Two years ago, I moved to a brand new city without knowing a single soul there. I was still in college, so I thought it would be as easy to meet people as it was in the dorms.
It was not.
After moving into an apartment with roommates I had met via Facebook, I was introduced to my apartment-complex neighbors.
I'd never had many guy friends before I met my new neighbors. To my surprise, they became my closest friends. Within a couple of months, they had asked me to sign a lease with them the following year.
Having never lived with guys before, I was not sure if I would hate it. Would they be too loud? Too messy? Would it be awkward to be around them in my pajamas?
Hesitantly, I agreed. And it turned out to be one of the best decisions I've made for myself in my young-adult years.
Living with four guys has given me a great perspective into the male mind (the good and the bad) and has helped to build my own lackluster confidence.
One of the most beneficial parts of living with guys was the influence on my own confidence. Growing up, I lacked male role models in my life. About 95% percent of my friends were female, mostly because I did not know how to act around guys enough to befriend them; I was extremely shy and was intimidated by males. I should probably also throw in the fact that I've never had a real boyfriend, so I’ve definitely struggled with the idea of being undesirable to the opposite sex.
Now, my perspective and level of shyness have completely changed as a result of my living situation. These guys have made me realize I am a desirable and normal person. As sad as it sounds, I often questioned if there was something wrong with me. I never met guys who were interested in being my friend or dating me. Since living with men, I have learned to just be myself, and I have grown the confidence to realize that if someone doesn't like me, it's their problem and not mine.
Along with my confidence, I realized I don’t have to wear makeup all the time or be dressed up in order to interact with men. I struggled with this for a while, mostly due to female friends who projected their own self-esteem issues onto me. I have learned I don’t need to be embarrassed if I’m not always looking or feeling my best; we're all human, and whether I put on concealer or not today will not determine if a boy likes me.
To my own surprise, I also discovered guys can be clean. To be honest, my roommates have done more around the house to clean than I have. This cleanliness will usually only last about three to four hours or until the next meal is made, but hey, it's still clean for a while, right? Either way, the stereotype about guys being completely messy are definitely not always true.
I also never realized how useful it is to have a handyman around the house. Need shelves on the wall hung? Done. Need a light bulb changed? It’s done, no problem. I never had the desire to depend on a man for these things, but damn, it can sure be helpful!
The mere absence of drama makes living with male roommates worth it. I've found it's generally easier to be honest with guys, because they aren’t usually easily offended. There is not a competition between girls who have crushes on the same guy or who has the best clothes, we don't talk about each other behind our backs. In my own past experience, it has been difficult to be honest with girl roommates; if something annoys me, I have to find an extremely nice way to tell them without offending. But with male roommates, they welcome your opinions.
You're probably wondering if things ever get complicated. What if I develop a crush on my roommate? What if they like me as more than a friend? Luckily, I have not had any issues with that.
Of course, there have been a few drunken encounters. Fortunately, nothing has ever been regrettable. I can admit a few make-out sessions have occurred (and maybe more), but the next day, we laugh it off and continue on with our routines. It is way less complicated than I thought it could be.
My experiences may differ from yours, obviously. Hell, living with guys might not even sound like a “crazy” thing for you to do. But if you ever encounter an opportunity, I say go for it. Move away from the norm and do something that’ll help you grow as a person.
The humor in telling relatives and friends you are living with all guys is only one of the many perks. The initial shock on their face followed by the question “Is it messy?” gets me every time. I also get a lot of “You chose to live with THESE guys?” And I smile, saying yes, thinking to myself, little do they know how much my roommates have changed my life for the better.