Lessons in the ‘Girls’ Lexicon: “Cohabitation”


Cohabitation (n.): The state or condition of living under the same roof as your significant other, whether either you had a discussion about it beforehand, or, as is the case with many college couples, happened upon it accidentally.

How it’s used in the show: At Hannah’s dinner party, discussion of Ray’s current living situation / status as a homeless person brings Shoshanna to the realization that he has unknowingly moved in with her: “Oh my god, do you live with me?!”

It starts with a simple, courteous act: “You can stay over, I guess… if you want.” Upon hooking up with a new guy/girl, it’s typically a nice thing to ask them to spend the night (assuming you both had a good time), regardless of how uncomfortably hot you get sleeping next to another person. Girls’ Hannah would refer to this as “inviting [someone] as a gesture.”

So let’s say the sleepover was a success. You realized that, while you may have tossed and turned throughout the night, it was actually nice waking up next to somebody. Soon, the sleepovers become something of a routine, increasing from one night a week to two, then three, and maybe even four. Your roommate begins to consider your significant other a permanent fixture in your living space—or, on the contrary, realizes that they’ve been left with the highly-sought-after “dingle.”

If you’re in a serious relationship, you may at some point experience a shocking realization similar to my spirit animal Shoshanna’s in this week’s episode. Since I’d rather this revelation not happen to you in the midst of a semi-disastrous “grown up” dinner party, I’ve compiled a list of signs that could indicate a cohabitation situation:

Signs that you’re moderately living with your boyfriend/girlfriend:

  • Your own toothbrush and/or extra pair of underwear at his/her place
  • Benign breakfast items stocked in his/her kitchen (coffee creamer, your favorite cereal, etc.) *Malevolent/aggressive breakfast items would probably include your own personal carton of eggs or special gluten-free bread
  • Favorite pajama items (found in your SO’s closet)
  • A drawer at his/her place
    *In dorms this is a huge deal because you only have four
  • Designated “sides” of the bed

Signs that you’re full-on roommates:

  • Spending nearly every night at their place
    *If you live in a dorm, this takes quite a bit of effort, as you can’t legally get swipe access or an extra key to your SO’s place
  • Feminine hygiene products in the boy’s room — this is a really big deal. I repeat: THIS IS A REALLY BIG DEAL
  • Childhood “blankey”/stuffed animal kept at their place (yeah, you’ve basically moved out of your own place at this point)
  • Your own abandoned room has become the designated sexile location / guest room

I’m definitely not criticizing this style of living—in fact, I offer you my congratulations on finding someone you love so much! I’m just here to inform the masses in order to help y’all avoid a Shoshanna-esque freakout. On a separate (but related) note, have a happy Valentine’s Day next week, you guys! Spread the love. (Just give your roomie a heads up before spreading it in your shared room.)

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