Even thinking about getting a roommate can be nerve racking if you have never done it before. It frightens us because we don’t really know what to expect. And, of course, we would try to make the whole experience more comfortable and predictable by trying to find a friend or at least someone we have known for some time already to be our roommate. Rooming with a friend might seem easier and less stressful but is it really a better option for you? Here are some good reasons to at least consider someone you haven’t met yet to be your roommate:
1. You can keep your distance. When you get a stranger to be your roommate you still have long way to go before you get (uncomfortably) close. With friends your relationships has only one possible course – south, deeper into personal and intimate levels of closeness, into getting to know each other to the degree family members do, but do you really want to get that close with your bestie?
2. It’s easier to set grounding rules. We find thought of sharing a place with someone we know more comfortable because we want to keep things casual and relaxed, but when non-related adults live together some grounding rules have to be put up. Many, in fact, to make sure that we feel relaxed and safe in the place we currently call home. It is easier to keep boundaries with a stranger than with someone you know for a long time.
3. “Money situations” are easier to handle. It’s difficult to keep things in a “strictly business” mode when sharing monthly expenses, bills and rent with a friend, and as a result you might either fall behind on payments or end up borrowing or lending money to your roommate, just because you are more than roommates. With a stranger you are less likely to find yourself in this kind of situation.
4. Your personal territory stays intact. You let friends into you r comfort zone which feels really good… unless you share a house together. Because at home your comfort expands to include things like snacks, toiletries, personal belongings, clothes and even your favorite mug – things that you would rather not have borrowed, especially without your permission, or share with anyone. Just because they are yours and you are home.
5. You get to spend more time by yourself in the apartment. Because you are not friends you won’t go out together as often as you would with a friend. That means that when your roommate is out you get the place for yourself.
6.You don’t know each other’s friends. Just like with parents: your roommate’s friends won’t be too comfortable visiting and the chances are they are going to be just a little bit quieter and leave just a little bit sooner when they come over. Again, not that you are anti-social and don’t want anyone visiting at all, but you know what I mean If you have already lived with roommates.
7.You can expand your network. When you meet a new person and get to know her or him better, which is inevitable when you are roommates, you gradually get to know his or her friends as well. And what can be better than meeting new people? It just makes life more dynamic and interesting and opens new horizons for you.
Hopefully after reading all of this you don’t feel so shaky thinking about getting a roommate. Regardless of who you choose to room with: a friend or a stranger, letting a new person into your house and into your world is a challenge that can help you to become stronger, better person and an unforgettable and rewarding life time experience.