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Roommate Advice

Our Readers' Case Against Roommates

If you've ever had roommates, chances are you've dealt with some sticky situations. I've had all sorts of roomie experiences over the last eight years, from great to not so great, but I'm currently on the cusp of moving into a place all my own for the very first time. While I've always been a believer in the benefits of roommates — splitting costs, safety, etc. — I must admit the drama-free perks of living solo are appealing. In the midst of my own unsavory living sitch, I reached out to you on Facebook for advice on dealing with difficult roommate environments. Some of you offered helpful tips like being flexible, sharing cleaning duties, and creating boundaries, but a majority of you have found through trial and error that living alone is the way to go.

Here's a case against roommates with your real-world horror stories to illustrate:

Lost Friendships

  • "After years of terrible roommates and lost friendships I choose to live alone. My apartment is older and TINY, but it's just me and I LOVE IT!" — Cameron
  • "Just do not do it. I lost my best friend because of it, she turned into something that I couldn't believe . . . so it didn't work out. You just have to be very communicative and ALWAYS talk about bills and be on the same page. Never make a decision alone when it involves the apartment, drama will happen for sure." — Jessica
  • "I did it once and will probably never do it again. I lived with a friend and her bf and it was the worst mistake ever. He and I hate each other and it makes it hard on her especially now that they have a baby together!!" — Lauryn

Keep reading for more reasons to nix housemates.

Not Happy at Home

  • "If you aren't happy and there are a number of issues which aren't being resolved, find a better situation for yourself before tension builds too high. Life is too short to be unhappy towards someone you live with. Your home should be the place you feel the most comfortable, where you can relax from your busy day and you shouldn't feel stressed out to be there. I actually made my move this past Saturday due to an unfortunate roommate situation and even though it was unfortunate to lose my entire deposit, my happiness was more important. Just be sure to go about it the right way, give your 30 days, don't be disrespectful etc. . . ." — Sara

Disrespectful Roomies

  • "My first college roommate had already been to AA during high school. She came in every morning around 3 or 4 and on the weekends would sleep til 4 in the afternoon. I had to listen to her and her friends talk about the difference between good cocaine and bad cocaine based on the way it was cooked. And to top it off there were a few nights during the semester I would wake up to her having sex with some random guy." — Kimberly
  • "Did it once, will never do it again — which is why I am living with my parents at the moment. When I woke up to some random person (she had people over, I could hear them) rattling my locked doorknob at 1 a.m. and I was trying to sleep . . . and when I woke up to loud reggae music on more than one occasion . . . and when I found $20 had disappeared from my wallet because she needed extra money to pay our cab driver, I knew it wouldn't work out and I bolted." — Kasey

Do you have any more to add? Or do you prefer housemates to living alone? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Join The Conversation
JessRose JessRose 6 years
Oh FFFF no. I was scarred after college. I had a Freshman-Year roommate who never washed her clothes and she was a TOTAL slob. Everyone who visited our room (even the RA) complained about how smelly and gross her clothes were.
bethinabox bethinabox 6 years
I've always been afraid of living with a friend, which was why even though my best friend and I both went to the same college, we refused to live together. I had randomly assigned roommates the three years I lived in dorms in college and it seemed to work out rather well. I never had any big issues. Last year I moved into a house off-campus with a friend and 3 other people he knew from work, and half of it worked out... That is, I moved into a new apartment with one of those roommates because we got along so well, and I'm still on good terms with two of the other three. As much as I enjoy my roommates, however, I can't *wait* to have my own place. Or a place with a significant other.
outsung outsung 6 years
As Horrible as roommates can be I will say that living alone was horrible for me. I was lonely depressed and just all around frustrated with my friends. Admittedly they are all honors students (as am I; it's how we all met) so I shouldn't have expected them to be up for hanging out a lot. But the fact that we got together a total of like 6 times over the course of a year made me feel completely unappreciated by my friends and wanting to scrap the whole lot of them and start fresh. Luckily I held myself back, have (very messy) roommates now and even with dealing with the messiness I like it better than dealing with loneliness
mondaymoos mondaymoos 6 years
I've had horrible situations and amazing ones. My last roommate was a dream come true. If we were mad at each other, the argument consisted of "Hey, jerk, you want to simmer that ish down?" and then apologizing. The one before that was a nightmare though. Her and her boyfriend had sex on my bed. SERIOUSLY?? I wouldn't completely recommend against roommates. Really the key is to making sure you communicate REALLY well; just like you would with a significant other.
fmminis fmminis 6 years
I've had several room mates over the years ... Some were male and some were female.. For the most part they all worked out...if there were problems we always sorted them with a male friend was easier than living with a female friend ...I think living with a female takes more effort because it seems women like things to be a certain way...but once conditions are met, it's a lot easier ... meeting somebody halfway always helps any arrangement
peatree peatree 6 years
I prefer to live alone but I can't really do that since I'm in college and places around campus are not cheap and I don't have a car and have to walk most places. I did live in the dorms my first and second year of college and in those two years, I've had about ten roommates. At my school's dorm there are four people in a dorm suite and you have your own room but there are only two bathrooms and you have to share with your roommate next to your room. My freshmen year my roommate next to me was cool and we got along great. Our other roommate on the other side of our suite who was also a freshmen, also was great to. The only person we had a problem with is our older roommate who always had a bunch of people over and they always seemed to be smoking weed. My second year my roommate next to me always had her boyfriend over in her room in the dorms and he had his own room in the dorms. Plus she was always loud and inconsiderate even when told about it repeatedly. It always seemed like I was living with more then three other people. Just live alone and have pepper spray, wasp spray, or a bat close to your bed or door.
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