Pros and Cons of Living With a Couple

Jess from New Girl says "Ugh, couples" while walking through their apartment with the caption "realizing living with a couple means constantly third-wheeling".

House-sharing is common among people looking to reduce living expenses, primarily students. However, it is not a preserve for economically disadvantaged people only. More and more professionals are choosing house sharing, not only to save on rent but also to expand social relationships. One option to consider is living with a couple.

Having roommates has pros, including saving money on rent and utilities, help cleaning, and making lifelong friends. However, there is also a downside, including missed rent payments, excessive noise, and lack of privacy.

When the said roommates are a couple, the dynamic changes, and you face a unique set of pros and cons. Here is a list to help you know what to expect before you decide to live with a couple.

Pros of living with a couple

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  • It saves you money: Why divide the rent by two when you can divide it by three? Living with a couple will save you money since you will split bills such as rent and utilities three ways instead of two-way. 

  • Opportunity to make new friends and meet more people: Even if you move in with someone you don’t know, you’re sure to bond and likely even become friends over time. Living with a couple means that there will always be someone you can talk to (or vent about your day) waiting at home. They will also help widen your social circle, as they’re likely to have friends over whom you may end up bonding.

  • Live-in pet sitter: For those who live in pet-friendly apartments, you may benefit by having two more people to watch and care for your pets while you’re away can save you money. Pet sitting services are expensive, plus this will grant you peace of mind. After living with your pet for a few months, your roommates will likely have learned how to care for them and become comfortable being alone. Just ask politely and provide them with everything they’ll need. Your roommates will probably be happy to sit with your pet if you have to be away for a couple of days. 

  • Safety in numbers: Living with a roommate is far safer than living alone. The main deterrent to would-be intruders is activity around the apartment. They generally only want in when no one is home. The apartment’s activity doubles with more than people occupying the apartment. Even if one of you isn’t home, the others might be. Additionally, living with a couple means three sets of keys. If you ever lock yourself out or misplace your keys, your roommates will be there to let you back inside.

  • Convenience: Caring for an apartment is a demanding and time-consuming task. Luckily, when living with a couple, you’ll only have to do a third of the chores. Since most couples prefer to do things together, it will be easy to coordinate tasks such as cleaning, taking out the trash, and even cooking.

  • Access to more free meals: Most couples often cook together. Thus, there are larger quantities of food being produced daily, and there is a greater chance of leftovers. If you’re at home without any meal plans, couples often feel inclined to take pity on you/take you under their wing and feed you.

  • Free relationship advice: If you ever have a dating problem, one or both parts of the couple are often around to offer sage advice. In fact, rather than viewing your relationship drama as an inconvenience, they’ll probably enjoy offering their opinion on the matter. Some couples will even consider it their mission to help you reach a happy outcome, so you can all end up going on double dates together.

  • Better people skills: If you have trouble with confrontation, living with a couple will force you to overcome that anxiety and deal with it. Any opportunity to build communication skills will benefit you later in life. Learning how to state and set expectations is a great management skill.

Cons of living with a couple

  • Potential financial risks: When you have roommates, you must depend on them to pay their fair share of rent to ensure you both have a place to stay. Also, suppose you or your roommate make late payments. In that case, you could be compromising your great rental history or be subject to paying late fees. 

  • It may be pretty lonely: While single people living alone may experience loneliness, living with a couple may enhance these feelings. Most of the time, you will find yourself excluded from the couple’s plans or in a third-wheel situation. 

  • Things can get pretty awkward if they fight or break up: It’s tricky to stay impartial when two of your friends start dating and inevitably get into a tiff. In the same way, it will be challenging to keep out of couples’ household drama. It all begins when one of them ‘just needs to talk’ to someone, and you happen to be around. The good thing is that, if you successfully navigate this, you will have excellent diplomacy skills after!

  • Less privacy and less space: House sharing means most of your living spaces will be shared (i.e. very little privacy). Your bedroom may be the only place you can go to be alone. If your roommate has boundary issues, that may not even be true. With a couple, there is even less privacy. If you don’t set boundaries, you may find yourself in very uncomfortable situations around shared living spaces.

  • Noise levels: It’s possible that while you enjoy the occasional party night, your roommates might take it next level. It can get uncomfortable if the couple you choose to live with love to have other couples over for ‘couples night’ or any other gathering. Such situations can lead to lots of noise when you need to get some sleep.

Even if they’re not wild and crazy, some people are just naturally loud talkers and walkers. This can lead to you downloading every white noise app known to man to drown them out.

  • Messier: Two people living in one apartment are twice as likely to get messy; three are much worse. Dishes can pile up, trash bins may overflow, and it can be easy for roommates to pass the blame and responsibility off to each other.

  • Higher cost of utilities: Consider the effect of an extra person using the communal facilities, like bathrooms, showers, laundry, and kitchens. These amenities may already be at maximum capacity, and adding a person could significantly increase the cost of utilities. More people also means more cleaning, water, and energy use.

Tips for living with a couple

  • Be clear about space restrictions and courtesies before you agree to live with a couple.
  • Shop together and split the cost of everyday household items three ways (trash bags, cleaning supplies, salt and pepper shakers, etc.)
  • House sharing means sharing the chores. Create a chore chart and have house cleaning days where you all get together and do your monthly chore.
  • Set up boundaries right when you move in! Setting standards that you all agree to will help you avoid brutal confrontations in the future. Some examples are respecting common areas, being mindful of noise after a particular hour, or giving others a heads-up when guests come over.
  • Communication is key! Issues occasionally arise, even if you think you’ve found the perfect roommates. The best way to address it is to talk to them even when you are afraid it will turn to the worst. Most of the time, bringing a problem to your roommates’ attention allows them to be more sensitive to the issue in the future. 

The bottom line

There’s no crystal ball to tell whether you will have a positive or negative experience living with a couple. Consider the pros and cons of house sharing indicated above and try the tips for a successful experience. 

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