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Settling in with a new roommate is an exciting time for you to bond and connect. But it can also leave you feeling nervous or anxious about what to expect.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to get set for shared-living success! Here are four simple steps to start your relationship right.

1. Set Expectations

In any relationship, forming a strong foundation is crucial. Take the time to sit down together for an honest conversation about your needs, wants, and expectations about your shared living arrangement.

Ask yourself, “What would I like my roommate to know about me?”

It can be anything from the monthly cost of groceries to your favorite (or least favorite) household chores to your ideal room temperature.

Discussing these things up front not only helps establish clear guidelines, but it also opens the door to effective communication in the future.

Hint: Use our Roommate Agreement to jumpstart your conversation! Documenting your agreed-upon guidelines in writing is a great way to remember your mutual decisions and hold yourselves accountable.

2. Communicate (clearly and often)

Effective communication goes a long way in any relationship. Make an effort to actively nd share with your roommate. Address issues as they arise instead of ignoring them and letting frustration build.

Chances are, both of you want the best for each other and are willing to compromise to make things work. So try not to stew over your concerns or frustrations for for too long. Usually, all it takes is a quick conversation to clear up any issues.

You’ll probably have a lot of logistics to talk through, but try to get to know each other, too! Consider asking about their day or refer back to a previously mentioned topic — this will help you build rapport and keep the lines of communication open and honest.

3. Be Considerate

Sure, it sounds obvious. But we all come from different backgrounds with unique life experiences, which affect how we perceive the world around us.

Is 9 p.m. too late for laundry? Does “having a few people over” mean two guests, six, or more? Don’t be afraid to talk about these things! Clear communication and an open mind go long a way here.

4. Talk About Shared Items

As roommates, we’re sharing a part of our lives by the sheer nature of living together. But where do we draw the lines?

Are you willing to forego that pint of ice cream in the fridge? Or the drum set in the living room? And conversely, is your roommate comfortable with you using their laundry detergent or borrowing one of their books?

And remember to ask before borrowing anything not discussed, even if it seems small. This shows respect for their space and privacy.


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