How To Be Roommates With a Best Friend & Survive (With Friendship Intact)

published Aug 5, 2015
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(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

Though it’s universally considered a bad idea from many who have tried it before, moving in with a best friend can sometimes seem like just the thing you need in your life. All the fun you have with your best friend could be 24/7, you think! You’ll be different, you tell yourself. If you’re bound and determined to dive into a living situation with a best friend, consider these tips before you sign the lease.

Of course, living with a best friend CAN be a ton of fun. Since you already adore this person, getting to have a lot of access to them can increase adventure, antics and heart-to-hearts ten fold. But if you’re not careful, the realities of sharing a living space can weigh down even the strongest friendship bonds. Take this advice below — and be sure and share your own if you’ve ever lived with a best friend!

And of course, we’re referring to best friends in the platonic sense here, but if your spouse is a best friend and you feel like you want to weigh in with any life lessons you’ve learned, feel free!

1. Lay down ground rules early

We’re talking about getting it all out on the table. What cleaning tasks you consider must-dos on the regular. Whether or not you think it’s a sin to throw out something that could have been recycled. What hours you absolutely need quiet for sleep. What helps this is having lived with other people — you get to know your deal breakers after living through living situations you can’t stand — so the more experience you’ve had with shared living spaces, the more prepared you might be to move in with a best friend.

2. Consider staying at his/her place instead

We’re referring to any boyfriends or girlfriends that might enter into the mix. Sharing your home with those extra, non-rent paying roommates is never fun, but there can sometimes feel like there’s extra tension when it’s your best friend letting his or her paramour shower for an hour every morning. Maybe it’s feeling like your best friend should just know your feelings on the issue. Maybe you genuinely like the girl or guy and don’t want to stir up trouble. Try to foresee these types of tensions and stop them before they begin by simply spending the night somewhere else!

3. Cultivate the friendship, too

Don’t forget that you’re friends first. It’s not that this isn’t an important step for people who started out as roommates and then began a friendship, it’s just that you don’t want a friendship devolving into only a roommate situation. So make sure that between sharing chores you also schedule in plenty of the things you used to do when you didn’t live together to keep stoking that sweet friendship fire.

4. Forget the passive-aggressive notes

Why it seems like we can talk about everything with our best friend except the fact that it’s really bugging us when they forget to take out the trash is a bit of a mystery. But it’s something that happens to besties who share a home a lot. As uncomfortable as it might be — no one prefers talking chores over fun, best friend conversations — it’s important to bring up issues in person, and not leave passive-aggressive notes around the apartment.

5. Schedule regular check-ins (and perhaps a Festivus-style airing of grievances)

Don’t wait until it’s time to renew a lease to check-in with your bestie to see how the living situation is going (particularly if you’re living with a quiet friend who doesn’t love confrontation). Having a designated day where each person can calmly discuss any issues that are really bugging them can be easier to stomach and can keep a friendship on track while sharing a living space.

Weigh in! Have you ever shared a home with a best friend, to rousing success or friendship-ruining results? Share your life lessons for anyone who might be considering this route!