Choosing who you're going to live with at university is one of the biggest decisions you’ll face. It can be the make-or-break of living away from home. So, it would make sense to choose to live with person you want to spend every minute with: your partner, right? Well, not always.
Before you make any big decisions about taking the next step with your number one, we’ve put together a list of some of the pros and cons of living with your boyfriend or girlfriend while at university.
👍 Pro: Living with your favourite person
You’re together because you've got a lot in common: the love the same films, music, food and box sets. So technically, on paper, you should make great housemates!
Picking your next housemates can be a tough decision, and if you’re in a relationship it can help to solve the dilemma of choosing between various friendship groups to live with.
👎 Con: ‘Me time’ may be tricky
Choosing to live with your BF or GF can mean it isn’t as easy as locking yourself in your room when you’ve had a hard day at uni or you need a bit of peace – especially if that's a room you share.
We all need a little bit of ‘me time’ once in a while, and this can be hard to understand if one person needs it more than the other. Be sure you’re both understanding of each other’s space.
👍 Pro: Getting to know your other half + the GOOD bits
Living together with a partner for the first time will teach you a lot about your BF/GF – both the good and bad.
Maybe you didn’t realise they were so slick at ironing? One less job for you! Or maybe you both like to eat baked beans from a tin together? And just think, you may have never known unless you moved in together!
👎 Con: Getting to know your other half + the BAD bits
And as well as finding out a lot of great things about your partner, there's going to be some stuff you’d wish you didn’t know… Clipping their toe nails over the bath is not OK.
Make sure you're prepared to share your space with your other half’s bezzie mates! When there’s been a broken heart, you may find their bestie on your sofa for the night. Or perhaps it’s your boyfriend's turn to host pre-drinks at yours, and you've 10 guys sloshing beer around your flat. You'll discover all of your pet peeves about them.
👍 Pro: Sharing a one bedroom property as a couple
On your own, a one bedroom property can be more expensive than living in a shared house. If you choose to take a one-bed place as a couple then this could work out better for you.
You’ll need to check with the landlord that they’re happy to have two tenants in a one-bedroom home, and if it comes with utilities included – make sure that this is taken into consideration (the prices you see are often advertised per person, so you may need to consider additional costs for your bills based on two people).
👎 Con: It could be cheaper to live in a shared house with your own room
One bedroom places often work out more expensive than a room in a shared house. Larger groups can often benefit from smaller rent rates and bills.
Weigh up all of your options before signing for any property. When searching on UniHomes, you can save properties to a shortlist and then compare all of the prices (with bills included) in one place.
👍 Pro: Just needing one of everything
Living in a shared house, you’re going to probably want to keep your stuff to yourself - whether that’s bathroom toiletries or your stash of pasta. When you live as a couple, it makes much more sense to share the expense of all of these between you, for example you’re only going to need one lot of bedding, one TV for your room, and you can share the weekly food shop between you.
👎 Con: Having just one of everything
Having just one of everything will certainly make things cheaper in the beginning, but it could become tricky when it comes to the end of your tenancy and you both move home. Who’s going to take the TV you bought together?
It may sound boring and a bit over the top, but it would be worth agreeing this when you first start living together. Write a list of who gets what, or purchase an equal amount of ‘stuff’ between you, so that you know who’s paid for what and you can take with you the bits you’ve paid for.
👍 Pro: Spend as much time together as you like
You’re always over at each other’s places anyway, so it makes sense to live with your other half while you’re at university.
No more getting the last bus home from their place or having to pack a bag of your stuff to spend the night. You’ve now got the luxury of always being there for them when you’re both done at lectures.
Commute to uni together, revise together, go out together – and no more waiting to watch the next episode of that Netflix series you started!
👎 Con: Miss out on the experience of living in a large group
Living with your friends and in a large group can be a life changing experience while at university. You can make friends for life, and make a bond that no one outside of your housemates will ever understand.
Things you won’t ever experience in a one-bedroom house…
- House parties
- Borrowing your housemates’ clothes
- Cleaning rotas
- Beer pong
- Chunder charts.
- Identifying whose hair is clogging up the shower...
And as gross as it may sound, it’s all part of the uni experience!
👍 Pro: Evenings in
Having your boyfriend or girlfriend at home and available for Netflix and chill whenever you like is a massive bonus of living together! When you’re not feeling the Monday night 2-4-1 shots with the guys, it’s ok because you’ve got someone to chill at home with.
Having your own place means you can enjoy evenings in every night, date nights whenever you want, or even just lounging in your comfies together. You’ll be much fresher for your morning lectures, plus you’ll have much more money left in the pot than if you were going out every night!
👎 Con: It can cause friction if you choose to live as a couple in a shared house
A double room in a shared house may come with its own problems when it comes to bills. A lot of homes are billed on the basis that there's just one person in each room, so make sure you double check with your landlord and utility provider that you are paying the correct share. You’re only going to piss off your housemates if not.
Also, fights happen – they’re bound to. But bear in mind the other people who live with you when you have a bust up with your partner. It’s not fair if you’re both shouting at each other and making everyone else feel awks in the process!
👍 Pro: Nights out
Enjoying a night out together is a great part of any relationship. Living together means you can choose to go out together whenever you feel like it, enjoy a 2-4-1 at the cinema together, or head out with a group of all of your friends - all knowing you’ve always got someone to come home and share a kebab with. (We’re just joking – who actually wants to share their kebab?!)
👎 Con: FOMO
Your friends are off out to the cinema, going on a shopping spree, or for a cheeky Nando’s, and you’ve turned them down so many times in favour of date night, they’re beginning to stop asking.
It’s important to have a balance if you choose to live with a partner, and you should both set time aside to spend with your friends separately. You don’t want to end up with FOMO and resenting each other.
👍 Pro: No dating horror stories
You're loved up, which means you're lucky enough to not bother yourself with the terms 'swiping', 'ghosting' or 'sliding into the DMs'. You’ve got your relationship in the bag, and you can sit back and enjoy how easy life is when you don’t have to rely on the swipes of a dating app for your next date – you’ve got dates on tap!
👎 Con: No dating horror stories
Being loved up at uni means you’re not going to have to go through the 'fun' that comes with dating nowadays. We can’t lie, we love a good dating horror story…. the one where he turned up with his mum, or the girl that had her dress on inside out? Classics! And you may begin to wish you were able to join in with your single friends’ funny stories, just for the bants!
💔 And finally the biggest con: Break ups
We know it may be something you don’t want to consider, but break ups happen and they suck, so be prepared…
It’s tough enough listening to ‘your song’, and seeing your ex living their best life on Insta, without the added hassle of now having a joint tenancy and bills to sort out between you.
When you consider moving in as a couple, make sure to ask your landlord what would happen if one of you moved out. Who would be responsible for the rent and bills? The usual process would be that the person moving out is responsible for the rent and bills at the property, unless they could find a replacement. Bear in mind, if you have a one-bedroom flat or house, this is not likely to work - the person left at the house may have to take on the full cost of the rent and bills themselves.