1. There’s no need for the passive-aggressive Post-It brigade — the beauty of being friends is that you can (and will) tell each other when you’re unhappy about something, and you know that something like them constantly using your favorite coffee mug is not something to go and get a new apartment lease over.
2. It’s like you have a built-in therapist, or at the very least, someone who will overhear you crying in your room, check to make sure you’re not like, committal, and let you cry it out if that’s what you need. And then they’ll make you talk. Because friends make you talk.
3. They will indulge your crazy, grandiose schemes for decorating the apartment, up to and including a Pinterest board the two of you share for brainstorming ideas.
4. Friendly roommates (friendmates? roomends?) are scientifically proven to be more likely to share food they think you’ll like. Especially if it’s boxed-mix brownies.
5. You have a built-in brunch buddy every single, ever-living weekend.
6. They will be honest and keep you from leaving the house looking like the trendy trainwreck exploded all over your person. Regular roommates don’t care. Regular roommates don’t notice. (And if they do, regular roommates might even shut up because they want you to look like a disaster zone.) Friendly roommates care, and will march you back into your room until you look a little less tragic.
7. You can agree upon a code to get one another out of awkward dates, weird partying scenarios, and/or mandatory work functions. Everyone needs that lifeline, and “my roommate locked herself out of the apartment and I need to go let her in!” is a pretty bulletproof excuse.
8. Sure, it’s great if your roommate has a pet — it’s like all the perks of having a pet, without actually having to take care of a pet. But when you and your roommate share a bond, it’s actually like you have a pet, because their pet bonds with you, too.
9. Friends understand that sometimes, you just need to live your life without pants. Weird people you found on Craigslist might make the situation far more awkward than being pantsless already was. (I mean, they might not, but they more than likely will.)
10. There’s no, “this is all my stuff, it is absolutely off-limits” between the two of you. Sure, there are always going to be a few sacred things you’d rather not share, but for the most part, asking to borrow an iron or some nail polish remover isn’t a big infringement on their space.
11. They will give you their opinion on the new romantic interest you brought home. They will be unflinchingly honest about this person. Which, yeah, kind of sucks to hear sometimes if you reeled in a dud, but it’s better that they give you this tough love now rather than have to deal with the shards of your heartbreak in three weeks.
12. Chances are much greater that they will respect your TV habits, and maybe even indulge in them with you. After all, friends often like the same things. (But even if they just categorically don’t “get” your devotion to The Mindy Project, it’s cool. This is what Hulu is for.)
13. It’s just so much less stressful to live with a friend than it is to live with a stranger. Even if you don’t start off knowing each other, if you put in the time and effort to build a little common ground, your home environment is going to be way less nerve-wracking.
14. You have a built-in plus-one to drag with you to parties and awkward social functions where you know literally no one else but are going because there’s an open bar. (And then you can nurse twin hangovers together on the couch, with delivery diner food and trashy TV reruns.)
15. You get to speculate on all the weird goings-on of your neighbors… together.
16. There’s good money to the idea that any gym or healthy-eating kick you take on, they’ll take on, too. You can even plan it together, overload your fridge with kale, watch it rot as you collectively cave and order pizza, but feel less bad about eating the pizza because hey, you’re not the only one with zero willpower. (But they’ll also keep you on the straight and narrow, and you can do the same to them.)
17. And some days, you just want to get home from a really trying day at work and have someone hug you. And they will do that for you. And it won’t be creepy. Because after all, you’re friends. And “I’m sorry that one client was gross today” hugs are best when they come from friends.