Dec 3, 2015

You're Not Still Going to Have a Roommate When You ___?

"Is your roommate still going to live with you when you buy a house?"

Yes.  Yes, he is.

I don't mind this question.  People are genuinely interested or curious in our plans and so I tell them.  It's like when someone asks if I changed my name or calls me "Mrs. Wilson."  I haven't changed my name and it's still up in the air, but there's no point in taking offense.  Typically they're calling me Mrs. Wilson as a friendly way to refer to the fact that I recently got married.  They're being nice.  Why would I take offense to that?

I don't even mind if people ask if we're planning on having kids.  You know, maybe it technically is none of their business, but hey, whatever!  It's friendly conversation.  (Until they tell me time is running out - then it's a problem.  But that's another post.)

Here's what I do mind.  When I explain that our roommate is coming with us, because we all get along great and we don't see any reason to change that arrangement just because we'll be living in a house instead of an apartment and the response is, "Oh, that's weird."  Is it???

I mean, sure, maybe most people don't choose to have a roommate after they get married.  A lot of people have roommates while they're single and then once they get serious with a significant other and move in together, they choose to do so with just the two of them.

Ryan and I lived alone together for a year or so.  Then we moved in with a friend for convenience because we were in between jobs and rent was a struggle.  That didn't work out so well, but it wasn't so damaging that we weren't willing to try it again with a different friend.  And this time it's been pretty idyllic.

Sometimes we get frustrated with each other.  On rare occasions we've even had uncomfortable exchanges.  But you know what?  It's been amazingly rare for a group of opinionated adults who aren't related.  I fight more with my sisters and we don't even live together.

So yeah, in my mind it's a pretty ideal living situation.  We all save some money, we get along great and enjoy hanging out in the common areas when we want to, or hide in our rooms when we aren't feeling social.  We all have similar personalities and no one gets offended when one of us introverts needs to go hide for a while.  We share the same hobbies, which means group TV marathons, game sessions, and extra access to our DM that the rest of the tabletop gaming group doesn't have.

Honestly, it's probably even better for me and Ryan than it is for Roommate, because while we might clean up his dishes every once in a while, he's taken care of Luke for us several times when we've gone on vacation and never hesitated to take him out if we're doing something and want to stay out late.

And so when people try to tell me how strange it will be when we have kids, I think to myself, "Uh, yeah, having another person to help is obviously a terrible idea.  No one is ever exhausted or overwhelmed when they first have children."

I feel that, if they're going to worry about anyone's feeling, it should be Roommate's.  Having a roommate when we have kids will be a huge benefit for me and Ryan, but why would Roommate want to stick around for screaming kids that aren't even his?  As a single guy, that might well prove to be the breaking point.

But we just started this whole home buying process, so kids aren't exactly imminent.  And with a 9-month advance warning, I think we can work that out when we get there.  For now, we have a fantastic arrangement that works for everyone.  Is that really so hard to understand?

I should probably just stop the post there, but I'm going to go ahead and be uncomfortably forthright.  I think some people get the idea that choosing to continue living together is not only weird, but signifies that we have some kind of alternative lifestyle.  If we did, it would obviously be none of anyone's business, but we really don't.

A coworker jokingly asked if we had a love triangle going, and I told him we totally did, with Ryan as the center.  This has been something we've joked about before and it affords us all a great deal of amusement, but the reality is that we're all very traditional.  I want to make this point to further reinforce that you don't have to be swingers or have some sort of polyamorous arrangement in order to choose to live with other human beings in addition to your spouse and spawn.

There's nothing wrong with either of those lifestyles, but I'm still absolutely amazed that people have so much trouble with the concept of adults living together that they have to start coming up with theories like this.

Have you ever lived with a significant other AND roommates?  Or lived with a couple?  What weird judgements did you experience?

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  1. Wow this is totally interesting! I think it's cool that it works out so well for all of you. And yeah I can see how the roommate might not want to hear a crying baby (sometime down the road) that isn't his - but who knows? haha. I say if it works for you and everyone is happy, then great!

  2. I would have a roommate if I had an extra bedroom and bathroom, and if I got along with them.

  3. It's always funny to me when people act like they are somehow entitled to a complete and thorough understanding of someone else's lifestyle or relationship dynamic. Not information, understanding—although expecting information that's none of their business is funny too. You're being forthcoming with as much information as you want about your life and choices and relationship—and that's your choice and nosy people should be gracious. But why do people think they need to understand what someone else is doing or why? It just seems like a weird thing to waste any energy on. Like, I don't understand how a lightbulb works, but they exist around me so I just go "huh, light. Good." when one turns on.
    This might be a little off-topic but I was having a similar conversation recently so the thoughts are still all at the front of my mind, hah. Anyway, good for you for doing what works best for you guys (buying a house, yay! Exciting!) and not worrying about perceptions!

  4. people are weird. yeah i would think about the roommate's feelings over anything. when i moved here, i moved in with my best friend - who is married and had a 10 year old. she is still married but has 2 more kids and i imagine it would have been hard if i was there when the 2 youngens were born, but i totally would have helped! even if not with the baby, i would have cleaned, cooked, etc. i bet they would have appreciated that :)

  5. I have known people who have lived with roommates once they got married. It was for the sake of saving money. Unfortunately in their situation the roommate kind of screwed them over so that didn't work out well. I don't think it is a bad idea though. Every person has their own things they are comfortable with. if you enjoy the company and everyone gets along and does their part, then what does it matter?! Good luck with the house buying process!


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