living with roommates

I've had my share of adult roommate experiences. I've been fortunate to have had some great roommates--roommates that share my values, my taste in food and decorating, and love of cheesy movies (except dancing/gymnastics movies--those are not allowed in my home.). I've learned a lot about sharing my space and life with someone else. Whether you are rooming with a best friend from preschool or someone you are just getting to know, I think there are several things that make a roommate relationship successful:

1) Eat together. My last two roommates and I committed to eating together whenever we could, at least once a week. The current Roommate and I have taken to cooking together, too. I've really enjoyed spending the time in the kitchen and at the table. It's much easier to talk about things around the house when you are relaxed and sharing a meal. Last night, the Roommate and I made sweet potato fries and meatloaf (shut it, it was delicious!). We had a great time making the food and talking and cleaning up while we waited for everything to finish up in the oven. And the kitchen was sparkling when we finished.

2) Verbalize your specific needs. I need to have a quiet place that is free from disturbances. I bought a reading chair for my room. I tell my roommates, when I'm in the chair, I don't want to talk. It's not code for I hate you, leave me alone. It's code for I'm thinking, I'll talk to you when my brain has recovered.

3) Dishwashers. In college, our three-person, no dishwasher combo bred ill feelings quickly and often. With a dishwasher, the load what you see, unload what you see policy works well.

4) Have a social life that is uniquely yours.

5) Share your life with your roommate. It is important that your friends know, respect, and care for your roommate (and vice versa).

6) Chocolate.


hannah said...

Good post. Being someone who has also had some experience with roommates, I agree with all of your suggestions.

The things that made roommate #1 successful were that we made dinner together, we talked together, we spend a lot of time together. The things that didn't work were that everything was together (among other more serious issues). When it didn't work out, it felt like divorce.

Roommate #2 and I, I feel like was a less successful relationship because everything was so separate. We didn't eat together or spend time together or really spend a lot of time talking about our lives other when one was person was annoyed with the other. The other thing though, is that roommate #2 told me she was moving out, it was sad and stressful, but it certainly didn't feel like divorce.

Anonymous said...

I appreciated this post. My roommate and I were really intentional about a lot of this when we first moved in together, but haven't had the time/made the time with our increasingly busy schedules. It's a good reminder to continue with these things to maintain a healthy relationship.

brnh said...

No dancing or gymnastics movies!?! That's utterly tragic. I'm not sure I could live without a Centerstage viewing once every 3 months. What about ice skating and ninja movies?