I have lived with my current roommate for three years. Funny enough, we met each other in our first year at a lecture through a mutual friend. We both later admitted that when we first met each other, we assumed it would become a passé relationship where we only saw each other in that class and would never speak again. I am starting to think the best relationships stem from this line of thinking—expecting nothing to come of it, maybe hoping something will, and eventually falling in platonic mutual love.
However, the longer we live with one another, the more our relationship blossoms. I can honestly say that I trust her with most of my daily tribulations, trials and life decisions, as she has been with me through some rough periods and stuck it out to see my at the finish line. Before I get started, I just want to say that I am eternally grateful and appreciative of how lucky I am and have been with my roommate, and now best friend.
There are several agreements we’ll call them, when you finally U-Haul with someone. One of them being, that you respectfully share a mutual space and live within your means. To clarify the latter, your mess is my mess, so we accept one another for the slobs we are within our own spaces. Nobody likes someone else’s dirty laundry on the family room floor. Literally and metaphorically speaking—you have separate rooms for a reason. Even though she’s there for me in spirit, she doesn’t need to see every little bit of me all the time. I try to respect her privacy as much as I do my own.
Adding to that, living with someone teaches you the value of a clean space. I have done my time in the student ghetto and can safely say I will never return. I may not always act like a complete adult, but my roommate and I refer to our place as “our adult apartment.” Coming home to clean place, where everything is organized, and you won’t find someone else’s leftovers sitting on your coffee table can make or break your day—mostly when you know that isn’t the worst of it. You may some I am picky, maybe even pretentious, but at least there is no hair clogging up my bathroom sink.
Living with someone also teaches you about hygiene. It is an unwritten rule that when your roommate asks if his or her hair looks greasy, you encourage a trip to the shower. We’re adults now, right?
My roommate and I also share food problems. Meaning—we usually run out of food around the same time and have to decide between the dreaded before the week is up grocery run or pizza. The cheaper of the options usually wins. Fingers crossed it’s Dominos. We also don’t judge each other in the event that an eleven pm pizza is needed. Why put up a fuss about getting a slice of pizza, chances are we ordered knowing the other person needs a slice too.
Unwritten rule: we share coffee in the mornings, that’s what the five cup line is for on the coffee maker.
Truthfully my roommate and I keep each other in check more than anything. Life is full of things that pick away at you. Having a strong support system in place stops you from hitting the breaking point, and encourages you to tap the breaks when you’re giving er’ a little too much. As someone who is prone to stretching themselves too thin, my roommate reels me back in. And when she is just as stressed, I try to find ways to make her day a little easier. Relationships are a combination of compassion for the other person, and meeting in the middle. Besides, living separate lives outside the bounds of our apartment makes wine nights more interesting.
Although my current living situation won’t last forever, I enjoy it for what it is, and what it brings. I’m in my 20s, this is about as adult as I need to be. She is my “Netflix and chill,” my breakfast and coffee buddy, and my Senior Copy Editor of my school assignments.
However, the most important part of living with someone is that hopefully you can bring each other the same joys and experiences. One day, she won’t be there, and she will be off living with a beau somewhere down the road from me. You can’t be roommates forever, but you can enjoy it for the laughs and special friendship it brings you.