I had lived with roommates for years, basically my entire life. I have three siblings, went to a residential high school and shared an old house through college with seven other girls and loved all of it. Throughout all of my roommate endeavors, they had always been family or close friends. So when I graduated college and moved to a new city with a friend of a friend, I was thrilled when we became very close.
We did everything together: went to the gym, grocery shopped, went out. For the first time, this slowly became more of a chore than a convenience and I was constantly stressed about our relationship. Was she mad at me? Why didn’t she want to go out tonight? Does that mean I should stay in too?
Throughout our relationship there was no falling out. No passive aggressive texts or name calling. At the end of our lease she told me she was moving in with another friend, which turned out to be the best thing for both of us.
After a long month of Craigslist shopping, I moved into an empty room with two other girls. Little did I know co-existing peacefully was way better than any living arrangement I had had before.
If you’ve been living with friends, it’s likely you’ve never heard of this world. For example, you’ve probably had a full conversation in the shower while your roommate is discussing a text while sitting on the toilet across from you. If you live with an acquaintance, as long as you find someone with even the most basic manners they will not enter, or even knock, on the bathroom door if it sounds like someone is in there. It’s glorious.
2. Do whatever you want, when you want.
While I was living with my bff, we had an after work routine down: workout, grocery store/dinner, Friday Night Lights, bed. Now I can come and go as I please without having to change or cancel plans. There’s no judgment if I feel like skipping body pump and watching top chef for three hours on Monday night with a box of mac & cheese.
3. Respect for your belongings.
There were so many times that I was frantically searching for a sweater I wanted to wear to work, only to run into my bff as she came out of the bathroom with it on. Now no one touches my closet but me and my growing pile of dirty clothes.
4. No one knows where you are.
While this one can sound concerning to some (download Find My Friends and add your mom if you’re really concerned), it can be surprisingly liberating. Have you ever wanted to try a pottery class? Do it! Take some ballroom dance lessons? Hello, Ginger Rogers! Join a Quidditch team? Cool! Your roommates don’t have to know. Just roll your eyes, groan and complain about how unfair your boss is when you get home late.
While I thought I would miss living with close friends, the separation helped me try new things and make plans without feeling the need to include everyone around me. I still see my close friends often and our relationship is even better now that we do more on our own.