Gina Florio
March 02, 2017 10:38 am
FOX via Getty Images

Moving from the friend stage to the roommate phase of a relationship is a big deal. Neither of you are quite sure how it’s going to work out, but it’s exciting all the same, and you can’t stop talking about all the fun you’re going to have together. Before you get too carried away with your collective hopes for the future (and your shared Netflix to-see list), though, remember that there is a serious side to moving in with someone.

You want to make sure you and your roommate are a good match or else your home will no longer be your favorite place in the world. Just like you have a rough checklist in your head of what makes a good partner, it doesn’t hurt to have an outline in your mind of what you’re looking for in a roommate. In the meantime, remember that just because someone is a good friend doesn’t meant they’ll make the perfect roommate. No matter how long you’ve been besties, you should still keep an eye out for all the qualities that might make them a not-ideal roomie.

1. They’re late to everything.

Being on time is a quality that speaks volumes about people. Someone who is consistently late when it comes to meetings, appointments, and social gatherings is likely the kind of person who will be late to pay rent and dish out their share of the bills. It might not seem like a big deal, but living with an irresponsible person will wear on you after a while, and you won’t like the feeling of chasing someone down to pay their rent.

2. They consistently talk bad about people behind their back.

When you move in with someone, you’re both putting yourselves in a vulnerable position. You learn a lot about someone when you live with them, and you become close in ways that you might not experience with other friends. If your roommate is a gossiper, you might find yourself in the midst of some drama you never wanted to be a part of in the first place, and you run the risk of your dirty laundry being aired out in public — without your consent.

3. Their house is a disaster every time you go visit.

If you want to know what kind of roommate someone will be, have a look at their current home life and see whether they’re organized and clean, or painfully messy. If you notice that things are constantly in disarray, it’s safe to assume the common areas of your home will slowly but surely look like that, too. You don’t want to live with someone you have to constantly clean up after. Cleaning up after yourself is enough work as it is without having to worry about someone else’s chaos.

4. You have completely different lifestyles.

There isn’t one way of living that is better than another, but sharing a home with someone who leads a very different life from yours may not end well. For instance, if you’re someone who enjoys having people over until the wee hours of the morning but your potential roomie prefers to keep the apartment a quiet sanctuary, you’re bound to get into a few arguments that will scar your relationship.

5. They’re bad at sharing.

Generosity goes a long way when it comes to sharing a home with someone else. If your friend gets jumpy about sharing a plate of fries or, worse, splitting a bill right down the middle, take it as a sign. You’ll be divvying things up left and right while you live together and you’ll both financially chip in for a lot of stuff, so you might run into some conflict if your roommate is the kind of person who doesn’t like halving things up with others.

6. You disagree on a lot of things.

When it comes to important stuff, like politics and general beliefs, it helps to live with someone who sees eye to eye with you. You don’t have to agree on everything, but you don’t want to shack up with someone who is at the opposite end of the spectrum. If you and your roomie disagree strongly on a lot of things, you’ll only end up fighting all the time, and there might be some resentment lingering between the two of you. That doesn’t make for a nice home life.

7. They’re not good communicators.

Living with someone requires constant communication. You have to be in touch about the standard stuff, like when the bills are due, but you also have to keep an open dialogue about your home in general. If there’s a problem, you should be able to talk about it freely and maturely. That won’t be possible, though, if your roommate is someone who isn’t very good at having difficult conversations. You’re better off living with a person who doesn’t shy away from healthy communication.

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