And they lived happily ever after: how to have a good roommate relationship

Did you know that bad relationship with roommates is one of the main reasons why students have bad grades – or even drop out of college? It’s ideal to build a nice relationship with a person who are you going to live with so you can make living together as smooth as possible. But this should be done – before you even start to live with a roommate. So if you haven’t lived with a roommate before, you have to know that it can be both fun and demanding at the same time. You have to take into account that the quality of living is an important factor when living with someone. That’s why we give you a few things you should pay attention to if you want to have a good roommate relationship.

Do (not) take friends for roommates if you want to have a good roommate relationship

Although a lot of people think that living with their friends is a great idea, this just may not be the case. In fact, this may be the worst decision you have ever made. You and your friend can be as close as you want, but your relationship cannot be the same when you share the living space together. So you have to think this carefully. Do you want to spend every minute possible with your friend but your buddy is working two jobs at the same time and cannot afford to spend their spare time with you? Is your best friend in a relationship and you are single? Or maybe even a single parent? If so, here’s a few tricks on moving as a single parent. But, these can all be deal breakers when it comes to living with a friend. Of course, this doesn’t have to be the case with you and your friendship. You just need to talk this through carefully with your friend. And do keep in mind that there might be some misunderstandings. But always remember – it’s easier to find a new roommate than a new friend.  


Two roommates lying down and talking how to have a good roommate relationship
Two roommates sharing secrets

Start of slow

When you first start living with someone, you don’t need to find about all details of their life right away. And let’s be real, you don’t need to listen about somebody’s medical history half an hour after you met them. Or about their relationship problems just after the handshake. So in the first couple of weeks, try not to give too many intimate details about yourself. Be patient and considerate to your future roommate. With this, don’t get digging through people lives. Or ask too many personal questions. If your roommate has something to tell, they can do it in their own time. Trying to be too close with someone right at the start can just pull people away – or even scare them.

Be positive

Of course, by starting slow we don’t mean you have to go into your room, close the door and be quiet. Be open and positive as you can be. When meeting someone, try to discover your common interests and put a focus on it. Hey, you can maybe even go together to sightseeing in Brooklyn. This approach will give the sign to the other side that you want to be in a good relationship. It will also give them an idea that you are not some sort of a weirdo who will go through their drawers in the middle of the night. Besides, being cheerful will bring positive energy into your environment and you will feel better on daily basis.

Two roommates on terrace
Enjoy roommate life

Have a clear set of rules – and stick to them

It is important to have a set of rules at the very beginning. And both sides should agree on these rules. Of course, rules don’t have to be written in stone but should be something that you and your roommate respect and try to hold on to. The most important thing is to agree on house chores and privacy terms.

When it comes to chores, here’s how you to deal with clutter. And right from the start, make clear what are your terms when it comes to hygiene. This may be weird but you should know that not all people are brought up in the same way. Maybe your roommate doesn’t make a difference between a sponge and wipe. You should also make clear what is ok and what is not when it comes to privacy. If your roommate wants to throw a party in your room without asking, this may not be a great idea.

Tell them in advance when you have friends over

It would be nice to tell your roommate if you have friends over, especially if you plan some kind of a gathering or a party. While it may be normal for you, some people are not used to having strangers around in their house. Also, many kinds of research have shown that frequent change of partners is the most common cause for roommate fights. Whatever your preferences are, it’s important to build a balance and compromise between you and your roommate. On the other hand, if you demand not to have any people over to have your own privacy, this may be exaggerating. Also, keep in mind that if you are a working person that gets up really early, you may not get along with a party animal. Having people coming too often may bother you in long term. To have a good roommate relationship it’s important to find a roommate who has a similar social life as you do.

Two girls hugging
Enjoy your time together as roommates

Do a monthly check-in to have a good roommate relationship

If you have work-related meetings, you should have roommate meetings too. It is crucial to have a talk with your roommate once a month. You may talk about how living together is going. Be open and tell everything that is bothering you but focus on great things too. Also, don’t be too sensitive if the other side has a word or two to say about you. It’s better to clearly state potential problems then leave them to escalate.

In the end, if you are just about to find a roommate but you are afraid who you can run into, we hope this text helped. And remember, in order to have a good roommate relationship you need to be the better person. The rest is onto your roommate. Also, if you are moving at approximately the same time, perhaps you can make an arrangement with a moving company to help you move into the apartment. This way you can split all the costs and you will already have a project you’ve done together which can only bring you closer right away.