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The Expert Guide to Finding a Roommate

There are bigger considerations than access to her cupboard

We’re told time and time again how tough it is to live with a romantic partner, but what about the in between? After leaving the family home, getting your own place can be a tad bit expensive and you may opt to get shacked up with a roommate, just until you get your money right!

It’s daunting deciding who you can see every day without wanting to kill, or at the very least, avoid at all costs. Don’t go in blind. Here are some things you should consider.

1 What do you have in common?

Whether it’s eating habits (a vegan sharing a kitchen with a meat-lover could cause friction) or your style in decor, it’s important to have a few fundamentals in common. If you know there are some things you’re absolutely unwilling to compromise on, don’t put yourself in a position where you’re expected to. Having things in common isn’t only for the sake of practicality, but it also makes for a happier home. Want someone to binge-watch The Handmaid’s Tale with or discuss the latest Jodie Picoult? Picking your roommate is your chance at widening your circle and finding someone to share your interests with.

2 What do you have that’s different?

Because how terribly boring to shack up with a carbon copy of yourself?

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And here’s where the practicality comes in. If you’re a freelancer and want alone time during the day to get your shit done in peace, maybe don’t share your space with another freelancer, or someone who works nights, for example.

You could find a medical student like I did. They’re MIA a lot of the time and when they do eventually come home, they tell you amazing stories that’ll blow your mind. Also, one time I super-glued a seashell to my fingers and it was an absolute relief to have an almost-doctor around. You get what I mean. Find the yin to your yang.

via GIPHY

3 Know what’s up from day one

What are you willing to spend on WiFi? On rent? Do you split electricity costs by individual use or right down the middle? Try your best to not let things slide in the beginning because costs and small frustrations add up. When you’re looking for a roomie, make it a point to ask what their expectations and limitations are beforehand. You can’t force someone to splurge halvies on a flat screen if their priority is just paying their half of rent each month.

Sometimes it’s easier to live with someone you don’t know very well for this exact reason. If you move in with your bestie of ten years, the dynamic of your friendship could complicate the dynamic of being roommates. You need to be able to be apologetically frank and open.

Read more about relationships

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