Sharing your home or apartment with a roommate is a great way to cut expenses. However, having a roommate can be a challenge. Having a strained or combative relationship with your roommate can create a lot of extra stress in your life. Luckily there are some things that you can do to be a good roommate. You will find that doing these things can go a long way toward creating a positive relationship between you and your roommate.
1. Be sure to choose a roommate who will be compatible with you. If you are a person who needs to go to bed early and get up early for your job, choosing a roommate who likes to stay up all night partying is going to set the stage for conflict.
2. Let your roommate know your expectations upfront. Setting ground rules early can help you avoid conflict and misunderstanding later. Once you set your boundaries, stick to them.
3. Be prepared to compromise. Just as with any relationship, communication is the key to making it work. If there are things about your roommate that bother you, talk to them about it and encourage them to do the same. Once grievances are aired, take the time to figure out some middle ground you can both accept.
4. Respect your roommate’s personal space and privacy. This is particularly important if you are sharing a small space.
5. Pick up after yourself. You don’t have to be a total neat freak, but don’t leave your dirty clothes in the living room or your dirty dishes in the kitchen sink for days. Talk to your roommate to decide the best way to divide chores like taking out the trash and cleaning common areas.
6. Pay your share of the bills on time. Don’t make your roommate feel like a bill collector who has to chase you down for your half of the rent or the electric bill. If you are having money problems, talk to your roommate so they know what is going on with you.
7. Spend time with your roommate. You don’t have to make them your new best friend, but being friendly and courteous can go a long way toward creating a comfortable living environment. At least take the time to say hello and goodbye when you see them. Having a good rapport will make it easier to deal with problems as they arise.
While having a roommate can have great benefits financially, if you don’t get along it can create a miserable living environment. Following the tips listed above can go a long way toward helping you to create a positive relationship with your roommate.