Why You’ll Regret Sleeping With Your Flatmate
Daniella is a fourth year studying Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Thought. As fancy as that may sound she is in fact a simple soul; some of her favourite past times being downing a bottle of wine in good company, watching repeats of The O.C. and frolicking in the sea. She was born in France to British and Dutch parents but refuses to be considered French. Owing to an Erasmus exchange in the Netherlands she found a new home and claims to be happiest when riding a bike amongst a herd of tall blond men.
It’s tempting I know, I’ve been there, but with the wisdom that comes from being a semi-sensible adult and a fourth year Psychology student, I can safely say that it is hardly ever worth it. This post is addressed to all the fresh meat, to the boys and the girls, to the players and the lovers. Once you bid a final farewell to your parents you’re on your own and Lord knows down which dark path you will head.
I’m joking, it’s far less morose than that and these will be some of the best years of your life. However don’t let the pressure to make your university years count drive you to act like someone you are not comfortable being. Be yourself and enjoy the ride, the significance of your university years will have drastically changed by the time you’re finished with them.
Nonetheless I deemed it necessary to highlight a common fresher mistake, which, if avoided, can save you from many awkward situations and toxic emotions.
By this point you are probably armed with a pocket full of flavoured condoms, new friends are ushering copious amounts of Glenn’s vodka into your mouth, girls are taking full advantage of the crop top fashion and new “talent” is popping up left, right and centre – it’s normal to be seeking a spooning and forking partner. You might be thinking that you’ve hit the jackpot, that this is what “uunaaay” life is about. You’re right it is but not if the person who is giving you the f*** me eyes is your housemate/flatmate/hallmate or worse: bathroom sharer.
It’s a tempting thought if you’ve been spending a considerable amount of time with your flatmate feeling like you’ve found a trusty new pal and, with the added palpable chemistry between you, taking it to fourth (or is it fifth?) base only seems like a natural progression. If the lines are blurred several times you will enter a friends with benefits scenario where you also share a hob and a fridge. Such a scenario can be appealing, you’re a wink and a knock away from a good time, but statistics show they rarely last longer than a couple of months. I know of only one couple whose relationship lasted the three years of university after they slept together during Fresher’s Week. It’s not that romantic, they eventually ended it.
The honeymoon phase will pass which, just a head’s up, tends to be around the same time that your first essays are due, that there are threats of potential snowfalls and that you realise you’ve put on weight. All the above are tough enough to deal with without the unwanted consequences of a cheeky hook-up. Never mind the painfully awkward run-ins, imagine the feeling when your flatmate brings home your replacement and hearing them replace you (if you know what I mean). Don’t be fooled, it will happen.
Jokes aside, let your hair down and have a blast but it’s important to take into account how this could affect your time at university. Flings between flatmates can get messy and turn sour. Your friends will feel the tension, gossip to both of you and end up taking sides. And girls, let me tell you, it’s the guy they will gravitate to because of his seemingly nonchalant attitude towards the pickled situation.
That being said I do know of some people who remained unaffected by their flatmate-with-benefits-gone-wrong predicament. They have the baffling ability to be normal around their former flings as if having to share a toilet and a hob with them is a complete non-event. I admire but do not understand such beings. Even if I genuinely no longer care about the person I am still painfully aware of my behaviour and my limbs at all times. Should I be eating this chocolate bar in under ten seconds in front of him? Probably not.
What to do if the above-mentioned scenario does happen to you:
All is not yet lost, you will get over it and you will graduate. Brush it off, hold your head high, fake it until you make it and next time go for someone who is worthy of your time. Hopefully, in time, you can be friends again and the hob will no longer epitomise awkward body contact. The worst thing you can do is alienate yourself from your other neighbours and friends who know of the two of you. You will be living with them for the rest of the year so maintaining a positive relationship should be your priority.
In the words of Kelly Clarkson – the singing love guru of the Noughties – “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Have a fantastic year freshers and, above all, be safe.
Image credits: Sam Broadley, Aaron Smith