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Cultivate a good roommate relationship

Learning to be a good roommate and how to make your living arrangement work well can take some time if you’re new to living with someone. Here’s how to make the experience smooth sailing.

Roommates

Home sweet home is how we all want to think of the place we rest our heads, but when you’re cohabitating with someone, a lot of how you feel about home will come down to how good a relationship you have with your roommate.

Want to making your living arrangement as smooth and as happy as can be? It’s not as hard as you may think, and you can say bye-bye to living with someone you consider a roommate from hell.

Be selective when choosing who to live with

If you have the luxury of meeting with several potential roommates (meaning, you’re not rushing to find someone so you can pay the rent on time), definitely do so. Take some time to get to know the person. Even if you aren’t looking for your roommate to be your BFF, you want to make sure you’re comfortable with them. Find out what their lifestyle is like. If they like to park themselves in front of the television for hours, consider whether this will drive you crazy. Discuss what house rules each of you can expect to adhere to. Find out what their habits are in terms of housekeeping (do they wash dishes right away, for example) to see how they jibe with you. Being as upfront and clear before living together can help avoid issues later on.

Be ready to compromise

When you’re sharing close quarters with someone, you have to be willing to be flexible about things, or you may find yourself bickering about every little matter. Is their leaving the cap off the shampoo you share really the biggest deal? Pick your battles wisely. If there are little things you find you truly can’t let slide, then by all means, casually bring them up (don’t wait till you’re ready to explode over the issue!). And likewise, when your roommate asks you to pick up milk the next time you’ve finished the carton, make a note of it, and try to be more helpful with doing that going forward.

Be respectful of their things

Though she may have said to help yourself to anything that’s hers, it’s probably better to err on the side of caution. Even if you have an impromptu date and know her LBD would be the perfect outfit, don’t take it out of her closet! Consider how you’d feel if she used something of yours without asking permission first (or worse, if she ruined or broke the item while borrowing it). Over time, you may eventually find out what type of borrowing is fine with each other, but until you get to that point, it’s better to consider everything that’s hers off limits.

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Turn an argument into a productive exercise
Identifying toxic friendships

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