Monday, March 20, 2006

Rethinking Roommates

Sometimes I think I should have had roommates during vet school. I always stopped myself though, assuming that inevitably I'd regret it. Now I'm moving to Manhattan to an apartment in which I will definitely have at least one roommate (plus or minus a cat or two) so I'm having to reassess my roommate stance.

I've seen it go both ways. I have some friends who are roommates who get along famously. They go out, fix the occasional meal together, share their lives. And then I have friends who have non-friend roommates who drive them crazy. They live out their lives in a passive-aggressive turmoil. And then there are the friends for whom being roommates proved to be a death sentence for the friendship. It's awkward.

What about for me? Pros and Cons?

  • Living alone has led to the development of a fair number of what I would consider pathologic behaviors which I would probably have to put an end to. (This is a good thing and I'm looking forward to it.)
  • If you have no plans on a Friday or Saturday night your roommate might be available for evening adventures.
  • Roommates can split the cost of milk or toilet paper or dish soap.
  • Roommates might be willing to listen to you gripe if you have a bad day at work, a bad date, a bad phone call, etc...
  • Shared utilities!

  • Messiness, chores, dishes, etc.
  • Wasted utilities.
  • Harder to escape and be completely alone.
  • Dealing with their pets.

It certainly seems like the pros outweigh the cons substantially. It would probably make me a better person and teach me to be more tolerant and flexible. Besides, it's good practice for living with future more important people... Getting used to living alone could be dangerous.


At 11:58 PM, March 21, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shared music?

At 12:16 PM, March 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every time I lived with friends, we got sick of each other after a few months (it would happen with at least one roommate, sometimes both) and spent the rest of the lease term writing passive-aggressive notes and avoiding each other as much as possible. This is the first time I've had a roommate for over a year (it's been almost 3 years) and I think the secret is that we were compatible before living together, but not close friends, and we have a variety of similar and diverse interests. If I want alone time, she respects that. We don't constantly do stuff together, but will hang out naturally. And she loves my cats. No roommate situation is devoid of at least some conflict, but our problems are so minor that I barely notice them.

One thing I love about living alone though is having everything clean and organized the way I really brings out my OCD tendencies!


At 12:21 PM, March 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A counterpoint: in college, I moved in with my three best friends our sophomore year, and we lived together for three years consecutively. We bickered every now and then, but for the most part got along pretty well. And now we make a point of seeing each other (and now each other's wives) at least once a year, if not more. Here's my point - in some instances, living together with someone can bring you even closer together and bind you together as lifelong friends.

At 8:31 AM, March 26, 2006, Blogger housediggity said...

Its true that getting too used to living alone could be dangerous, but becoming too used to having others around is also a risk. I'm not sure, but between the two, I'd choose self-reliance over co-dependence.

At 4:48 PM, March 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it boils down to this....if you like living alone (and I do) you like it, period. I have always despised having roomates, even when they were good friends and we got along. I don't think more or less exposure to co-habitation changes the innate feeling, although it might make it more tolerable. Even now, after 10 years of marriage and having a child, I must say, I still long for the days when I lived alone. Good luck.


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