The age-old debate (and by age-old, I mean about 30 years, when it became more or less socially acceptable to co-habitate as friends).
Reasons to do it:
1. Because it doesn’t matter
Some argue that we’re living in a post-gender society, or at least, we’re moving in that direction. For lots of us, choosing a roommate has much more to do with personality, personal habits, and consensus on what we want in an apartment than whether the person is male or female.
2. To experiment
What else is going to come out of your twenties? Certainly not a serious income, at least for most of us. Might as well broaden your horizons.
3. Because the gender stereotypes don’t always stack up
Sure, I know some young men whose apartments are filthy, but some of my cleanest and most conscientious roommates have also been men. Likewise, some of the, er, hardest-partying people I’ve lived with have been sweet little blonde girls. So if you’re avoiding men because they’re “dirty” or women because they’re “too uptight”, you might end up surprised.
Arguments for staying in your own corner:
1. You’re very shy around the opposite sex
Your home should be your safe space, so if you are very uncomfortable around the opposite sex, you probably don’t want to bring that unease into your living situation. But don’t discount the fact that pushing your boundaries can sometimes help you expand your comfort zone and get over your nervousness!
2. You’re attracted to your prospective roommate
Harboring a crush on your roomie does open some problematic doors. Think about how you’ll feel when you see the object of your desire get ready for a date, or bring a new boyfriend or girlfriend home (to your home). Above all, don’t convince yourself that living together is the surefire way to win his or her heart. Of course, living with someone you’re attracted to doesn’t always end badly (many of us are able to restrain our animal desires and keep our awkwardness to ourselves; Ross did it for at least half of Friends). If you think you’d get along great living with Tina but also think she has a great butt, maybe not a deal breaker. If you’re harboring a years-long obsession for Tina, try Tom. Or someone, of either gender, for whom you don’t keep a shrine.
3. Your father/brothers/uncles might beat up your roommate
Sometimes, older generations are more traditional than younger ones. And sometimes, family members can get more protective than they really need to be. It’s great to take control of your life, make your own decisions. But if moving in with a dude is going to endanger his health (mental or physical) because your family assumes the worst, remember that no one else should have to pay for your ideals.
4. You hope your life will more or less run the course of Someone Like You.
We’re all waiting on Hugh Jackman. Get in line.
Have you lived with someone of the opposite gender? Tell us about your experiences here or on Facebook!