One of the Boys: A Guide to Living with Dudes

During college, I had bad luck with roommates. I also lived in dorms or campus apartments for all four years, so I always had to have a female roommate. Which may have been part of the problem.

That’s why, when I moved halfway across the country for grad school and had to find a random stranger to share a new apartment with, I decided to look for a male roommate.

Via Craigslist, I found a guy who was looking to sublet his apartment because he was leaving the state. The three-bedroom apartment was about five miles from campus, fully-furnished, and coed-friendly, though the guys had never lived with a girl before me. Since I was scarred from several traumatic roommate encounters, I was hesitant at first, but really had no other choice. I met all of the guys for beers one night, and they seemed nice enough, so I moved in. Best decision of my grad school life.

Before I go into detail about why living with two guys ROCKED, let me first mention that it wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops. These guys were slobs. I was usually the only one who did the dishes, and I cleaned up after them a few times a week. I also frequently woke up craving leftover pizza from the night before, only to find that the boys had eaten it. And left the empty box in the fridge. But, that being said, it was more than worth it, because we had a fantastic time.

I had a long-distance boyfriend for the duration of my stay at Casa de Hombres. Therefore, my relationship with my roommates remained strictly platonic. My boyfriend and my roommates got along splendidly, so when my boyfriend came to visit we all partied together and had a grand old time. It was perfect: he loved the guys and knew he could trust me living in a testosterone-heavy apartment.

Then, there were my girlfriends. At school, I quickly made friends with the only other partiers in the program. Since I lived the closest to campus, my apartment quickly became the place to crash after a hard night of bar-hopping. The guys I lived with were laid-back so they never cared if the living room was strewn with bodies or if we came stumbling home and loudly crashed through the kitchen looking for some late-night munchies.

We had some crazy nights out, but some of our best times were chilling at the apartment with the guys. Though I mentioned earlier that the guys would often eat my stuff, they were always willing to share their stuff with my friends and me. Even if they weren’t home, we could help ourselves to their beer or liquor and they would join us as soon as thet got home. Eventually, one of my friends and one of my roommates became f*ck buddies, but the house somehow stayed drama-free.

As we all got closer, the boys became my protectors. I once told them about a dude who had treated me badly and they were both up in arms, ready to find him and beat him down. Of course that wasn’t necessary, but they told me to let them know if anyone ever messed with me again. They would also bring me pillows or cover me with a blanket on the nights I passed out on the couch in the living room. How sweet.

The bottom line is that living with guys can be awesome, but you have to be aware that it will be very different from living with girls. In my case, living with dudes meant that in exchange for a drama-free, party-filled year, I did hours of extra cleaning. But I was fine with that. Once we established our unspoken roles in the apartment, we all became one big, happy, random family. One without all that estrogen fueled drama.

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