There are countless benefits of living with a roommate. Less financial responsibility, shared living space responsibility, and it just feels comforting that you can rely on another person to care for your home because it means just as much to them. But, what if it doesn't? What if you've drawn the unlucky roommate card and you're unhappy with your roommate situation?
Sometimes it's not as simple as “throwing out” a roommate. After all, if you've both agreed to live with each, pay equal share in rent, and most likely signed a lease agreement, your hands may be tied.
So, what can you do?
As adults, we all encounter situations where we have to choose a solution that may not be ideal. It's not a bad solution but it's not the best possible one. Let's say you can't “get rid of” your roommate. The best solution to this scenario is to keep the peace. While it may be difficult, there are ways to work toward a better roommate relationship which will ultimately turn into a happier living situation for everybody.
Check out these 5 tips for boosting a better relationship with your roommate:
1. Schedule Face-To-Face Meetings
With the convenience of technology, face-to-face meetings have become somewhat a thing of the past. It's simply easier to shoot a quick text or phone call to your roommate when there's an issue that needs to be discussed. However, touching base face-to-face will make your roommate relationship so much stronger. There really is nothing like physically being with a person and having a calm and productive conversation. Your chances of walking away from your face-to-face meeting happier than before you started are pretty great. Give it a go!
2. Write Down Rules and Boundaries
From the very first day you move in with your roommate, written rules and boundaries should be placed. Rules that state who is responsible for what, who has what duties, and anything else that would make a roommate relationship be better. Everyone needs boundaries when sharing an apartment or home. Whether you're living with an old best friend or a stranger you've just recently met, roommate relationships will thrive on boundaries. If something happens and you have previous discussed and written down a term regarding that particular situation, then you will openly have the right to approach and discuss the error. Schedule a time to meet (face-to-face) and resolve the issue and move on.
3. Keep up on Your End of the Duties
We get it- Nobody really likes chores, especially as adults. Nobody actually enjoys being told when they need to clean up their hair in the bathroom and stop leaving the back door unlocked. However, when you're sharing a living space with another person, respect can be the make or break difference between a bad roommate relationship and a great roommate relationship. Keep up on what you are responsible for in your apartment or house. If for some reason you're not able to complete one of your tasks, communicate that with your roommates (but don't make it a habit).
4. Avoid Aggressive Confrontation
Easier said than done, right? While it's practically impossible to completely avoid awkward situations, remedying the problems before aggressive confrontation occurs is extremely important. Make it a point to bring up any issues before they turn into a big argument. Even if you're experiencing an issue that makes your blood boil, take a deep breath and articulate to your roommate what exactly the problem is and what you can do as a team to remedy the problem.
5. Take the Extra Step to Be a Better Roommate
What is something that you enjoy doing? Whether it's going to a concert with friends or having a low-key coffee shop day, reach out and ask your roommate if they'd like to join. Even if they say no at first, the thought is there. Is your roommate having a bad day? Did they just go through a break up or maybe flunk a big exam? Show them you're there simply by taking over one of their cleaning tasks, or maybe making a simple meal for them.
While it's not possible for everyone to have a perfect roommate relationship, it is possible to make almost any relationship better. Just like any relationship in life, there will be a time where putting in work is essential. Even if it's hard. Even if it hurts your ego. Keep moving forward to make things better. Communication, boundaries, and respect is key. Following these 5 tips to be a better roommate can lead to a better living situation and generally just a happier life. After all, who would want to go home from a long day at school or work and feel uncomfortable in their own home?
Are you searching for the perfect (or almost perfect) roommate to share an apartment, condo, or house with? Check out VerticalRent Community today! This free source allows you to sort through renter profiles, filter based on financial responsibility, and review their social media profiles.
Once you find someone who seems like a great fit, you can reach out via private message and even put together and sign a roommate agreement! Get started here.
About the author
Ashley Orlowski is the Digital Marketing Analyst for VerticalRent. She has a passion for writing with both landlords and renters in mind. She strongly believes enrolling and utilizing VerticalRent and VerticalRent Community can greatly benefit all parties involed and help encourgage better landlord/renter dynamics and stronger roommate relationships.