I'm currently living off campus as an undergrad because my mommy and daddy don't pay for the entirety my education.  :)

So I need a new roommate for this next upcoming academic year starting this Fall, but I've only been to this campus one - I don't know many guys in my classes. (Most of my classes are just guys - their engineering students). The ones that are cool enough, and personable enough for me to ask as roommates are already planning to live on campus again next year. They're either very smart, or have very wealthy parents I suppose. I don't hold that against them, but I cannot convince anyone to consider the off campus experience in a nearby apartment.

One of my classmates said I should post a craigslist add about it. So did. I made a damn nice one at that. Most posters on that site can't even write a decent ad with complete sentences. Here's mine for the 2 BR apartment for example: http://lincoln.craigslist.org/roo/3710287613.html

So here's what I'm wondering: I've received 6 replies to the add in two days time, and half are from seemingly illiterate guys twice my age - looking for a cheap place. The other 3 are from lady students looking for a place to live - since they can't afford to live on campus anymore. I can sympathize that situation easily, and since I'd not thought about this possibility when I posted the listing, I'm starting to think living with a girl would be nice. I would also much prefer that I could share such a close, rare gem of a place with another undergrad student, someone who can benefit from its location.

It would be stretching experience for me, and would push me out of my comfort zone, but if the girl is of respectable character, she could make a great roommate. My place is so bland and sterile - I'd like to think a femine touch in the place would make it feel more like home - where I would otherwise be with my sisters (I have no brothers).

I asked a friend of mine about it, and he said it would something worth explaining to my future wife someday - which I believe is understandable.

Is there a general consensus about co-habitation with a female? I have no girlfriend and no plans for one anytime soon, and I've a pretty good idea of the consequences if I didn't handle myself appropriately. Is there some universal code against this? I'm coming to you guys for your perspective on this... is there something I'm missing?

Anyone here have any sister roommates? Anyone with experience in living with a girl?

Thank you for your input guys - I value what you have to say.

All the best,


Tags: cohabitation, college, living, roommate

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Well couple of things to think about buddy:

1) The whole female touch about the place... sounds great in theory, not in reality.  Not all women, especially college age girls today, actually keep their places clean.  It isn't something that they are brought up in anymore. I am not saying that they are all slobs, far from it, but it sure wouldn't be a guarantee to get a clean one.

2) When it comes to room mates,  men can often get along very well together, even if they haven't ever met before. This is because guys know how guys think for the most part and are comfortable being around guys.  Women are a mystery most of the time, and when conflict comes up for whatever reason, they are harder to deal with. 

3) Codes of conduct are the same for guys, not for girls.  If your female room mate decides to bring her guy friends over, it may put you in uncomfortable situations.  With a guy room mate, this situation is more easily understood mutually, and avoided. 

I have had many female and male room mates in the past, over 8 years of college.  Had many girl friends, and am now happily married with a wife and 2 kids.  I can say that in my experience, stick to the guys.  It is a MUCH easier route. 

The best roommate I've ever had was a girl. The worst roommate I've ever had was another girl. But how good of a roommate someone is has nothing to do with their sex, the way I see it.

There's nothing wrong about cohabitation, in my opinion. And it certainly doesn't have to be as awkward as some people might make it out to be. How awkward it is is completely up to you and your roommate. 

The important thing is to find someone you aren't going to hate after a few months of living together. Depending on what kind of person you are, it might not matter whether your roommate is a man or a woman. 

Unless you plan on sharing a bed I don't see how a female roommate is going to cause problems with explaining down the road. And if it did, that would be a good sign to dump the girlfriend since the last thing you will want is a girlfriend who will nitpick over every female you've ever come in contact with before you met her.

As for a woman's touch, unless the woman is your mom you can forget this one. Maybe its women's lib or something but I swear that every man I know under 40 can cook and clean while only about half as many of the women can. Girls in their 20s these days seem to have the domestic skills of an average 13 yr old boy. The days of girls being clean and boys messy are over.

My best platonic roommate ever was a girl. Not because she was a girl but because we were very compatible as roommates. I think roommate compatibility is not necessarily linked to gender.

First, a pedantic point: I wouldn't call having a female roommate cohabitation, since the usually means an unmarried couple living together.  No couple, no cohabitation, at least as I see it.

As to the situation, it can work, though it has potential pitfalls that are generally absent from a young man living with other young men.  The possible problems are obvious.  There are romantic ones: an unrequited crush, romance that ends in a nasty break up (but with the two of you still sharing a lease), or, for the more traditional, a romance in which you feel morally obligated to defer sex while faced with even more temptation because you live together.  There are also plenty of other problems, from more difficulty in communicating to, as someone else already noted, less obvious etiquette if/when one of you brings a date over.

That said, I would return to noting that it can work, and work well.  It's hard to predict what will happen with only general outlines of the situation given over the internet.


Yeah this isn't cohabitation. it's good that you feel that your not really in the market now for a relationship, I hope your honest about it especially considering if you are proposing to have a female roommate. We'll see how that works out. Not that I doubt your ability, but these days we say one thing and end up doing another. I lived alone in an apartment for my third and fourth years in college, I said I wasn't going to get close to anyone, and for me I remained detached, however she didn't.  Chet is right on his third point, codes are different, things will get lost in translation. I had experiences where if a girl was rooming with a guy there would be this stigma that she is off limits, it might be a small occurrence but still, if she brings over her guy friends depending on how long each one last it might make for a lot of uncomfortable times. 

I'd avoid it, unless the age difference is great.  We put people into roles in our minds, and it's easy to jump from a bloodless role like "bill sharer" to a more interesting one like "sweetheart."  You may want to.  It may be a great idea, too, per Brett's article "stop hanging out with women and start dating them."  Sweethearts who share an apartment aren't far from sharing a bedroom.

How many bathrooms is it?

Come and knock on my door,

take a step that is new,

where the kisses are hers, and hers, and his...


Sorry.  It was my first thought.

Having lived with male and female house-mates throughout my college years I don't see why this would be a problem or even cause any problems.  Some of the cleanest house-mates were male and some of the dirtiest (female products on floor of bathroom) were women.  Set the ground-rules up first and early and don't expect anything other than following those rules; but this advice goes for any type of house-mate (male, female, or other).

The best way to do the house-mate thing is to have each of you sign a lease for your rooms and use of common areas such as kitchen/bath/dining/living rooms.  But failing that make sure it is ok with your landlord and you have a binding legal agreement with your house-mate.

I'm glad that "feminine touch" has been interpreted as "cleaning touch," which I find a less offensive stereotype than the one I think OP actually meant - that lack of a Y chromosome means an automatic ability to make living quarters more flavorful and used, in other words, proficiency and interest in interior decorating to make a place "homey" or even "girlie."

I agree with the heart of the consensus: You'll run into problems if your expectation of your roommate's behavior are any higher than those you work out in writing.

Because that's the only way to touch all 8 sides of the bagwa?


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