Rooming with someone you don’t know can be an awkward experience. You have no clue if you two are compatible roommates, and there is nothing less fun than living with someone you despise.
Living with your best friend seems like an easy solution to this, right?
The staff at the Foghorn doesn’t agree. We think that, in most cases, living with your friend can ultimately end up damaging the friendship.
Living together is a serious commitment. There is a reason why most people advise couples to wait before moving in together. Cohabitation changes the dynamic, and this does not just apply to romantic couples. You could be friends with someone your entire life, but that does not automatically mean you can live together with no problems.
When you live with someone, you see the worst of them. You see when they come home at 2 a.m. drunk and crying. You see them dealing with a breakup day after day. You see any messes they make, and how they act in the privacy of their home.
In your relationship with your best friend, it’s not that you don’t know that these things happen; it’s that you don’t usually see them while they are happening.
Seeing the shortcomings of a friend comes with time, and are secondary to your primary experience of friendship. With a roommate, the opposite tends to be true. You’re forced to experience the most personal parts of them right away; their clothing strewn all over the floor, them taking over the prime real estate in the cabinets. Then, you try to get through the negatives to find the positives. It’s like why you typically want to hear the bad news first — let’s see it, get it over with, and move on to something better.
The staff of the Foghorn emphasises the fact that being a good friend with someone has no correlation with being a good roommate with that same person. Being good friends with someone means caring for them, supporting them through their ups and downs, and always wanting the best for them.
A roommate relationship can include those elements, but you also have a host of other responsibilities that are necessary for successfully living with them. For instance, you could be living with an incredible friend … who always forgets to do their chores. The latter doesn’t invalidate the former, but habits like that can very quickly become irritating if you’re living with them.
There is also the worst case scenario: the chance that living with your friend can end up ruining your relationship. It is difficult to be friends with someone who you’re constantly annoyed with, even if you love them deeply. However, deciding that you may not be roommate-compatible with a friend doesn’t end the friendship, as it might with a romantic relationship. With a friend, it’s okay to say, “Hey. I love you … but I couldn’t live with you.”
The Foghorn also thinks that living with your friends doesn’t only impact your friendship, but your social circle as a whole. It limits the people you interact with since you’re more inclined to simply stay at home. When you have your own circle of friends separate from your roommates, it opens your life up to much more opportunity for mixing groups and creating greater connections.
Think twice before signing a lease with your bestie.