Here are a few things to consider when choosing a roommate:
Are you compatible – I’m not talking about having the same shoe size….what music they listen to or if they have the latest version of _____ (enter favorite video game) …. it certainly can be a bonus if you are moving in with your best friend but there are definitely other factors to take a look at.
Do you keep the same hours? Is someone going to be waking you up at 3am if you have to be up for school? Is someone going to wake you up at 7am when you’ve just gotten home from your night shift at the restaurant? (Remember H.A.L.T)
What is your definition of cleanliness? They may not be the same. Can you tolerate dirty dishes in the sink? Things left in common areas? Is there room for compromise? Will you be splitting chores or do you have the convenience of hiring someone? (Consider a cleaning contract with a list of chores to be split) If you are a neat freak and wake up to dirty dishes every morning it could wear down your teeth from all the clenching!
If you live with central air what temperatures are you comfortable in? It may sound like a small detail but you may not feel that way on day 17 or 89.
How long are you committing to living together? How much notice will you require if something changes or you need to move?
Have you talked about what happens if something starts to get on your nerves? Is it ok to renegotiate things if something comes up or is everything set in stone? It’s so important to talk things through. Resentment is the number one offender.
Are you smokers or do you vape? What are the perimeters around smoking?
Do you have an agreement set if someone relapses? This may be the most important thing to discuss!
Do you agree on what is acceptable for having people over? (ie how many days a week, are parties ok, what if the other person is in a relationship – will their s.o. be over every day? )
If you are both employed what happens if someone loses their job? Is there someone who can help support? If both names are on the lease this could affect credit if late payments/ eviction occurs.
These are just a few suggestions of things to go over with your future roommate. Answering all your questions and honest communication are a great start! It’s not always easy, whether you are in early recovery or not, if this is your first roommate (or your fifth), there are always challenges that can come up. What I do know for sure is that I always get to learn and grow from them - not always gracefully but I get through them. Ironically they are usually my greatest gift.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, keep your side of the street clean but most of all enjoy the process!