Sharing digs with a close girlfriend sounds like the most perfect scenario in the world – the late-night chats, studying together, borrowing each other’s clothes… But being in each other’s space 24/7 means you’re going to see sides of one another you might not like so much. If you’re planning on making your best mate your flatmate be sure to follow these tips.
1. Do stuff separately
Heard of the expression ‘familiarity breeds contempt’? Convenient as it is hanging out at the beach, shopping and then hitting a club before going home to your shared space, being in each other’s company all the time is going to put strain on your friendship. To avoid getting on each other’s nerves, make sure you have other friends and things you do separately. If there’s a chance she might be hurt when you head off alone, it might be worth sitting down and having a chat about it first. If you emphasise how much you want to preserve your friendship she’s sure to understand.
2. Exercise respect
Yes, she is practically your sister, but that doesn’t mean you can sneak into her cupboard and borrow her favourite dress without asking. The same principle applies to things like using the last of the milk, helping yourself to her leftover pizza or leaving the place wrecked after you host a party. Always ask yourself how you would feel in the same situation. Not thrilled to find your new leather jacket’s gone AWOL on a Friday night? Neither would she be. Don’t do it.
3. It’s not a backpacker’s lodge
Of course it’s okay to have friends stay over sometimes, and boyfriend sleepovers are par for the course, but remember that this is her home, too. She might not want to wake up to the DJ from last night’s club making toast in her kitchen or feel like she’s living with two people instead of one. If you’re inviting guests home for the night (including your guy), always check with her beforehand – even if she’s supercool about this kind of thing.
4. Manage the money
This is a biggie. While rent and bills are easy as they’re split down the middle, little things like groceries and loo paper can become a problem with one person spending more and the other and feeling resentful about it. It’s a good idea to have a house account that covers the essentials. Decide how much you’re each going to contribute per month, and put the money in a kitty. Then, whoever’s heading out to the store can use it to buy what’s required.
5. Rotate chores
Often, one (the neat freak) ends up doing more housework than the other, and this can lead to problems. In order to avoid butting heads over this issue, it’s a good idea to work out a system where you each take turns cleaning the bathroom, kitchen, etc. And then have some kind of rule, eg. whomever cooks doesn’t have to wash up and vice versa. Put it up somewhere where you can both easily see it so that there can be no confusion as to whose turn it is next.