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Survival Guide: How to Live With Roommates Who Also Happen to be Your Best Friends

Living with strangers is one thing, but living with your best friends can get pretty tricky.

Three women laughing
Photo: Unsplash

I live with two other girls. They also happen to be two of my closest friends. To be clear, I don’t to scare you away from living with friends. Living with my friends in my late teens and early twenties has been one of the most fulfilling and fun experiences of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s a chance to adapt to adulthood—with all of its trials and tribulations—with someone you trust and feel comfortable around, and who’s also going through the exact same things.

However, while living with my friends, I’ve realized that it can also be difficult and a bit awkward at times. Imagine having to confront your friend about something they did in your home—which is also their home—that you didn’t appreciate? Yeah, it gets weird. Here are a few tips for getting around these awkward situations, and how to set boundaries that aren’t taken as personal attacks, but understood as necessary in order to function smoothly and happily in your shared space.

Respect the space as each of yours

It’s your house, but it’s also your roommates. Each of you deserve equal say in any and all matters, and everyone’s opinion is valid.

If something is bothering you, talk about it ASAP

One of the most beneficial things my friends and I do to ensure a positive relationship as roommates is immediately voicing when something is bothering us. We also begin important conversations by clearly stating that our criticisms are never personal and don’t reflect what we think about each other as people, or as friends. It’s strictly business.

Instead of letting your grievances bubble up inside you, tell your roommate that you’d prefer they don’t leave their dishes in the sink instead of the dishwasher, or that they take their hair out of the drain after they shower, or that they not use your Tupperware without asking first. Whatever it is—no matter how small or silly it may seem—bring it up and talk about it. It shouldn’t be an argument and there should be a mutual understanding at the end of the discussion. And, vice versa, you should be able to respond in the same respectful manner whenever they have a little bone to pick with you. Like they say, communication is key.