You and your S.O.: The Tiny-Apartment Etiquitte Guide

4 Dec

There’s no quicker way to sour a roommate relationship: All of a sudden, the whole joint reeks of perfume or the toilet seat’s left up — all thanks to your freeloading boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s a problem as rampant as rodents, and in New York City, miniature apartments only add to the tension.

Don't make us resort to this.

Let me be clear: There is nothing wrong with having guests. Unless a no-overnights policy was part of the deal when you signed your lease (and sometimes it is), it’s your right. But it’s the way we handle it — or don’t handle it — that causes problems. Courtesy is everything. You might be in love, but you also have roommates.

In New York, we have roommates far past the age we would in Normal Rent World, and it’s only natural for our adult relationships to spill over into our personal space. If your boyfriend or girlfriend is visiting or staying over more than a couple nights a week, run it by your roommates — not to ask permission (after all, you pay rent too), but just to extend the courtesy.

Avoid becoming THAT PERSON by following these guidelines:

• The default toilet seat position should reflect the gender of the rent-paying majority. (Guys get most of the flack for this — but girls, if you’re staying with your boyfriend and it’s up when you get in there, put it back up when you’re done.)
• If you’re going to have a phone conversation, go into the bedroom.
• Do not commandeer the common room. The worst thing for a roommate is the feeling you are being kept out of, or intruding on, a space you should be able to use anytime. Leave no trace — especially beer cans.
• Do not smoke in the apartment unless every other roommate does, and says its OK. (A friend of mine once lived with a girl whose trust-fund boyfriend kept smoking inside after they asked him to stop. What a catch!)
• If you cook, clean.
That night. Bonus points for doing a few stray dishes that don’t belong to you.
• Be mindful of your bathroom usage.
Make sure the roommates are never waiting on The One Who Doesn’t Pay Rent so they can take a shower.
• Keep the noise down.
You know, the noise.
• Be at least a little social. Everyone likes someone who asks them questions. Chat with your s.o.’s roommates from time to time, just so you’re not the guy or girl who comes over, shuts the bedroom door and never says a word to his or her roommates.


4 Responses to “You and your S.O.: The Tiny-Apartment Etiquitte Guide”

  1. robinhowlett 12/04 at 3:55 pm #


  2. MissMia 02/05 at 11:59 pm #

    A little social please! I was dating this guy for about 8 months before his roomate moved in. From the moment I met her to the day she moved out, it seemed like I had to force her to say a simple ‘hello.’ I had two conversations with her the entire time (about 5 months) she lived there. I’m a nice person and like to make conversation but this chick just didn’t know how to be polite and utter a word other that ‘hello.’ So yes, be social but don’t force it either.


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