Living with roommates can be a tricky situation. Things can get even trickier when you live with roommates who are dating, and, as if third wheeling 24/7 wasn’t enough to question your decision, they decide to end their relationship mid-lease. This happened to me two months after moving in, so for those in a similar situation where your roommates are transitioning from lovebirds to lovers-no-more, here are a few bits of advice to help you cope with the situation.
The first thing to consider is the benefit of not siding with one roommate or the other. Not only does it relieve you from unnecessary drama, but it could also mean that your roommates will ensure, as much as possible, that you are not affected by their break up. If you side with one of your roommates and the other feels betrayed by you, they may be less inclined to handle the situation maturely, and make your living situation harder than it has to be. Sure, you may side with one roommate more than the other (HE/SHE CHEATED? HOW DARE THEY?!?!?!), but for the sake of your own situation, it’s best not to get involved.
Consider how this will impact you
Another thing to consider is how dynamics will change in your apartment. Who is moving out? Who is staying? If they purchased the couch together, is the couch going to go? WHO’S TAKING THE COFFEE MAKER??? It’s important to try to talk to your roommates so you can plan out your living situation and budget for any expected changes. Some questions to ask yourself: Do you need to find a new roommate to replace them? Do you still want to live in your apartment without them? What furniture and common items will be staying and leaving the apartment? Do you need to budget for purchasing any items that your roommates are taking with them?
Have an honest talk about your needs
In my case, I found that I needed to find a new roommate via Craigslist since both roommates decided to leave. Also, I had to purchase anything I wanted to keep in the apartment from my roommates. Luckily, they gave me the roommate discount! It might be an awkward conversation to have, but your roommates may be more understanding than you think if you first give them enough time to process their own troubled situation. Then they’ll understand that this talk will help you plan for your future.
Don’t be a push-over
A final piece of advice is not to forget to take care of yourself in this situation, as well. One of my roommates approached me to discuss switching rooms because he didn’t want to move out of the apartment, but couldn’t afford the rent for the master bedroom on his own. While I felt bad for my roommate and wanted him to stay, I also knew that I couldn’t realistically increase my rent by $400/month to switch into the master bedroom, so I had to tell him that I wasn’t interested. Hopefully your roommate isn’t the kind to guilt you into something you don’t feel comfortable doing, but it’s important to remember that their breakup doesn’t have to ruin your life, or your finances. You can keep your relationship with your roommates but still stand up for yourself!
I wish you the best as you navigate this uncomfortable situation, but as long as you try to not get involved in their relationship and plan ahead, things may work out better than you expect!
If you have had a similar experience, please share in comments how you handled it.