4 Ways to Compromise with Your Roommate and What to Know

By Alicia Geigel

Student Roommates: 4 Ways to Compromise with Your Roommate and What to Know

Making the transition from living on your own to with roommates can be a difficult one if you’re not used to the changes and responsibilities that come with it. I was an only child growing up, so for the most part, I learned to be independent and depend on myself for a lot of responsibilities. Living (with your parents) but by yourself for most of your life, you become accustomed to how you do certain tasks, unlimited privacy, and the perks of being independent. Moving in with roommates change up the whole game of living situations and will teach you more about yourself than you ever knew could be possible.


Roommate relationships, like any other relationship, require patience, temperance, and good old fashioned compromise. When you’re living with multiple roommates, things will not go 100% the way you want them to and your living situation will certainly not be perfect. As someone sharing a space with someone else, you may have to compromise on some of the original rules/ideals/standards that you established, and the same goes for your roommates. As you live with your roommates longer, you’ll learn more about their habits and idiosyncrasies and perhaps have to establish new rules, and that’s ok!


Living with another person takes a great deal of compromise because, at the end of the day, we are all different and have a different way of living. Are you about to move in with a roommate or currently live with one? Don’t know how to live with another person? Unsure of how to go about compromising on certain things? Check out these four key things to compromising on with your roommate below! Not only will they help you form a better relationship with your roommate, but they will also make your life easier!


1. Communication: You may not be the most talkative or open person, but when you live with someone else, you have to be strong and vocal about what you want. You have probably heard about keeping the doors of communication open over and over again in your life, but I can promise you that this is incredibly important, not only in roommate relationships but in all relationships. This rule applies to living with one roommate as well as when you are one out of four people living in a dorm. Regardless of how many roommates you have, you’ll want to make sure everyone is communicating effectively.


2. Chores: Let’s be real, no one truly likes doing chores (unless you're like me and sometimes likes cleaning to de-stress). You might be able to get away with not doing chores at home, but when you live with roommates, your lack of tidying up in the house definitely adds up. Before you even move in with your future roommates, it's important to establish some basic, ground rules of living. This can include alternating who takes out the trash every week, who cooks dinner on Tuesday nights, who washes dishes after dinner, who vacuums on weekends, etc. Compromising on chores, and alternating between which roommate does what chore each week, will help you keep a balanced home with your roommate.


3. Privacy: Privacy when living with a roommate/roommates can sometimes be violated, as it can just naturally (and accidentally) happen while living together. Just because you have roommates does not mean that you have to spend every second of every day with each other. Sometimes doing so can create rifts and tensions and sometimes it can be great, it all depends on the person. When living with a roommate, you sometimes end up having to compromise on certain things regarding privacy.


4. Bills: One significant element about living with someone (if you are in an apartment/house) is figuring out how to split up living expenses like rent/amenities/cable + internet. Taking on adult responsibilities and figuring out how to effectively split bills can be difficult and require some compromise on both ends. According to Leslie Tayne of Credit.com, “A major key for keeping the peace is making sure bills are organized. Figure out when and how bills will be collected and split each month, how they will be payed, and who is responsible for paying what amount.” It is important to compromise on certain things you want to spend money on, as balancing your budget is necessary to living with a roommate.


Sharing a space with another person is all about compromise; compromise of self, compromise of communication and privacy, and compromise of lifestyle. It’s never easy to shift what you prioritize, change certain lifestyle choices, and alter your ways of doing things. However, living with a roommate can introduce you to new perspectives on life and living habits that can expand your knowledge and benefit you in the future. Just remember to always be respectful of your roommate and their feelings, just as you would! Openness, respect, and understanding is the key to any successful relationship, especially with a roommate. As always, good luck!

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