When you picture the perfect roommate, it’s likely someone who has similar taste in movies, music, and fashion to you. Someone who is always clean but doesn’t mind when you’re messy. Someone who makes communication easy and likes to have fun with you. But most importantly, your ideal roommate is your best friend.
Is living with your best friend a good idea? Although it may seem like the perfect scenario — after all, you already know that you get along — living with your best friend may not be the smartest choice. Having a roommate isn’t easy and having to have those difficult roommate conversations with your best friend might not be the best for your friendship.
Sometimes, living together can ruin the friendship as you may discover that something that your best friend does is one of your biggest pet peeves or simply, living with them and seeing them all the time makes them just get on your nerves. However, living together can also bring you closer and can make you appreciate your friend in a way that you didn’t before. So, what should you consider before making the ultimate decision to move in with a friend?
Here are five things to think about before you move in together:
1. Similarity of schedules
This doesn’t just mean class and work schedules. What about your sleep schedules? Do you get up early but your best friend likes to stay up watching movies until 1 am? If you have separate bedrooms this may not be as much of an issue but if you’re sharing a room this is definitely something to consider. Sleep is so, so important so if your sleeping schedules don’t align it can cause some serious arguments.
2. Messy vs. clean
Although this is something that can be easily fixed, it’s important to know how messy or clean your roommate is and be honest with them about how messy you are. If your roommate likes to keep things super clean but you definitely tend to throw something on the ground and not pick it up for weeks, then this is something you’ll need to evaluate before moving in together. This also applies to cleaning in general; how will you handle any household chores? How often do you plan to clean? If you disagree about these decisions and can’t seem to come up with a compromise, then you might not be great roommates for each other.
3. How you’ll handle disagreements
Disagreements between roommates are normal and expected but it all depends on how you choose to handle these arguments. Will you and your best friend go days without talking to each other before finally going over your problems? Or do you talk about them immediately after they happen? Are you able to remain calm or do your fights normally start with screaming? How you and your best friend resolve conflict is key to understanding how you’ll be as roommates. Being a roommate requires lots of communication so if you’re not willing to talk to your friend about what’s bothering you as soon as it happens then you may not be successful roommates.
It’s completely normal to get jealous sometimes, especially if your friend starts hanging out with other people. However, this is something that you will need to accept and move on from in order to be a good roommate. Now that you live together, you will need to take some time apart sometimes. Whether this is your friend going to grab dinner without inviting you or having one of their other friends over, you can’t get upset or jealous if they don’t always invite you along. You should also consider how they feel during the same situations. When you have friends over do you want them to hang out with you guys or do you need that time alone? This is definitely an important aspect of living with your friend.
5. Be honest: Do you see yourself getting along?
The most important step in deciding whether or not to live with a friend is whether or not you think you will get along as roommates for the long term. No matter what you want to think, listen to your gut. You know your friend best so if you think that you will be able to live together peacefully without ruining the friendship or risking your sanity then go for it. However, if even a small part of you doubts whether or not you can handle it then talk out the issues with your friend before making any final decisions. See if it’s an issue that you think you can compromise on or if it is something that either of you are unwilling to change. Go with your gut here and only do what you think will be best for the future of your friendship.
The goal of having a roommate is to find someone that you can co-habitate with. If this is your best friend, then that’s amazing and you should definitely experience living together as it will be fun and rewarding. However, if they’re not someone who you can see yourself living with then don’t put yourself through a year worth of stress or risk ruining the friendship over a possible roommate argument.