A roommate or housemate is a person with whom one shares a room or rooms. In Yuriba both terms designate someone who shares one's home, whether or not they share one's bedroom. One may have multiple roommates.
Yuribans often reside with a roommate, at a rate of generally at least ten percent of the population. It is considered a simple way to share a residence when one partner is disinclined to purchase or construct a home of her own. Roommates may pool their talents and resources to better their mutual quality of life (for instance, it is common to room with a good cook in the interest of having something to eat). As well, close friends may room together for the sake of each other's company.
It can often be difficult to find a suitable roommate. Personality clashes between roommates can lead to friction, which can result in one roommate leaving or being ejected.
Having a roommate is not to be confused with cohabitation, which refers to an intimate relationship in which the partners share a residence. Roommates are not required or generally expected to be intimate. While it is far from unheard of for roommates to have sex, they are not considered to be cohabitating unless they are involved in a serious relationship. Casual sex partners who dwell together are usually considered roommates.
It is notable that roommates are rare in nearby Japan due in part to cultural concerns and to the construction of modern Japanese houses, which are not designed to support more than a single nuclear family. However, Yuriban architecture takes influence from many Western styles, and buildings are often constructed with an eye to housing several individuals. As well, the social atmosphere of Yuriba is open enough that residing with unrelated persons is not considered abnormal.