As an apartment seeker, you probably put a lot of thought into your new pad, but what about your roomie? Make sure you select someone who you wouldn’t mind living with until your lease expires. Many people stick to their own gender when selecting a roommate, but there’s nothing wrong with living with a friend of the opposite sex. Here are some tips:
All roommates should set out cleaning rules. No two people are completely alike, so you don’t want to become upset if you are living with someone who isn’t very tidy. Instead, set out clear cleaning rules that are fair. For example, plan who will sweep and mop and on what days. Additionally, there might be a rule that anyone who uses the kitchen will clean up after themselves within a certain time frame.
If you are a man and your roommate is female, don’t automatically expect her to have strict cleaning habits, and vice versa. Have a conversation about your realistic expectations and there should be no issues.
Avoid Romantic Relationships
Only roommates on TV fall in love and live happily ever after, so it’s best if you avoid any romantic relationships and stick to being friends. But go ahead and make time to go to lunch on occasion and get to know each other’s friends.
Some people have tons of guests over and others barely have any. So again, have a chat with your roomie to hash out the guest policy. It’s important to make compromises. You can’t really dictate who your roommate has in his or her bedroom, but you can have a conversation about the common spaces. Try setting a visiting hour time frame. For example, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. can work on weekdays and you can extend the evening cutoff time to 12 a.m. on weekends.
Just like in any same-sex roommate situation, you two should have a mutual respect for each other. Have an open line of communication so your roommate can come to you with any questions or issues if needed. And it’s important for you to be able to do the same.
Mutual respect is also important for personal space. For men and women, there needs to be an added level of boundaries. So even if you and your opposite-sex roommate are extremely friendly, knock before you enter their bedroom or bathroom.
Men and women use different toiletries, so if you have to share a bathroom, avoid snooping where you don’t belong. Even better, pick up a wooden basket or plastic caddy with all you need to get ready in the morning. Then take that to the bathroom every time you start your daily routine.
It’s no fun for there to be strict rules at all times. So if your roommate asks if a pal can sleep on the couch for a couple of days, give in as long as you are comfortable. But inform your roommate that this is an exception and not the rule.
[Image Source: Flickr – heatherson]