Can Men And Women Be Roommates? What It's Really Like Living With Men

Nervous to move in with a guy? You might like it more than you think.

Can Men And Women Be Roommates? What It's Really Like Living With Men Gregory Hayes on unsplash

Full disclosure, I do not have to share a bathroom with the men in my house. If I did, this would probably be a completely different conversation. I’ve never even been in the boys’ bathroom, to be honest. But my male roommates use our (women's) bathroom, and I have been told that it is “very clean” compared to their own. It may seem like I’m putting a lot of emphasis on this bathroom situation, but I know that room can truly be one that makes or breaks how amicable roommates are toward one another.


Yes, I am well-aware that gender does not necessarily define who we are as people — so, in turn, it doesn’t define a living dynamic. However, as someone who lives in a large apartment with an equal number of men and women (three and three, including myself), there are a few things I’ve noticed about what it’s like to live with guys compared to living with girls.

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Last year, when a friend from class, one of her friends, and I were looking for an apartment together, we came across a six-person apartment right in the middle of town. Three people were moving out because they were graduating, and the three guys who were left wanted to stay in the next year. It seemed too good to be true: affordable rent, two bathrooms, split-level… it even included a dishwasher. And the boys were nice. Well, two of them were nice.

1. Guys are typically more tolerant of a messy house than their female counterparts.

Based solely on my own experience, I can confirm: guys (at least the ones in their early 20s) are far more tolerant of mess than any girl I’ve ever met. Dishes pile up beside the sink constantly, and I already mentioned that we have a dishwasher. Sometimes, I feel like I need to trail behind my three male roommates with a broom. And if I turn around for even a second, the trash is once again overflowing.

2. They don't pay as much attention to the details (like recycling).

That’s also to mention how my female roommates and I seem to care a lot more about recycling and just being less wasteful in general than our other three roommates. Before we moved in, there was no recycling receptacle at all. And in 2020, that’s kind of a rare sight to see.

3. If you're a female living in a house full of guys, expect to do a lot of the cleaning yourself.

That’s not to say that we can’t convince our other roommates to tidy up. Sometimes, though, it’s less hassle for us to just do the cleaning ourselves, rather than wait for them to do so.


This kind of thoughtless behavior is sometimes a bit hurtful. We pay equal parts in rent and utilities, yet my female roommates and I aren’t always treated with the same dignity that we give the other three. If we have friends over, we first need to clean up the mess that the boys left in the living room, and then we also make sure that same room is clean after our friends leave. Just because we aren’t as tolerant of uncleanliness, we’re the ones who create the actual liveable space for everyone who resides here. And I don’t think I’m alone among women with male roommates on that one.

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4. Unfortunately, men aren't exactly timely when it comes to things like paying the rent.

That kind of conscientiousness translates into other aspects of sharing a living space. Although four of my roommates pay rent on time (plus me), one of them is always late, and it isn’t one of the women who live here. The boys are graduating next year, so it doesn’t matter to them, but myself and the other two girls will require housing references for our accommodation next year. It’s disrespectful to jeopardize the future living situation of the people with whom you currently live. Obviously.

5. But it helps that men are tech-savvy (so you always have someone in-house to fix what's broken).

To be fair, however, one of my male roommates handles utilities, and he is very on top of that duty. Our WiFi has never cut out, and that’s all that matters to any of us.

In the end, there are certainly cons to living with men. However, I feel this experience has helped me learn a lot about how I’d want to conduct living with someone in the future. I am not anyone’s maid, nor am I anyone’s mother. If, when I move in with the man who I marry, he doesn’t feel he must partake equally in household chores, then I’ll take him out with the garbage.

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6. They can introduce you to life-long girl friends.

That being said, there are also pros to living with men that I have neglected to mention thus far. One of my male roommates has a really cool girlfriend. She is very nice and hot.

7. Guys are surprisingly easy to talk to. 

One of my other male roommates always notes how good my cooking looks. Whenever I bake cookies, he can have as many as he wants. Additionally, even though living with guys seems a bit intimidating, they’re very approachable. If we’re having a lot of issues, we can talk things out pretty easily. It’s kind of fun, too, to get their opinions when I or my other female roommates need to rant about our own boy troubles. 

8. They don't mind company — so if you're social, you're almost always welcome to have friends over.

My male roommates have never told us we couldn’t host a party at our house, perhaps because they know we’d never trash the place. Once, we even held one on a Thursday.


9. Lastly, no — your roommates aren't going to constantly hit on you, either.

The women in the house have never had any issues with boundaries with our guy roommates. In fact, we’ve never had to set clear boundaries at all, and I’ve never felt uncomfortable around any of my roommates or their friends.

So, if you’re contemplating moving in with a man, especially platonically, it’s perhaps best to establish a living situation prior to unpacking. Don’t let yourself put more energy into your living space than whoever you live with, regardless of gender. And it’s probably best to move in with people you already know, if at all possible. After all, you should be comfortable where you sleep at night.

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Vanessa Wolosz is a writer who focuses on feminism, sustainability topics, art and media.