Alexis Dent
November 26, 2016 3:01 pm

Roommates: can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. Well, actually you can live ’em… with a little help, of course.  There definitely questions you can ask your roommate when you move in to make life easier. There is no perfect science to handling the rough waters that can follow a new roommate situation, but there are absolutely some strategies to ensure that the relationship between you and your roomie doesn’t turn turbulent. One of these strategies involves asking the right questions to your new roommate or roomie-to-be. (The next step is sticking to each others’ answers though, so be prepared to follow through.)

Do you want to share groceries?

This is one of those issues that has no set guidelines. Some roomies share everything… including taste buds. In that case, it may make sense to share groceries and split the bill. This is especially relevant when you have a ton of roomies and inadequate fridge space. It is also helpful to manage portions and avoid eating leftovers all the time; cooking for one is notoriously difficult and mundane. However, if you’re gluten free and you love frozen pizza, sharing groceries may not be an option. Or, perhaps you really just don’t want to share your barbecue chips. Either way, it’s best to talk it out and lay some groundwork.

Are you are a morning or a night person?

It can be super annoying when your roommate has the complete opposite schedule as you. Instead of being grumpy that you’ve only been asleep for 3 hours when your roomie starts clanking around in the kitchen, talk to your roommate and create some respectful guidelines to which you can both adhere.

Do you have frequent…extracurricular activities?

 And by extracurricular activities, yes we mean getting jiggy with it. The horizontal tango. Whatever you like to call it, it’s nice to know what you’re getting into when you’re creating a respectful roommate relationship. College is in the rearview mirror, so irresponsible sex-iling should be too.

How do you want to divvy up chores?

This question is straightforward and will save you a lot of headaches down the road. You know, if you both follow the guidelines. Perhaps you two will create a chore chart; perhaps you will operate on the honor system. Only you two can decide what works for your roomie situation, just make sure you’re on the same page.

Do you want a friendship or simply a peaceful coexistence?

Simple enough, right? Some people expect to be instant BFFs with their roomies. Some people want a roommate to share a comfortable camaraderie, but at a distance. See how the common theme here is “some”? Everyone will answer these questions differently, and this is a crucial one to ensuring everyone is on the same page.

How should we manage the bills?

Whose name will the bills be in? Will the other person Venmo their portion. What do you do if one person takes 50-minute showers and you’re #notaboutthatlife when the water bill arrives? What happens if a utility is paid late? Why are there so many questions? Why is adulthood so hard?

What are your pet peeves?

If you hashtag-hate crusty oatmeal bowls sitting in the sink for more than a couple hours or you can’t even when it comes to tracking dirt/snow/leaves in from outside, you should be clear about it. Don’t expect your roommate to read your mind, but don’t expect him or her to walk on eggshells, either.

Is there anything else I should know about you?

 Maybe one of you have an anxiety disorder. Maybe there’s a peanut allergy in the house. You don’t have to divulge all your deepest darkest secrets to your roommate, but you should definitely inform one another of issues, quirks, and/or illnesses that may occasionally disrupt your quality of life or theirs.

So what’s the moral of the story, folks? Managing roomie relationships can definitely be tricky, but with a little work you should be smooth sailing in no time.