Is living with someone going to work for you and your lifestyle? Here are some advantages and disadvantages of shared living spaces worth considering.
Pros to having a roommate
- Savings: Perhaps the clearest advantage is saving on your housing costs when everything from the rent to the utilities are split.
- Shared possessions and skills: You bring the couch, they bring the big screen. You're a gourmet chef and they're handy with a tool set. Sharing can save you both time and money.
- A reason to be cleaner: It’s one thing to live in your own mess, but it’s quite another to inflict that on someone else. Living up to a roommate’s better-than-yours cleanliness standards can get you closer to living your best.
- Potential friendship: Sometimes it’s nice to go home knowing someone will be there. If your roommate is someone you genuinely like, a loose connection could turn into a genuine friendship. Find a shared interest, whether it's watching football or cooking, and it will be easier to build that bond.
- Better people skills: If you have trouble with confrontation, having a roommate will force you to push through that anxiety and deal with it. Any opportunity to build communication skills will benefit you later in life. Learning how to clearly state and set expectations is a great management skill.
- More relaxed attitude: Whether it’s long- or short-term, you’ll probably find yourself living with others throughout your life. You may be getting married, having kids or crashing with a family member. Living with a roommate will teach you how to relax and go with the flow.
Cons to having a roommate
- Lack of privacy: Having a roomie means shutting the door and covering up, even when you think you're alone. If you're used to living alone or with a significant other, the new arrangement can take some getting used to.
- More compromises: Maybe you like a classical look while your roommate favors bohemian styles. When you live together, you have to find a way to compromise on everything from the style of your shared space to how often it’s cleaned.
- Give and take: It’s never going to be completely even. One roommate is always going to be cleaner than or more proactive with the bills. If you start to resent these differences, life gets aggravating very quickly.
- A bad match: If you’re not getting along and that person is just flat-out refusing to work with you, coming home is no longer relaxing. That's something you'll have to put up with until one of you can find another arrangement.
Now that you’re aware of the pros and cons of having a roommate, it’s worth learning some trusted tips on finding a good one.