Living with the best friend may seem as a very appealing idea, especially if you are moving out from your parents’ home for the first time. Unfortunately, sometimes this experience doesn’t turn out as positive as we expect it to be.
Eventually you may find out that best friends don’t necessarily make good roommates, so think carefully before deciding to move in with your best friend.
Will my best friend be a good roommate?
Here are some guidelines that may help you figure out whether you and your best friend match as roommates.
- Think about your best friend’s characteristics and ask yourself:
- Is he/she responsible and hardworking person?
- Can he afford the new apartment?
- Will he/she pay the rent and utilities regularly?
- Can you talk openly about any issue that arise?
- Is your friend willing to compromise?
- Are your lifestyles, interests and preferences compatible?
- Is your friend tolerant/does he get upset easily?
– Discuss your different lifestyles. The fact that you two have an exceptionally good relationship doesn’t mean that you have the same preferences and expectations about your living arrangement. The assumption that there won’t be any major problems since you get along perfectly happens to be wrong. Talk about your daily routine and your expectations so as to avoid possible misunderstandings. Figure out a system that works for both of you and that will allow you to be good roommates and remain best friends. Make sure you come to an agreement on some basics like paying rent, bills, household maintenance, some ground household rules. Discuss when you go to bed and get up, go to work/school, study time, social priorities, when you can invite friends and have overnight guests,… If your living styles are not compatible, make sure you are willing to reach a compromise and make the whole situation work.
– Once you have decided that you want to move in together, start planning and arranging your new home, but don’t expect that you will do everything together all the time. Everyone needs some time apart.
– Establish some ground rules. What’s acceptable for you, your roommate may find inappropriate or unbearable. If keeping the home clean is your everyday task and your roommate is doing it occasionally, then you two have an issue to talk about. Just be considerate and try not to hurt each other’s feelings. Address the suggestions properly, explain how you feel about the problem and try to find the solution together. If something bothers you, don’t hesitate to bring it up. Finding balance between tolerance and thoughtfulness is the key to a successful cohabitation.
– Set healthy boundaries. Respect your roommate’s private space, belongings and habits. Roommates usually share most of the things, but try not to be too invasive in order to avoid possible conflicts. There are times when you are not in the mood for socializing, when you need to be by yourself and your roommate should understand and respect that. Bad roommate situation and conflicts can result in disrupted friendship, so make sure you two talk to each other about possible issues. Your communication will evolve so you need to be honest with each other. Suppressing your feelings may cause additional arguments or conflicts.
– Be prepared to discover things that you didn’t know (or didn’t need to know) about your best friend. If you two have some unresolved issues from the past, they are likely to come up along with some other home related problems and the tension between you will grow. Also, don’t expect that everything stays the same. You will evolve and change and so will your friendship.
– Accept that best friends can make terrible roommates. Also, the fact that you two have similar interests and preferences doesn’t mean that you will live in harmony.