There comes a time when every man must leave the nest in search of greener pastures. The only problem with this is that it will likely bring together a band of esés who have grown to play by certain rules – their own.
So how does one enter the grand union of shared living without turning into Amanda Knox? Take a look at these ten gentlemanly tips for maintaining peace amongst a brethren’s living quarter.
#1 Bringing Someone Home Without A Heads-Up
A little courtesy goes a long way in maintaining the universal balance within a shared living space. We don’t mean telling your flatmates that you’ll be participating in a threesome with your second cousin though (each to their own).
All you need to do is send a quick notice along the lines of: “Bringing a ‘friend’ back. Let me know if there’s any issues”. Think about it. There’s nothing worse than stumbling out of your room in leather and chains in front of your housemate’s visiting family.
#2 Drinking Another Man’s Alcohol Without Asking
The perennial rule of the gentleman: Do not touch another man’s whisky, wine or beer without first asking. Alcohol is sacred personal ground and thus shall be treated with the utmost respect. And we don’t mean supplementing the half bottle of priceless whisky you just downed with grandmother’s prune juice, you cheap bastard.
#3 Allowing A Partner To Overstay Their Welcome
Found yourself a significant other? We’re happy for you. They enjoy spending nights with you? Good for them. They’d like to stay a few nights? No problem. They’ve asked for a copy of your keys? Whoa there, cowboy. Housemate relations can turn sour when a housemate’s partner inadvertently becomes a non-paying tenant. You want to stay, you’ve got to pay. This is the cardinal rule of modern civilisation.
#4 Dish Rules
We all know this one so we’ll keep it short. Do your own damn dishes. Cockroaches “cleaning the plates” for you isn’t going to cut it. Use a dish, wash it immediately after. It’ll save you from the dreaded pile-up.
#5 Expecting Housemates To Be Your Best Mates
We get it. You’ve moved in with virtual strangers and they seem like the coolest bunch of people since the Hanson brothers. That still doesn’t make them your best friends though, not at first anyway.
Refrain from over sharing stories of your Icelandic sexcapades, your secret stash or anything else that will be considered offensive or incriminating. Let time do its job in bringing the household together organically. Maintain time share, which is about allowing your housemates to have their own time even when you’re bored shitless.
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#6 Horrendous Bowl Aim
Hygiene is the underlying fabric that keeps modern civilisation intact. As a man, ensure that you aim accordingly in the shared bathroom. If you don’t, at least clean up after yourself. This isn’t your local swimming pool anymore so keep that fire hose bolstered at all times.
#7 Acceptable Noise Levels
This is a common one but for a very good reason. We all love music but we also have our own music tastes. Make sure you have a prior agreement as to when and how loud music should be played depending on the occasion. Your neighbours will love you for it and more importantly your housemate doesn’t need to wake up to the sound of the best of S Club 7.
#8 Expense Share
This stuff should already be sorted in your living arrangements but we’re talking more about general consumables such as cleaning supplies, garbage bags and toilet paper. If you decide to share, split the costs evenly without this “you used more than me” business. If that’s how you roll, split up all costs and alternate it between rent payments. If you forget, bring it up the next month. Don’t accidentally “forget” to settle debts as this will tarnish the relations no matter how small the cost.
#9 Hitting On Every Housemate
So you live with some of the hottest women in the world (score). She also has a partner. Down boy. Your housemates are exactly that – housemates. Your home is exactly that – a place to live. If the intimate relations and mounting sexual tension is mutual, then go for gold. If it’s completely plutonic then don’t push your luck. You’ll be out the door in no time alongside a restraining order to your name.
#10 Dress Code
By dress code we don’t mean having to dress up in the latest suits. We mean wearing pants around your housemates as a sign of common decency. Yes, free-balling was commonplace where you whence came, but in a shared space, no one wants to wake up to a breakfast of two-day old sausage and beans. Keep that thing under wraps. If it’s Summer and it’s hot, wear some shorts.