Sometimes people are just born to disagree. Despite all your best efforts, you won’t get along with these individuals and it’s better to simply walk away. However, it’s a different story when you’re living with them. For sure you’ve heard about stories regarding roommates from hell and there’s a moral to each and every one of them. Simply put, don’t room with someone you don’t have a good relationship with.
We’re not saying that you have to quiz every potential roommate to find the right one. You just have to agree on a few essential factors to make sure that your path together runs smooth.
This is also often referred to as equal division of the space. When you both move in, decide where you’ll be staying and the logistics of all your belongings. Divide everything equally down the middle and take care not to encroach on the opposite area unless absolutely necessary. Extra room on one side or the other should be kept as common ground. You can turn that place into a study nook or a living room that both of you can use at any time.
Martha, 20 years old, lives with her friend at a Megaworld at The Fort apartment. She worked as a call center agent, while her roommate took on more regular hours. This eventually turned into a problem for the two of them. “Of course it’s difficult when you both work totally different hours,” says Martha. “In the mornings, especially on weekends, her family would come visit and that proved to be very hard on me since I come home early in the mornings and that’s the only time I get my rest.” Fortunately, the two of them were able to coordinate their schedules — Martha’s roommate picked a different time for her parents to visit.
You have to figure out who owns what and which things are common property. There have been stories of friends getting into an argument about who used what they weren’t supposed to. This applies, most especially, to food and other consumables. Agree on the contents of your refrigerator; if you’re eyeing a chocolate bar, ask permission before taking a bite. You can also set rules for common resources, like whoever finishes of a bottle of shampoo for instance has to buy the next one.
There are times when you’ll want the space all to yourself. Usually this happens when someone takes an extended trip or goes home to see the folks. Jerry, an 18-year old student, talks about how he and his pal work through this, “I’m usually gone three days of the week since I don’t have classes on a Monday,” he says. “It works perfectly since he isn’t here most of the time on Thursdays and Fridays, so I get the place to myself. We’ve been doing this for some time and it really works.” For emergency situations you can create some sort of signal to tell the other person to beat it for the night. Sock on the door, anyone?
Noisily stumbling into your apartment and waking your roommate up once is fine. Doing it multiple times is another issue entirely. Set ground rules regarding noise and any other matters that can emerge as potential annoyances to either of you. Tina, an advertising executive living with her officemate shares how they handle the problem, “She stays out later than I do and she tends to get pretty tipsy before going home,” Tina says of her friend. “So we had an agreement that if she has to stay our past midnight that she sleep out of the apartment. If she absolutely has to go home, we’ve agreed that she doesn’t turn on the lights or make too much noise.”
Living with someone else requires a lot of adjustment, but if you’ve set your ground rules from the get-go, it shouldn’t be too bad. Mutual respect and understanding go a long way toward living together harmoniously.
What roommate rules do you think work like a charm? Share it with us in the comments!