Have you heard of The Five Love Languages? It's a best-selling book by author Gary Chapman and it basically boils down to this: People like to be appreciated in one of five different ways. It's a great concept for relationships, but might also help strengthen your bond with non-romantic roommates.
For reference, here are the five love languages in Chapman's book:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
The idea is that one or two of these languages speak to you the most. Maybe you feel the most appreciated when your partner gets you a gift, or maybe you're the most loved when somebody goes out of their way to make time for you.
The love language concept is based on romantic love, clearly, but I think knowing how a platonic housemate likes to be appreciated can go a long way in roommate relations, too:
- If your roommate reacts to words of affirmation, make sure you always say "thank you" for things like taking out the trash and let them know how great you think they are ("you're honestly the funniest person I know!").
- If your roommate reacts to acts of service, consider taking on an extra chore around the apartment to keep them happy, like doing the dishes when it's not your turn.
- If your roommate reacts to receiving gifts, grab them a special treat – their favorite candy bar – on your next trip to the corner store.
- If your roommate reacts to quality time, see if they want to have a movie night or plan a small party for your mutual friends.
- If your roommate reacts to physical touch... well, this one's the toughest. Maybe give 'em a backrub, if that seems to fit in with your friendship? Or maybe just leave the physical touch up to their significant other.
If you're interested in discovering your love language, you can take a quiz here (it should prove to be pretty enlightening, actually) and ask your partner or roommate to do the same.