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janbb's avatar

What has been your experience with housemates or roommates as an adult?

Asked by janbb (44102 points ) March 2nd, 2014

Looks like a friend whom I had offered a room to while she house hunts will be taking me up on the offer. She will probably be living here for three to six months. I am somewhat bemused but interested in trying it out. Plan to charge her some money and talk about expectations regarding privacy, meals, etc. One thing is that we eat very differently so will probably not share many suppers. I do plan to see if she is willing to dog sit while I travel. Any warnings or advice to share?

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9 Answers

johnpowell's avatar

It can vary greatly. I’m 36 and my current situation is the first time I have not had roommates. Some have turned out to be great friends and I have called the cops on others.

Talk about what you expect and listen to what they expect. Since you are already friends I wouldn’t be all that concerned. Nothing a bottle of wine and honesty can’t fix.

longgone's avatar

I’m not sure this counts, but I had my sister living with me for the past six months or so. We have a good relationship on the whole, but I live in a one-bedroom-apartment, so we were pretty squashed. Also, she went through losing her boyfriend during that time, while I went through the death of a friend. In retrospect – I don’t know how we did it.

It was fun. When she moved out again, both of us were sad. Sure, we had some arguments, but I feel like we got closer, too.

I would be sure to discuss chores and guests, as well as rules for Frodo, maybe. Since you’re friends, I wouldn’t worry too much. Look forward to lots of great times :]

JLeslie's avatar

When I was in my late 20’s my friends had a baby and their parents stayed with me for two months. It was great. My husband was living out of the country and I loved them staying with me. She cooked for me sometimes and we watched TV at night together. They were completely self sufficient, I didn’t have to do anything for them. Mist of the day they soent time with their new grandbaby. They are Italian-Venezuelan and my neighbor was Italian. They became fast friends. Practically daily they visited with each other. My neighbor told me it was like being with his dad.

Another time I stayed with my MIL and FIL inbetween my first and second house. That was great too. She did everything for me. I had a back injury and I truly believe that living with her helped me heal. We got to know each other better and it really worked out well. Several years later we stayed with them and that didn’t go well. It came to blows when I was putting a dish in the dishwasher and she grabbed it out of my hand. I snapped at her, which I regret, but it was ridiculous, I could not lift a finger in her house. We did much better when I was basically unable to help. She still makes it difficult for anyone to help in general, but now she is getting older and more tired and she doesn’t want help, she wants to just not do as much at her house, meaning it is probably time Christmas is cooked either at one of her children’s houses or we go out to eat.

gailcalled's avatar

Issues over noise, tidiness, housekeeping, sharing of food in refrigerator, shared utility bills, her friends, your at-home social life, and her concerns.

Will you be using the same public spaces, TV, bathroom? I would overthink this initially and then back off where appropriate. How easy-going are you?

chyna's avatar

I lived with a roommate back in my 20’s. It didn’t end well, although we are still friends. Her boyfriend moved in and ate all the food and they never shut the bedroom door while having sex. Ugh. He didn’t help with the bills, so we were paying for him to live free. They never cleaned or did the dishes. I finally moved out.
Because of that situation, I have never had another roommate.

JLeslie's avatar

I didn’t even think about when I was in college or firstvgraduated college. I had several roommates. One was a mess, not messy, but a mess in her own life, she didn’t last long. Otherwise, I always had a good situation. In fact, one roommate I lived with, her boyfriend was staying over all the time and they came to me and offered to help pay for some expenses like utilities. I hadn’t even thought to ask for anything, but I accepted their offer.

cazzie's avatar

I had some great flatmates but only one nutty one. It really has everything to do with personality and communication. The nutty flat mate wanted to be joined at the hip and do everything together and would get super uppity if I didn’t fix and eat dinner with her every night. She insisted that we grocery shop together and split the food bill 50/50 that way, almost like a married couple. She constantly raved on about her old flat mate, who was male, and whom she had a crush on, but I wasn’t him and didn’t want to be. She was unemployed and was trying to work as an artist at home. She was super flakey. Had I known more about her personality, I never would have taken the room.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I was a bachelor up until I got married at 40, and had my share of roommate experiences. Most of them were excellent, because we had been friends before roommates. The most important things on which to find common ground seem to be the following:

1. Bills…Is there a flat rate for rent, or is it a portion of all expenses, or some combination (rent/board plus portion of utilities)?

2. Food…Is food to be shared, both in purchase and consumption; or do each of you buy your own food, which is not to be used by the other(s).

3. Cleaning…Individual will take responsibility for own space, obviously, but how will responsibility be determined for common areas (e.g., living room or equivalent, kitchen, bathroom)?

DaphneT's avatar

My sister and I live with our mother as her care-givers. My sister hates sharing this space with me. I strongly recommend you stay away from words like ‘ground rules’, ‘rules’ and anything that smacks of controlling. My sister plans on dumping me the minute our Mom is gone because I won’t have her dictating the “rules” and she always claims I dictate the “rules”. She’s hated and disrespected me since she was a kid, I’m the older, and nothing’s changed. Every month I get the get-out-her-face act from her.

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