Living with a good pal always seems like a good idea at the time. It will be just like one giant sleepover right? All pizza, drinks and midnight chats? Not quite. Even if you think you spend most of your waking hours with someone, living with them is a whole different ball game. Every little idiosyncrasy that can be a little annoying sometimes will become soul crushingly obvious. So if you’re yet to suffer the fate of a friendship ended too soon, have a little read and wise up before you move in with a mate.
Have Your Own Space
Make sure you have your own room and make it your own. Decorate, organise, do whatever you need to do to keep you in that space happily for at least some of the time. You need a safe little area to be a recluse on occasion and if your space is compromised by clutter or other people, escaping will be that much harder. Room shares may seem cheaper at the outset, but at the expense of your sanity it’s not worth it.
Spend Time Outside The House
Please leave the house. If you’re moving out to escape your nagging mother than sorry to boss you about, but this one’s a non-negotiable. Even the cleanliest housemate will go stir crazy if they spend every spare moment a) indoors and b) with the same individuals. Make sure you take a breather and socialise outside your core little clique. That quick coffee catch up or evening gym session will reset you so you’re not unleashing the day’s frustrations on your housemate.
Plan House Bonding Activities
That being said, make sure the time you do spend with them is quality time. Sure, vegging on the couch binge watching the latest thriller series is killer, but it can leave you feeling disconnected from your pal. Think about maintaining the same level of quality time you did before you moved in together. This way you can schedule intensive periods of chit chat, bitching, fun and general activities rather than wasting your time with each other slobbing around. But if you did that before to hang out, then by all means as you were.
Don’t Whinge To Other Housemates About Each Other
This is the key. If you break this rule you are setting yourself up for failure. And by failure I mean a massive fucking shit storm. Not only are you compromising months/years/a lifetime of friendship over what is something likely to be terribly minor, you’re shifting the dynamic in an irreversible backwards fashion. As soon as you open up the lines of communication and set the standard for it to be ok, prepare to be bombarded with a wash of he said, she said. Leave the bitching to other people and if you have an issue call someone impartial to rant. It will save your friendship and the headache.
Ask To Borrow Their Shit
Just because you live together by no means does it mean you are free to steal their shit. You’re not in a loving partnership where what’s mine is yours applies, have a little respect and ask. Even if you treated their wardrobe as a free for all before this, living together increases the occurrence of your clothes borrowing habits. Is that new tee worth attending brunch by yourself from now on? Nope.
Don’t Be A Filthy Mess
Even if you were before hand it’s time to shape up. At least a little. People can only put up with so many dirty dishes and overflowing rubbish bag before the stench becomes too much and they crack. While your tidiness may not be in sync, you need to make the effort to compromise. Nag free zone of course, but if your friend has to broach the topic with you, just know they’ve got a whole lot of built up resentment hidden underneath the surface politeness.
Image source: Reach Out.