Living with a roommate can be an exciting experience. You may have grown up living at your parent’s house, and this could be your first time sharing a living space with someone who is not your sibling. Although it may pose challenges such as space and privacy, sharing a house with someone else can be a rewarding and pleasant experience. It will not only save you money but also prepares you to settle and plan for your family future.
No matter the kind of relationship you had before you decide to stay together, learning how to live with your roommate is important so that you can avoid misunderstandings.
Here are some tips to foster a good, enjoyable and supportive relationship with your roommate:
Communication is Key
Creating a comfortable atmosphere for your roommate by offering and accepting criticism respectfully will determine how well you get along. Do not keep quiet and assume that your roommate will figure out what you like and what you do not like. Communicate early with him/her about your expectations and preferences and they will be able to understand you better.
Address Your Problems as Soon as Possible
Your roommate may be doing some things that might annoy you without their knowledge. If they are taking your belongings without asking and you don’t like it, address it as soon as possible. This way, it will be easier and in a calm and friendly manner. After all, it is safer to solve a small problem before it becomes big.
Establish Ground Rules
In order to maintain a comfortable living environment for both of you, discuss rules that will help you to avoid potential misunderstandings. Ensure that these rules are set from the beginning and understood by both of you. Set rules on cost sharing, dates of paying bills, household supplies, cleanliness, personal versus shared property, study hours, visitors and others.
Be Cautious about Inviting Other Friends
It’s not okay to have strangers in and out of your house every time of the day. Bringing your friends over once or twice is normal and understandable. But it is important to remember that your house also belongs to your roommate and you need to be considerate. Talk to them about the kind of friends each one of you can have so that you won’t overstep the boundaries when inviting your friends.
Don’t Take their Belongings Without Asking
Sharing a living space with your roommate does not mean that you can use their belongings whenever you want. Always ask for permission before using their belongings and ensure that it is not too often. This way they won’t feel like you are a burden to them. Indicate as early as possible the public and private belongings that you two can share and only borrow when your supplies are finished or expired and you are about to buy new ones.
You can Just Stay Roommates
Don’t expect your roommate to be your best friend. He/ she can prefer his space and spend time with his own friends, and you may have your social circle as well. Just be pleasant and friendly with him/her and respect his space. Trying to force friendship may cause discomfort between the both of you.
Treat Them How You Would Want to be Treated
Follow the golden rule; ‘treat your roommate the same way you would like to be treated’. Before you take any questionable action against them, think about how you would feel if the tables were turned. That way you will be able to know that you treated them respectfully and therefore have no regrets.
Are you living with a roommate currently? Share some of your experiences on the comment section below.