Sex with your housemate alters the comfortable, familiar, even familial relationship you had before. Really. Sex is like that. There is a reason it is called making love. In reality, there are only two long-term scenarios going forward. One— you live happily ever after as a couple that might as well be married. Two—one of you loses your home.
The first scenario does happen. The second is much more common. Yahoo! Answers are full of young women agonizing about how to handle her feelings for the guy after a night…well, you know… They were watching a movie and he starts massaging and well, you know, one thing lead to another. Or they became very close when they both had relationships break up and, well, you know.. . Or they went out drinking, and, well, you know… Its easy to get caught up in the passion of the moment and to tell yourself, “its just sex.” Better to be wise, put on the brakes and ask yourself, “Is this worth it?”
The problem for housemates who have sex is that the relationship changes. Having carnal knowledge of each other, they are no longer just housemates. They might become a couple. They might even be a happy couple, for how long? How do they manage it if one person wants to break up? You see? Someone moves out.. But probably not before pain and hurt.
More common is that the relationship between the two who slept together goes wonky pretty quickly. One person’s fling is another person’s crush. Emotions are stirred, expectations created, the relationship is no longer easy and comfortable.
There is a loss of independence and privacy. What happens when one makes plans that doesn’t include the other? When you are upset and angry because you are hurt and you encounter each other in the kitchen? What happens when one goes out on a date? Or worse, brings home a different partner? In other words, someone – maybe both people – get hurt. Eventually, one of the housemates moves out but probably not without some stormy and painful experiences.
So if you want to keep your home a comfortable place to be, do not get sexually involved with a housemate.
For housemates to live together comfortably, it is good to impose a complete and utter taboo on sex with each other. I call it The Incest Taboo and it is my fourth principle for living with housemates successfully.
Yes, of course, there are exceptions to this rule. It might happen that two people who get to know each other in the daily rhythms of life find themselves falling in love. I heartily suggest a long conversation about what this means to you and how you will manage it before falling into bed. And if you can’t have a heart-to-heart real conversation about life and love, then you don’t have the communication to manage the changed relationship. If you are going to have a love affair, one of you should move out first, then see if the relationship works. I heard of a couple that did this. They met in a group home and started really liking each other. She moved out so that they could date. They are married now.
Do yourself a favor, have an incest taboo. With a firm taboo in place, a housemate relationship can be wonderful—kind of like having a brother or a sister.