As a college student living away from home, I can honestly say there’s nothing more exhilarating than getting your first apartment. What an exciting time! No more parents telling you when to clean your room, no more moldy dorms with awkward twin-sized-bed sex encounters, and the absolutely awesome feeling of finally being on your own. Of course you want to share this feeling with someone and who better than your best friend? I mean you guys have already been through so much together right? But I’m here, waving a flashing red sign screaming “SLOW DOWN” before you make this decision. Here’s five reasons why I think moving in with your best friend may not be as good idea as you think it is (all gained from personal experiences of my own and from other friends).
1. It’s Not a Sleepover: While the idea of a perpetual sleepover with your BFF may seem like a great idea at first, one quickly comes to the realization that it’s not all pillow fights and late night wine-o-cry sessions where you both end up hugging and falling asleep in the same bed (so effin cute). But Ill let you in on a well know (if not well talked about) secret. What makes those nights so endearingly special is that…wait for it…they end. You wake in the morning, maybe eat breakfast together, wrap up any loose ends from the conversation the night before and then say those wonderful words “goodbye” because admit it, it’s always kind of a relief when you get your bathroom back to yourself right? Now, imagine having to spend every night for a year with them. Suddenly, your chest tightens, and all of those quirky little traits you once thought of as cute turn into mind numbing character flaws. All you’ll want to do with a bottle of wine at the point is hit them over the head with it.
2. Commitment Over Conflict: Moving in with anyone is a major commitment but, in most cases, both parties are uninterested in having any unsavory conflicts pop up for the duration of their stay together. That means having an open and honest dialogue…without being emotional. This kind of goes out the window when the person you’re moving in with is already comfortable with the idea of texting you a paragraph long summary of how hurtful it was when you decided to use the letter “K” to quietly but efficiently shut down the conversation you were having earlier in the day about their ex-boyfriends-moms-sisters recent divorce (which was important for what reason?). Alright, maybe take it down a few notches, but we’ve all had that awkward text argument with our best friend. A few days of deliberate space can do wonders. What happens when you open your bedroom door and they’re still moping about it on the couch? Wait, I can almost hear it. It’s the sound of a breaking lease and some unfortunate F bombs going off.
3. “But I’m Not Used to Sharing”: It’s hard to wrap your mind around sharing a space with anyone besides yourself or immediate family if you’re only just now deciding to move in with another individual. Boundaries that might otherwise be in place automatically with a stranger may not seem to apply to your best friend though. That being said, it can be kind of shock when you wake up that first morning to find your toothpaste squeezed dry and, what’s more, the majority of its insides smeared around the edges of your sink rather then onto a toothbrush. This may not be an issue at first but the words “I’ll buy you a new one” or “We’re just sharing” get pretty old pretty quickly and when it comes to best friends, the area between what’s mine and what’s yours can become very blurred.
4. Food: I don’t know about you guys but I know that I can become pretty vicious when it comes to who eats my food. It’s the kind of thing we don’t normally have to think about when living on our own or with someone who doesn’t already eat out of your pantry without your permission. You and your best friend may not have the same understanding of fridge-boundaries that you might otherwise establish with a person whose opinion of your anal retentive habits you don’t much care for. That leftover mozzarella stick from the night before can very well be what makes or breaks your living situation.
5. Money Matters: There’s never a more stressful time than the end of the month, especially when you’re in college. It’s time to pay your bills and if you’re not one of those trust-fund babies who have their apartment paid for by their parents (I wish) or one of those exceedingly rare breeds of individuals who actually knows how to (do I dare say the word) budget then you’re most likely in the same boat as I am which is to say, barely treading water. But you still want to go out, still want to hang out with your friends, still want to potentially meet the love of your life at some dive bar down the street. Of course you do. But you can’t because responsibilities. Making responsible decisions for yourself is hard when you’re living with the person you may want to do all of those fun (expensive) things with! Call them the voice of UN-reason. Some examples…“Well sushi does sound good” “Just put it on your credit card!” “Lets live in the present” “YOLO”. On the flip side, you could have a friend who is too controlling of your finances and the last thing any of us really want to do is move back in with our parents.
But hey, I’m not saying this applies to everyone. I’ll admit, I wasn’t the most mature human being when I made this decision and I did learn a lot about being a good roommate from the experience. If you and your best friend are so emotionally, financially, and spiritually in sync that there’s little to no chance of either of your getting annoyed with the other in that intimate and uncomfortable sort of way that best friends tend to get with one another, than by all means go for it! But just remember, you’ve been warned.