Housemates with Benefits: Cohabiting with Your Ex

by | May 24, 2023 | All about Love

Taylor Swift once said, ‘We are never, ever, getting back together!’ But what happens when they are one of your housemates and you still have to live with them until your contract ends?

Forget the fear that you will bump into your ex on a night out, or that you’ll drunk message them. What do you do when they are in your house making some scrambled eggs?

Breakups are not easy, and the last thing you need is having to see your ex every single time you get home. Do you say hi? Do you ignore each other? What are you meant to do for the situation to not be awkward?

Living with your ex is like entering a parallel universe where the line between love and hate gets blurrier each day. From awkward encounters in the kitchen to accidental run-ins in the bathroom, things can always take a turn. One second you are in your room doing your own thing, and the next you are in their bed doing ‘rebound roommates’ activities.

You can’t move from being in a relationship to close friends in the blink of an eye. Especially if the break up wasn’t a nice one.

So, let’s get into the complicated world of living with your ex, or as I like to call it Ex-etiquette.

What is the Ex-etiquette?

Well, it’s mastering the art of polite small talk while secretly plotting revenge. I’m just kidding. Or am I?

Ex-etiquette is about maintaining your sanity and keeping your dignity in the face of temptation. From lust to strategic avoidance, here is some advice to repress your unresolved feelings and unleashing your inner heartbreaker.

My dear friend Lucy Mason, who’s already been there, done that, shared her struggles living with her ex, and offered some advice for people who are going through the same.

Lucy and her boyfriend at the time moved together with some other friends in the second year of uni. However, sometimes things are just not meant to be and they ended up breaking up. Lucy was left living with with her ex for the rest of her house contract.

She explained how hard she found it when they broke up because neither of them could get the space they needed to move on.

She said: ‘We ended up talking and getting back together far more than we should’ve done because of it.’

“It’s important for people in that situation to get as much time as possible, i.e. removing them off social media, so that you only have to be in their presence when you are actually in the house.”


So, if you happen to be in the same situation that Lucy was in, you are not alone. I know that it’s hard to avoid them in your own home, especially when it comes to your monthly housemate roast dinner. But try your best to keep your distance when possible, even if it means unfollowing them on Insta. And remember, your bedroom door has a lock for a reason, so it might be time to start using it.

Wether that will work or not, at least you’ll end up having a great story to share over drinks with your friends. And I guarantee you will definitely win the “never have I ever” game.

Edited by Yoan Shterev

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