If you’re looking for a new roommate and suddenly get the “brilliant” idea of living with a friend, think again! Living with a friend comes with at least a handful of drawbacks and disadvantages. Trust me, I have been there!
Living with a friend is not a good idea…I stand firm in this belief, but that’s my story. You need to decide for yourself if the risks are worth it. While there are both positives and negatives to living with a friend, it is important to realize that the risks can lead to the end of your friendship. Before you move in with a friend, consider all the possible drawbacks and disadvantages first.
16 reasons why living with a friend might not be a good idea:
1. Familiarity breeds contempt.
It doesn’t matter if you and your friend are best friends and spend all of your time together; living together is a whole new ball game. When seeing your friend every day and returning to your own homes, you have plenty of time away from each other, for there still to be an air of mystery. You don’t know everything about each other, and there’s sufficient time available to miss each other. When you live together, you will be in each other’s faces every minute of the day. There’s a saying that goes “familiarity breeds contempt” because it’s true.
2. You get to know your friend too well.
There’s a lot you don’t know about your friends. Even if you think that you know your friends really well, you don’t. When living with a friend, you will get to know a lot more about her/his personal habits, and it might not be pretty. Perhaps your friend has a habit of burping and farting loudly around the house. Or perhaps your friend never washes the dishes or talks rudely to his/her parents on the phone. We all have some habits that might be off-putting to other people. When you live with your friend, prepare to learn all about these.
3. Lack of privacy.
When you live with a stranger, the boundaries just seem to be different. Living with a friend opens up the possibility of all privacy boundaries to be broken. Ever been walked in on while shaving your legs? Tired of having to walk outside to have a sensitive phone conversation? Don’t really want your circle of friends to know about your several dates in the upcoming weeks? You are going to struggle with these issues if you live with a friend.
4. You’re exposed in your friend group.
Before you live with a friend, you probably meet your group of friends out and about. They don’t know much about the embarrassing moments you have in your life, and they don’t know too much about just how happy/sad/emotional you are in general. Then you move in with a friend, and suddenly all your friends know a little more about you. Yup, you can expect your roommate to discuss matters on the home front with other members of your group. Prepare to be exposed for who you really are.
5. Extra opportunity for judgment.
While our friends are our biggest cheerleaders and support group, they can also be a bit judgmental. As a result, we probably don’t tell our friends absolutely everything about our lives. While living with a friend, there’s a little extra opportunity to be judged by your friend. Perhaps you don’t recycle and your roommate does. Maybe you pig out on takeaways often while your friend is health-conscious. Judgment has a way of sneaking in on every level of life.
6. Possible awkwardness.
Chances are that you are used to spending time with your friend in a social setting. Now that you are living together, you get to spend time through all those mundane moments in life. Waking up and getting ready for work, random nights in just watching television, doing laundry, cleaning the house – all of these might not sound awkward, but they can feel awkward when you’re doing these new things around a friend you have only socialized with.
7. Financial disagreements arise.
Financial arguments have the potential to ruin even the strongest of friendships and relationships. When the bills start coming in, you might not feel like the expenses are being evenly managed. You might want to argue that your friend always leaves the lights on, thus running up the utility bill. Or perhaps your friend has a habit of eating all of your groceries, making your monthly food expenses higher than normal. Arguments about money with friends can be rough. Prepare for them as feelings will be hurt, and anger may flair.
8. Lifestyle habits may clash.
Many people don’t realize that lifestyle compatibility is a real thing in a co-habiting friendship and relationship. You could truly love your friend and believe they are the best, but that doesn’t mean that your lifestyles are compatible, and it can lead to a world of pain and frustration.
For instance, your friend might be a really funny and upbeat person, which attracts you to him/her as a roommate, but then you discover that your friend likes to party every night of the week when you like to spend a bit of time relaxing, watching TV and reading. Or you might find out that your friend is a morning person who gets up, gets the music on and exercises loudly at 7 am, and you’re more of a sleep-in until 9 am because you work late kind of person. It’s best to ensure that your lifestyles match up, or you might regret living together.
9. It could end up ruining your friendship.
It’s not all about arguments over money and lifestyle, though. Simply living with another person can cause the relationship to change dynamics. Not a lot of people handle change very well, and that small change in dynamics could completely ruin the friendship. Give thought to how much you value your friendship. Is it worth risking? That’s up to you to decide.
10. You can’t voice unhappiness easily.
Living with a friend often makes us scared to voice our unhappiness. You might not want to upset your friend or hurt his/her feelings, and so you will not mention when something is annoying or upsetting you. Of course, this can cause feelings of resentment in the end, which will certainly damage the friendship.
11. The house is always busy.
When you live with a friend, you can expect the house to always be buzzing with mutual friends as well as other friends and family members that you don’t know. You might not get much peace and quiet when living with a friend.
12. Pressure to always be happy and down for a good time.
When we are around our friends, we always feel like we have to be entertaining, engaging, and actively involved in festivities or “fun”. Unfortunately, this feeling will carry over into your living arrangement. Most people like to use their homes as a space to relax, unwind, and just chill. If you feel like you must always be “doing something”, you are going to start feeling worn out and tired…which will become damaging to your friendship.
13. You might not like your friend’s friends and partners.
You might absolutely adore your friend, but what happens if you discover your friend has terrible taste in partners or has another best friend who is rude and annoying? You might not enjoy having these people at your home, but you won’t really be able to control or influence that. You might find yourself not wanting to go home when you know these people will be there. Not very comfortable!
14. Best friends don’t automatically equal best roommates.
Most people are lured into the false sense of security that living with a best friend will be amazing because of all the good times spent together. Just remember that people are not the same out and about as they are at home. A person with a great personality might be a messy roommate or an inconsiderate roommate. Don’t just assess your living compatibility on just how great your friendship is.
15. Your friend learns too much about you.
It’s easy to keep the most embarrassing parts of our lives hidden when we live alone or with someone that doesn’t form part of our friend group. For instance, your friends might not know that you snore when you sleep or that you have PJs with holes in them. When living with a friend, they will learn a bit too much about you, and you might not be comfortable with that.
16. You never get any downtime to just chill.
Even if you are just relaxing on the couch on a weeknight, you might feel pressure to have a beer and take-out food that you wouldn’t ordinarily have, just because there’s a friend around. You might stay up later at night than you want to, or completely neglect your favorite pastime of reading on a Saturday afternoon. Just be aware that having a friend around all of the time could mean that you never truly relax in your own home.
As you can see, living with a friend can introduce a few unexpected complications to your life and your friendship. Consider all of these drawbacks before you take the plunge and move in with a friend.