4 Tips for Keeping a Good Relationship with Your Roommate

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I’m sure there have been instances of theft, but for the most part, your roommate isn’t going to steal anything from you. At the very worst, they may use something and break it, but you’ve got to keep in mind- they want to have a positive experience with you too, so if they break something, they’ll offer to repair or replace it. In my college experience with roommates, it’s always good to offer to share your things. They’ll still respect what’s yours. You could even say, “Ask me before you use it” if you are still protective. Chances are you’ll want to borrow something of theirs at some point, so it’s always a good idea to keep the offer out there.

Be Vocal
This is hard for some people, but remember- you don’t have to be snobby. There are ways to phrase your complaints to not offend your roommate. I had a hard time with this. I was passive aggressive and never spoke up when my roommate would bug me. The fact is, he had no clue he was bugging me, so how was he supposed to stop? Once I started telling him what got on my nerves, he fixed it. Along with that, you’ve got to realize if your roommate complains to you, it’s nothing personal. They are telling you out of respect and it probably took a lot of strength to confront you about it. If it helps, make a joke out of your complaint. Ask them to change what they are doing with a smile or a chuckle and it will make it seem less like a complaint and more like a favor they are doing for you.

Do Your Part
Cleaning the room or bathroom isn’t fun. However, establishing a fair schedule that divides the duties evenly is a great idea to keep you and your roommate(s) on task. It also holds everyone accountable to their responsibilities. If you make a mess, clean it up or at least make sure it’s not going to hinder your roommate’s ability to live comfortably. Think of how much it would upset you if their dirty dishes were in the way of you when you wanted to make lunch in a hurry, or if their clothes were on the floor when you brought a date over. Just be conscious of your messes and realize everyone needs to pitch in to keep the living area livable!

Alone Time
Most people enjoy at least a little bit of alone time. Be aware of that with your roommate. My first roommate and I were both introverts, so we constantly wanted the room to ourselves. This created a tension for awhile because neither one of us could get the other to leave. The tension could have been avoided if we were vocal about our desire for alone time and worked out a system of “these nights a week I’ll go out or to the library to study instead of the room and you can leave these other nights so I can have the room.” It’s never a good thing to stay in your room all the time, especially if your roommate is a home-body like you. Be understanding and grant them some time to themselves.

The thing to keep in mind is that living together is a relationship of give and take. Be honest and respect your roommate’s lifestyle and you’ll be fine. Keep in mind, they want to get along with you!

What are some strategies you practice to keep on good terms with your roommate? Comment below.