Even the best of friends can have difficulties getting along as roommates. Living together can reveal a whole new side of someone you may not know existed. While there are things to consider before selecting a roommate, problems can still arise. So, here are the three biggest conflicts roommates come across and how to address them individually.
It’s good to start setting ground rules on how often – as well as how many – people you’re comfortable having in yourapartment at one time. Inform each other of your schedules, so you know when the other wants quiet time or wants to go out for happy hour. You should also give your roommate plenty of notice before inviting people over – and be sure to get their blessing before throwing any sort of party.
If one of you –or both – is in a relationship, come to an agreement on how often it’s okay for the significant other to spend the night. If you notice their S.O. is over all the time, suggest that they contribute in someway to the household or offer to add their name to the lease.
Even if you believe you’re a pretty neat person, you are still responsible for general cleaning tasks like scrubbing the floors and bathroom vanity – so plan a system on who does what in the apartment.
For personal messes, let your roommate know when you expect the mess to be taken care of. No one particularly likes washing dishes and utensils, but you never want them to pile up either. A dirty sink can easily harbor bacteria or attract pests, which is bad news for everyone in the apartment home.
Whether it’s the milk disappearing or you’re the only one restocking toilet paper, it’s easy to lose track of who’s buying what and how often. Chances are your roommate just isn’t aware of how little weight he/she is pulling around the home. Be sure to inform them you’d appreciate a little more help, and suggest a chore sheet and tally to record the completed tasks.
If you’re just not into the whole sharing thing, be straight-up with your roommate and talk specifics on what is and isn’t off-limits.
Most of the time, roommate conflicts arise when people don’t vocalize their expectations. The simplest way to get on the same page as someone else is to simply discuss what matters before it becomes a problem. Addressing things right away in a calm and respectable tone builds a relationship of honesty and trust – something you both will appreciate.
Keep in mind that if your roommate situation is not working for you, you can always move out. It may cost you, but you can’t put a price on safety and your general well-being.