How to be Friends and Roommates (Without Ruining the Friendship)

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How to be Friends and Roommates (Without Ruining the Friendship)

Elaine Heng · Nov 15, 2016

male friend roommates

You’ve probably contemplated moving in with a friend multiple times in your life—it isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but it isn’t right for everyone. Not all friends are well-suited as roommates, but it some cases, it can be a perfect match. So, don’t listen to all of the horror stories of friendships gone awry after living together because moving in with a friend may be just what you (and your friend) need! You just have to look at the situation as a whole before you take that leap.

Cooking and Cleaning

People are pretty particular about how they clean, organize, and even cook. Since you’re considering sharing a space with your dear friend, who you will be doing all of the above with, it is important to openly discuss each other’s ground rules. For example, talk about how you will you split chores and responsibilities, such as keeping the kitchen clean after cooking or eating.Just be honest and open-minded, and if you guys ever need to reevaluate rules set in place, you can totally do that. Don’t be afraid to talk to your friend, but don’t be a nit-picker or negative Nancy about situations either.

Schedules

Are you a morning person or a night owl? How about your friend? Will this be something that would ever bother or disrupt your roommate’s peace and quiet… or maybe yours? You can always discuss quiet hours so that the both of you will be able to live comfortably and in harmony while still not having to compromise your schedules and routines.

Pets

Do either of you have pets? Animals make noise and they have to exercise and potty regularly, so they are a lot of responsibility, and leaving your pet at home with your roommate when you’re not there could leave a sign of obligation to care for your pet, even if you tell them they don’t need to. If you both have pets, this could be quite the positive experience, as your pets will also be roommates and never get lonely when you’re away!

Significant Others

Group Of Friends Wearing Pajamas Taking Selfie On Mobile

Do either of you have a special someone in your live? You may find that hanging out as a couple is actually quite simple – just make sure that wherever one goes, the other follows suit. When you have a roommate, be considerate of your shared spaces and also the fact that only you two pay the rent, not other visiting friends or partners. Again, communication is key here. Your friend may totally be okay with you spending time with your significant other at your place from time to time. But, you won’t know unless you ask, so be sure to ask before it turns into a potential problem.

Rent and Utilities

Money is sometimes a tough subject to have with your friends and family. In this case, it is an absolute must. Many apartments do not accept separate checks to pay for rent, so it is important to find out and put a plan in place as needed. You also need to consider other such as electricity, cable, gas, internet etc. What bills will be in whose name? Can you depend on your friend to pay bills on time? And if not, are you willing to help out if your friend asks for it?

The Tough Stuff

Learn how to handle tough situations TOGETHER. All apartments are different; you could end up with an apartment with lease violations, noisy neighbors, parking problems. Team up together to know your rights as tenants and learn how to protect yourselves. There’s nothing like coming home after a rough day to find that your roommate knows exactly how to take the edge off. It might even make you a little emotional from time to time knowing that you made the right decision to move in with your friend, now roommate.

Stay Friends

male friend roommates

The most important thing to remember is that you both are friends first. You are entertaining the idea of living together because you have love for each other, so remember to always keep this in mind to avoid allowing the friendship to become a “just roommates” situation. If you feel like you aren’t spending enough quality time together, that’s OK too. It’s OK to miss your friendship and want it back, just make sure to say something and not go too far into a strictly roommate relationship. Plan game nights, movie dates, or whatever else you both like to do in order to keep your friendship healthy!

Aside from all of the fun and games of maintaining your friendship, make it a point to check in with each other to see how you both feel about the current living situation. Are you annoyed that your roommate doesn’t his clothes out of the dryer for a day or two after they’ve finished? Say something now to avoid ruining the friendship later after a big blowout.

Maybe you feel like you’re seeing your friend too much now and need to take some space? The friendship/roommate lines can get blurred when living together since you’ll be seeing a lot more of each other. But, before you start backing away, take everything in. Outside of work and/or school schedules, how often are you really together? Because you live together, you may feel like you are spending too much time together when in reality you’re just trying to give your roommate her respected space, but don’t overthink it.

You see? No horror stories here. Nightmarish friend turned roommate stories typically only happen when communication is lost or is lacking in the first place. Just remember to be respectful of each other’s thoughts and space in your new apartment, speak honestly and openly, and never forget your friendship.

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