Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Friends as Roommates

New Girl; Apartment Party
It’s always exciting getting that first new place on your own and moving out of your family’s house, but when you start looking you realize it is more affordable to get a bigger and nicer place if you have a roommate. Who better to be your roommate than a friend?

Well, living with your friend isn’t always what you would expect it to be. Sure we’ve all watched TV shows like the New Girl, where living with your friends looks awesome, one big party, but life isn’t a TV show…so you’re probably in for a big surprise.

Depending on the situation, you might be renting out to a friend, you might sign a lease with a friend, or you might move in with and pay rent to a friend. You might move in with one friend, or many friends. The question is, how do relationships change when you make the transition from friends to roommates?

Conflicting Schedules

Conflicting schedules should be a cause for concern, but many people don’t think of this until after they have moved in together. For example, a couple of young friends who let’s say go to school or work at opposite times might also require sleep at opposite times. Ok so different sleeping schedules, big deal? What does that mean for your lifestyle at home?

Well for one thing you might not see much of each other but that could be a good thing. Different sleeping schedules would mean the two of you would be expected to keep noise at reasonable levels while the other sleeps. This might have an impact on your social life, and your lifestyle. And if you’re the type that enjoys watching a movie with an awesome sound system, or blasting that great new hit that just came out… well, you’re out of luck!

Conflicting Goals

The Big Bang Theory, Different Goals
What happens if one roommate is responsible, and the other is a party-fanatic? Sure, things were great when you were just friends. How did you know your roommate was a party-fanatic? Well you partied when you were together, but the rest of the time the two of you did your own things. But what happens if one roommate treats his new home as the bachelor pad of the century while the other, more introverted individual, finds happiness in a more quiet and relaxed environment?

What happens when your friend spends all their money partying or shopping? Who is responsible for paying the landlord the outstanding rent to avoid being sent to court? Unless you can say 100% that your friend does not party all the time, and is responsible with their money you might want to reconsider them as a roommate. That’s not to say that your friend can’t mature if given the chance. After all, we’ve all seen the hit TV-series Friends; when Rachel moves in with Monica, and has no sense of responsibility but eventually she learns.

Things aren’t as they seem

Sure, your friends are great. You have the most fun when you’re with them, but right now, you’re not always with them. The fact of the matter is that over time you get bored of people, and the longer you live with them the more you learn about them.

It’s possible that you really don’t know your friends that well. You don’t really get to know somebody until you live with them. What are their habits like? Do they like to keep things neat and tidy, or are they big procrastinators? Do their habits conflict with yours? Those are the types of questions you need to ask yourself, and they are important in determining if your friend would make a good roommate.

Take Big Bang Theory for example; can you imagine a roommate like Sheldon? Oh boy are you in for a treat if you move in and later discover your friend is a meticulous control freak. Where living at home would have been less stressful. Do your research, maybe try a vacation with your friend and share a room. Obviously this won’t be the most accurate way to determine how they really behave but it will give you a better idea. You’ll get to see if they pick up after themselves, or if they leave the room in total chaos.

It’s about compatibility.


Friends,Close Roommates 
At the end of the day, it’s not wrong to move in with a friend. You just have to be aware of the fact that living with somebody can have an effect on your relationship with that person. The trick is to select a roommate whose company you enjoy, who has a schedule similar to yours, and who also has similar goals. Live with somebody that respects your goals and encourages your growth. After all, if you’re living with somebody that’s detrimental to your goals in life, then you have a problem. Don’t make the mistake of slowing your progress because of the person you chose to live with.

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