January 28, 2016

I always found the idea of having a roommate scary. Roommates bring all kinds of horror stories. From birth through college, I never had to share a room with anyone. My sister and I shared a bathroom, but that wasn't really an issue too often. In college, I was always hearing stories of roommates from hell. College students can be dirty, messy, loud, and just all-around terrible sometimes. Me? I never had that problem. I had the best roommate of all time. Me! I was clean, quiet, and went to bed at a reasonable hour. I was always thinking to myself how good of a roommate I was. Kidding. Kind of.

Now that I am 29, and have a roommate there are some serious perks.

1. I always have someone to talk to rather than myself.
2. I have a constant dinner date.
3. I have someone who can help me put together outfits.
4. I have someone to go on McDonald's runs with.
5. I have someone to binge watch shows with. Holla!

Also, it helps me tremendously financially! I cannot tell you the load that having a roommate has taken off.

Being friends with your roommate is rare, I have heard. Most of the time, roommates are just that. My roommate, however, is my friend, co-worker, confidant, and sister. We do almost everything together, and honestly, she has helped me to learn to trust again (shout out Caley!). So, if you want to better your relationship with your roommate, sister, husband, wife, etc., here are some pointers.

1. Be courteous and remember it's their space too.
It was an adjustment for me in the beginning to share space with someone. I am particular about how things are organized, but I don't have it all together. Sometimes, I need to collaborate with my roommate to find what works best for both of us. I am clean, or at least clean up after myself, I don't blare music loudly, and I certainly don't impose myself in her space. If she wants to invite others over, or vice versa, we talk about it first so each of us is aware. That is very important!
2. Find common ground.
I am very lucky to have a roommate who appreciates my taste and has a similar taste to mine. We are able to decorate, or find things for the apartment that we both like and enjoy. We also have similar hobbies, interests, and backgrounds. We each have a different story, but there are a lot of things that are similar. We each really like watching the Bachelor, so there's that. Finding common ground can enable you to appreciate your roommate for who they are, and it can make living together a lot easier.
3. Accept that things will change. 
When I went from living alone to living with someone, it was almost a culture shock. I wanted to be sure that I was courteous and respectful of her space, but I also wanted to be sure that I made the space my own as well. Now, it was odd to come home with someone (we work at the same place) and then find a balance between hanging out and having alone time, but we both take cues pretty well. If I need some time to myself, I went to my room immediately after getting home and closed the door. My roommate understood that I just needed some time, and she was okay with it. There are times where she would be having a conversation on the phone, so I knew to be respectful and allow her to connect with others. Things were different, but in a good way. 
4. Be helpful. 
Cleaning and handling household chores is a compromise at times. Each person has to carry their own weight, and it's so much easier when you're willing to help! I think being helpful or intentional goes a long way in a roommate living situation. It can be anything from taking out the garbage, to unloading the dishwasher, to making dinner for the other person. 
5. Be willing to go 50/50. 
I have heard of some nit-picky roommates, but I am not one of them. My roommate and I go 50/50 on rent and utilities and then pay for our own food. It's been the best situation. Since I live in the "master bedroom", I technically have a bathroom in my bedroom, but as far as square footage, there isn't a significant difference. We still pay the same amount in rent and utilities because its makes things fair and easier! I cannot tell you how crazy it would make me to pay a little more for this or that just because I use something a little more, or blah blah. Just pay your half, I'll pay mine, and we'll call it even. On occasion we will buy each other's dinner or coffee. It's just about doing your part. 

What about you? What are some of your pointers? Have you ever had a difficult roommate?

Happy Friday, xx.  

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