The Guide to Surviving an Awful Roommate

In a perfect world, every teenager would grow into an adult who understands financial responsibility and basic courtesies like replacing the toilet paper after it’s gone. Well, we don’t always live in a perfect world, and roommates come in all shapes, sizes and opinions. So what do you do when the roommate you thought was a gift from heaven turns into the roommate from hell? Try these tips to help you get by.

Dealing with a Mooch

There’s only so many times you can forget your wallet or not have a chance to cash your paycheck before excuses ring hollow. Problem is, once you’ve made the mistake of loaning money once, it’s even more difficult to step back and say no more.

Sometimes, you just have to man (or woman) up and talk to your roommate about the problem. While money is a shameful and sensitive topic for some people, the best approach is a calm and open one. Speak to your roommate about their financial problems and remember that you’ve been broke at times, too.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that your roommate’s financial problems are not your responsibility and they knew what they were signing up for. Nowhere in the lease was there a clause that you would pay for groceries and utilities if they didn’t have money, and they may need to be reminded of that.

Taming the Party Animal

Hey, it’s fun to let lose every once in awhile, but the bottom line is, you’re not 18 anymore. While your roommate is partying every night and bringing home random guys, you’re towing the line and trying to get ahead in the world.

At the point that your roommate’s partying habits become a problem, you’ve got to set some serious ground rules about what you expect from each other. If your roommate’s habits aren’t infringing on your life, cut her some slack. If her partying ways are keeping you up until all hours of the night, have a serious discussion about courtesy and expectations.

Motivating the Lazy

We all grow up in different homes with different expectations, and living with someone new is always an adjustment. You may expect the garbage to be taken out twice a week, while your roommate’s dad always handled that chore. If the dishes are piling up, the carpet never gets vacuumed and the bathroom toilets never get scrubbed, it may be time to approach the issue.

The best thing you can do is have a conversation with your roommate about your expectations and discuss what is fair. We recommend doing this before she moves in to avoid any potential awkwardness. On a side note, this tactic also works great for newly married couples who are working to mesh two ways of life into one family unit.

While it may not be as serious as making a chore list, you can have an open discussion about what you expect her to do and what you can be expected to do. Sometimes all it takes is an eye-opening moment for her to realize she wasn’t doing her part.

Communication is Key

As is the case in most relationships, you can’t be angry over something you aren’t willing to approach. Chances are good your roommate doesn’t realize you are struggling, and opening the lines of communication may go a long way toward fixing a relationship that is just getting started.