And if you’re going to see something they wanted to see it’s even weirded.
6. It’s a third wheel. Many single people I know have plenty of friends. This is fine. What isn’t fine is when they mysteriously stop making plans and sit in the house all the time. Sometimes I want time to talk about finances and important stuff without worrying about someone overhearing. It’s kind of hard to do when your roommate only ever leaves the house to work or do grocery shopping. If they have no life, you pretty much have a cockblocker in your house 24/7. This is extremely annoying, especially on at-home date nights when they cannot seem to take a hint.
5. Inability to take a hint pt 2. We covered date nights. Now it gets to the trickier part. Out office is part of one big media room. We’ll be engrossed in a financial discussion regarding mortgage, bills, budget, and things like that. Private things. Couple things. Then your roommate comes upstairs and despite it being pretty obvious that you are in the middle of a serious conversation, they proceed to sit down and play video games, interrupting your entire conversation without a even the slightest consideration. I’ve had to say “excuse me, do you mind? I’m in the middle of talking” multiple times. Budget stuff is done in the office so unfortunately I can’t move it to another room in the house.
4. Getting too comfortable. This one will sound weird, probably because it IS weird. As a couple we have raised three pets. Our housemate seems to be under the impression that after six months of living with us our pets are supposed to have a deep and meaningful relationship with him. Not so. He’ll encourage bad behavior in my dog because he thinks it’s cute and then he’ll constantly go after and pet my cats when they clearly want to be left alone. Stuff that belongs to the couple does not belong to the housemate, ever.
3. Food is a problem. My fiance and I take turns grocery shopping. He’ll replenish some stuff, I’ll do it, etc. Our 3rd wheel has a different diet from us, but sometimes he’ll buy the same exact stuff we buy in the same brand because he wants to try it. Then he’ll store it right next to our stuff. I went through a box of his stuff once because I had no idea it wasn’t mine—he’d NEVER purchased it before and I thought my fiance had just bought more like he usually does.
Other times they will buy the wrong kind of staples (I buy hormone free milk) because they had to have it before you had the chance to replenish the supply and they wanted it cheaper. Fine and dandy until you have to deal with their spoiled, rotten milk at the end of the week. Where we live, there’s a limit to how much trash you can throw out. Stuff that doesn’t fit? Yeah, it stays in the fridge another week unless you’re brave enough to “borrow” a public dumpster.
2. Might not always realize it’s time to move out. We haven’t hit this stage yet, but our wedding is three months away. We kind of want a private life after that (we’re waiting until marriage, my earlier sexual puns were for people that aren’t doing what we do). However our housemate has no current plans to move out and isn’t really getting the hint that he should be actively looking for places and keeping an eye on the market. Despite giving blatant hints (and even outright “hey we’re getting married soon so you should probably find a place), it’s not always going to sink in that, “hey, we’d like to be able to spend our time as newlyweds without you around all the time”. When it comes to it, our roommate agreement will protect us, but anyone who’s been down that route knows how awkward things can get.
1. Awkward at-home date nights. Have you ever been snuggled with your loved one on the couch one night, watching a good film, deeply engrossed, when suddenly your housemate comes down to get something from the kitchen? I have. It gets even worse when the housemate doesn’t seem to get the hint that you want privacy and will repeatedly walk through the living room to get random things from the kitchen and interrupting an otherwise romantic atmosphere.
Please note, this was mostly meant to be humorous. While it is borderline venting, I’m just poking fun and trying to drag out the problems enough to fit 10 points. My housemate is great, and cleans up after himself, but no housemates are perfect. Yours probably isn’t either. I’ve found that living with a third wheel is a bit different than two couples living together or a few friends living together as a group. Just thought I’d talk about it a bit!