One would think that the best of friends would likewise make the best of roommates. I can tell you from more than one personal experience that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Living with a friend is a sure way to either seal a friendship for life or completely destroy it. Oftentimes living with an acquaintance or a complete stranger can actually be your best bet when facing the prospect of navigating any roommate situation. No matter the case, jumping into the commitment of sharing a living space with another person should be weighed at least with a bit of deliberation.
Realize What Type of Roommate You Are
It’s time to take a good hard look in the mirror. Now take a look around your current living situation. What do you see? It’s time to face reality and be honest about what type of roommate you are. I had a past roommate claim to be “a total neat freak”, but a month after move-in and the half unpacked boxes still strewn around the house and with crusty dishes left in the sink, I discovered the reality of her interpretation of “neat freak”. Not to say that she didn’t fully believe she was a tidy housekeeper, she simply had a different understanding of a clean house than I did. To be fair, I’m sure I may have unknowingly misrepresented myself in someway as well.
You may find it insightful to try a personality test. I gave this one a whirl this afternoon and found the results incredibly accurate. If nothing else, reading the traits of your personality type can be used as a tool to become more aware about what it actually means for others to be around you. Understanding your own idiosyncrasies will not only make you more aware of how you handle relationships but it can also open the door to changing certain behaviors if you wish to do so.
Actively Develop Your Opinion of the Ideal Roommate
Considering the realities of what it’s like on a day-to-day basis to live with you is vital to accurately decide if a prospective roommate would be a good match. Do you have conflicting work schedules? Do you like the contender’s significant other? Can you handle sharing a bathroom with this individual if needed? There is a virtually endless list of things to consider when scrutinizing a possible roommate. A good tactic is to compile a mental list of the ideal roommate and see how the person in front of you stacks up. Are the misses on that list livable?
Before setting yourself up for a rough year with a new roommate, take a step back to try and make as much of an informed decision as possible about the situation. Comparing lifestyles and personalities can be a solid way to evaluate future success of a roommate relationship. Of course it can’t definitively tell you that you’ve met the supreme roommate. I wish you the best of luck!