Here's How To Set Sex & Dating Boundaries With Your Roommate, According To 6 Women Who Did It
For all the joys of group living, like eating other people's Thai leftovers or sharing the expensive big bottle of shampoo with the pump top, there can sometimes be experiences that aren't so pleasant. Sharing space with someone is a complex and intimate thing. And knowing how to set sex and dating boundaries with the people you live with can prove to be pretty tough. If your roommate loves their partner, like literally-can't-stop-making-out-with-them-in-your-kitchen when they're over, it's natural to feel a little uncomfortable in your own space. And though you probably are rooting for your roomie's relationships to flourish, it's OK to want said relationship to flourish outside of your living room — where you're trying to watch Real Housewives of Atlanta in peace.
Setting healthy boundaries is a hard and important part of any relationship. Stating your needs, being clear on your expectations, and standing up for yourself when your feeling overlooked are great ways to get the conversation rolling.
I spoke to six women about the ways they set healthy dating and sex boundaries with their roommates and what they say is pretty sound advice and super insightful.
1. Needs Can Change
Know that your needs are probably going to change in the future, and have probably already changed. Allow space for the change and let yourself be OK with however you're feeling. If that means in this moment your don't want partners over, or that you want you partner to sleep over every night — let your needs in this moment be known, and go from there.
— Kim, 28
2. Pick A Night
We all pick nights that we want to have people over and then have set house only nights that guests aren't really welcome. It was a little awkward at the start but the clarity has helped us.
— Clarissa, 24
3. Text The Group
I just moved into my place, and the other roommates have been there for years. I have just been going by what they have established which is you just text the group chat when you're bringing someone home. It's not to ask for permission really, but to let everyone know the plan.
— Jes, 23*
4. Write It Down First
I urged everyone to think about their own boundaries and write them down, and then we had tea and all shared what we had written, without interrupting each other. I think talking in the moment can be difficult and sometimes people agree to things they don't really agree with. So writing down your thoughts and getting the space to speak without being interrupted is a cool way to get out how you're really feeling.
— Em, 28
5. Introduce New Boos Early
I definitely try to introduce the boo to my roommates before they even start sleeping over so that my roommates already know them and (hopefully) like them before they start staying over.
— Bekka, 25
6. Express Your Needs
I don't like it when my roommates have strangers over or when they don't clearly express that people are coming by. I just tell them that I need to know when someone is going to be in my house and they need to respect that if they want me to keep living there.
— Sara, 27
If you're thinking about ways to talk to your roommates about dating and sex boundaries, try creating open space to share, collecting your own thoughts, and coming in with an open mind. Setting boundaries with your roommates isn't always easy, but can be super important in ensuring your house feels like home.