So, You Slept With Your SF Roommate? Here's How to Handle It.

Jason Hoffman illustration bathroom toothbrushes
Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

Here’s the thing about San Francisco: rents are crazy high, the median age is low, and the residents of this city are predominantly (and perpetually) single. During your time in SF, it’s only natural that you might end up in a household of four or more -- and that one of those relationships might become sexually charged. Ask your friends or coworkers, and I guarantee you’ll know at least five people who have crossed the line with a roommate.

Even though you know for a fact that it’s a bad idea, sometimes it just... happens. You start off spending a night watching TV and munching Thai takeout together, then you end up sharing seriously embarrassing Tinder blunders, and one too many shots of whiskey at your local bar later, oops, you wake up in a neighboring room. Don’t be ashamed -- it’s bound to happen. And even those who have never done it have thought about it (just try to pretend otherwise). But we can help navigate you through the aftermath.

Don’t do it

I just had to say it. Avoid the whole thing altogether, if possible. It’s messy, it gets emotional, it’s awkward for you both (not to mention your other roommates -- it’s San Francisco: the walls are not that soundproof), and it can only end in heartbreak. Do you know how hard it is to find a reasonably priced apartment in this city? Don’t jeopardize the one you have. But you knew that and you did it anyway, so now what?

Have “the talk”

This isn’t your usual wait-two-weeks-to-text/see-if-anything-better-comes-along hook up. You’re going to run into your fling over coffee every morning, so you can’t ignore the situation (even though you can semi-avoid it by running to Four Barrel for a coffee from that cute barista instead). It’s gonna be awkward, but you and Roomie need to communicate early and make sure you’re on the same page. Was it a one-time mistake? Do you want to do it again and keep it casual? Are you trying to date? These are all questions that, unfortunately, need to be addressed right away. With a roommate there’s no middle ground, no game playing. You’ve gotta figure it out and you’ve gotta figure it out now.

Get out of the house

Being there is just going to make you want to knock on their door, so find activities that’ll get you out of the house. San Francisco has so many must-try activities that you’ll only find here, and we bet you’ve been too lazy or too busy to try them out. Now’s your chance. (Bonus points if you meet someone new while you’re out and about -- at least assuming you’re not trying to date your roomie).

Jason Hoffman illustration roommates sleeping together
Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

Avoid boozing it up together

If you’re going to try to pretend it didn’t happen and move forward as friends, avoid liquid temptation. After three drinks, everyone’s mind goes to one thing, and you don’t want to be in the vicinity of Roomie after that. Keep your boozing out of the house (San Francisco has a never-ending supply of awesome bars, after all) and go out with friends who will encourage you to flirt with that cute guy or girl at the end of the bar instead. But once you start flirting with someone new...

Don’t bring your date home

At least for a couple of months. It’s rude and hurtful, and will only make your living situation more awkward. The walls are thin, remember? If you want to have a sleepover with that bar fly or Tinder date, go to their house and hope they haven’t slept with their roommate yet.

Keep it discreet

So you want to keep up the late night rendezvous? We get it -- it’s convenient, there’s something sexy about the forbidden, and you’re already comfortable with the person. Despite advice from your friends, you’re probably not going to stop. At least make it easier on your other roommates: avoid canoodling over dishes, partnering up for steamy shower sessions (come on, some people have to work), and dragging the whole household into your drama (this means keep the flirting -- and fighting -- quiet and considerate).

Date them

Hey, you started out as cohabitors and then became friends, so it’s actually a great foundation for something real. In some ways, it’s like you’re already a married couple (domesticity can be a turn on), which has its benefits. Just because getting it on with a roommate is usually a terrible idea, that doesn’t mean you should blow off a potentially great relationship with someone you like. Think about it -- you already know how to deal with each other’s annoying habits and you already share duties like cleaning the tub and buying toilet paper. So really, the hard stuff is already out of the way. Now you get to build a relationship while playing house -- without having to sweat the small stuff every day.

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Eloise Porter is a Thrillist contributor who isn’t writing this article from experience, or anything... You can follow her on Twitter @eloisepporter.