Choosing a Roommate: Friend or Stranger?

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Roommate situations are, more often than not, the result of need and not choice. So, while the act of deciding to live with a roommate is an inherently simple one, the act of finding and choosing the right roommate is far more complex.

Sharing your living space with someone, even a close friend, can be a cause of stress and conflict, and if the dynamic isn’t right, it can really make your home life miserable. But fear not, it’s not all doom and gloom. If you can find the right situation and the right pairing or grouping, then having roommates can be a lot of fun.

Ask Yourself Questions

The most important things to think about when beginning this process are you’re unique personality and your specific lifestyle. Ask yourself some questions about your personality and lifestyle, and write them down if need be. The answers to these types of questions will not only help you determine whether or not you should seek to live with a friend or a stranger, but they will also help you determine with whom you are most compatible with within those two groups.

What Type of Hours Do You Keep?

Your daily routine and patterns should be a primary determining factor when choosing a roommate. If you keep different hours and operate on a different schedule from your roommates, many problems can arise. However, if you live with a friend, it may be easier to navigate these problems should these issues crop up.

Are You an Outgoing Person?

If you are someone who is shy, private, and reclusive, it is probably best for you to find a friend to live with. If you are comfortable and familiar with the person who you share your living space with, you are more likely to enjoy your home atmosphere rather than be stressed by it.

If you are more outgoing and social, then living with a stranger can be very enjoyable, and you may even make a new friend in the process.

Are You Disciplined and Self-motivated?

Be honest with yourself here. If you think living with friends will be a bad influence on your professional life, then avoid it. Some people have no problem with self-discipline, and would never shirk on their responsibilities, even when they are surrounded by social distractions. Others…not so much.

Living with friends is like bringing your social life home with you. This can be tricky to navigate, but if you are someone who has no problem prioritizing your work life and your social life, then you probably won’t be negatively affected by the situation.

Do You Value Cleanliness and Order?

Quite simply, if you are a bit of a neat freak then you should probably live with friends. It will be easier to deal with any conflicts that should arise around this issue if you are comfortable and familiar with your roommate. Trying to tell a complete stranger to scrape their plates clean before throwing them in the sink can be a bit dicey, and lead to household tension that can be difficult to break.

Answering these questions and probing your personality and personal preferences will go along way to helping you determine your roommate compatibility.

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