How To: Room with Your Best Friend and Not Hate Each Other
August 4, 2016
When I was graduating from high school I was very excited to move to OSU and live with my best friend. When you’re graduating people will ask you lots of questions. “Are you ready to move?” “Where are you going?” “What will your major be?” and“Who will you live with?” This last question was one that the answer normally surprised people, and was met with less than positive reactions. Whenever I told people that I was going to live with my best friend they would always respond with “Aren’t you worried you’ll get sick of each other?” I wanted to reply “Well of course I am NOW!” but I would just smile and tell them I wasn’t worried and we’d been friends so long that if we were going to hate each other surely we would by now. People, including trusted adults and teachers, told us over and over that by the end of freshman year our friendship would be over (very encouraging by the way), but now we’re about to go into our sophomore year and closer than ever. Here are some tips on how to live with your best friend and not hate each other on move out.
Move in ft roomie Move out (still bffs)
1. Always respect each others boundaries
If you had siblings you’ll get this one. Remember when your brother/sister would “borrow” (STEAL is more like it) your things without asking and you’d get so upset? The same thing happens here. If your froomie (friend roomie) doesn’t mind sharing things then that’s all well and good, but it’s still nice to ask before you use anything. My roommate used to ask before even using one of the paper towels I bought for our room and even though sometimes it was weird that she would ask about something as simple as a paper towel, it was still very considerate and I think it was one little irritation avoided so it didn’t blow up into a major issue. Also respecting personal space and knowing if your roommate is okay with you, for example, changing in the room or if that makes them uncomfortable will make all the difference. Knowing each others boundaries and respecting them is the key to any relationship; familial, romantic, or friendly.
2. Understand you won’t have the same social circle anymore
When me and my best friend were in high school we were in theater together and ran in the same social circles. When I first moved to college, I went through recruitment and pledged my sorority and my roommate did not go greek. She instead devoted her time to on campus clubs and things of similar nature. This of course led to us leading separate lives, a thing we were not used to in our friendship. With pledging, shows, and America’s Greatest Homecoming (and that was just what I had going on she had complications as well) it became difficult to find time to see each other outside of our room and be more friends than roommates. At first this caused a lot of friction between us. One of us or the other one thinking they were getting blown off. We finally had to talk it out and remind each other that we were not purposely try not to hang out, it’s just what our busy lives were demanding now. Instead of just giving up and never seeing each other, we made an effort to maintain our friendship. We did simple stuff such as going out to IHOP for dinner or to the library to study, anything that did not involve sitting in our room only hanging out because we shared a room. Make the effort!
3. Respect each others lifestyles
You will learn a lot of new information about your best friend when you live with them. You’ll learn that maybe they’re a night owl and like to stay up painting or working on homework until 3 am or that they like to wake up early at dawn and meditate or pray or read. There will be so many things you’ll learn about your best friend, and some of these things may not correlate with your lifestyle. You MUST be able to compromise. One issue my best friend and I had was that she was a night owl and could function on three hours of sleep and I needed a solid eight to nine hours. Often times she would come in around three in the morning and turn the lights on to keep from stubbing her toes or making lots of noise trying to find her stuff. One of the ways we compromised was that she bought a low light lamp and we could leave that on when she was working late or coming in late. It saved us from many rude awakenings. You just have to be able to find ways to both be yourself and live your lifestyles without infringing on the other too much. But don’t ever expect perfection, because it can be difficult to find compromise.
4. Pick your battles
With anyone you live with, there will be a lot of things that irritate you. One of the easiest ways to handle this is to pick your battles. Only bring up to your roommate recurring or truly over the line irritants. Arguing about little things often proves not to be worth it and can often make you come across as petty. But also on top of this, don’t hold any bitterness about arguments you chose not to have. Communication is extraordinarily important to any roommate situation.
These are just a few tips to help steer you, not hard and fast rules and you’ll often figure out a lot of ways to deal as you go along. Staying friends with someone you live with will take a lot of effort but it always worth it. These tips will apply to anyone living with anyone, not just if you’re living with your best friend. Hope I could help!