Looking for a roommate is no easy task, especially if you have limited time finding one!
After all, this is the person that you will be sharing a space with and, in an ideal world, you will need someone who has more or less the same habits as you.
Not all roommates gel together as well as Chandler and Joey or Rachel and Monica from Friends, but here are a few things to look for in a roommate which will make the living situation a lot smoother:
#1 – Similar sleep habit
Having a roommate who is awake all night can be really frustrating unless, of course, you are nocturnal yourself.
However, if you are a person who needs to sleep at night in order to work the next day, it can be tiring to have a roommate who is up at odd hours doing everything under the sun, making it impossible for you to catch some zzzz’s.
And then, when the first light of day breaks through the window and they are getting ready for bed, you have turned into The Grinch overnight.
This is a no-brainer: preferably try to find someone who has at least similar sleeping habits as you do!
#2 – Look for financial stability
The worst thing you can do is get a roommate who’s lacking financial stability or isn’t responsible enough to respect the concept of (voluntarily) hand over their portion of the monthly rent.
It is not your job to awkwardly confront them at the end of each month and talk to them about rent. It could also turn into a nasty conflict situation that can leave relations between the two of you sour, especially if it’s a close friend.
A good roommate will meet the deadline and if there is a change in their financial situation, they will let you know well in advance and not leave you hanging.
#3 – Aim for open communication
This is the most important aspect of any relationship. The channels of communication should be wide and clear and you need to be able to talk about negatives and positives.
Communicate about your stance on topics such as visitors, financial responsibility, obligations, pets, smoking and other pressing issues from the beginning!
Also, make sure that you know where the line is drawn when it comes to sharing!
Sure, you might borrow some of their milk and they might use some of your shampoo, but if you prefer that they buy their own food or stay out of your closet, then that should be communicated as well, no?!
Stick to the rules and it should be smooth sailing.
#4 – Basic cleanliness
You should both agree on a level of cleanliness if you are going to live together. This is particularly important for areas such as the living room and kitchen which you will both be sharing.
Don’t be passive or shy about the rules: be direct and talk about it so that you both find a cleaning routine that you are happy with! Agree to clear out the sink if you have finished preparing food and to fluff the pillows after falling asleep on the couch during a Netflix binge.
Stick to this agreement and don’t falter. This way, you will have a smooth relationship.
#5 – Independence vs. BFF
It really is amazing that you and your roommate get along and somehow become great friends (even BFF), but it is important to set the boundaries for independence: after all, you more than likely don’t want a co-dependent roommate!
For example, if you might work together, which means you are going to be seeing each other every single hour of the day. You should try and branch out to other friends over the weekends – preferably friends who are not mutual so that you give each other some breathing space?
Spending too much time together can make things complicated between the two of you in the long run.
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