So, you and your best friend are moving in together! Life seems like it’s going to be a never ending sleepover and fun with the person who just gets you. Then something happens: the flood of horror stories of those two friends you thought would never part but did once they lived together come rushing in. Although there are a scary amount of cases where two friends could only be friends if they didn’t live together, I would like to say that there are those pairs that not only survive being roommates but are better for it.
Before I moved in with my best friend, I was absolutely terrified. I mean she was going to see me in every aspect, including the darkest and not as fun sides of me. I feared that it would ruin our cherished friendship, boredom would strike, and she would think different of me once she saw me on my bad days. Little did I know, our relationship grew in ways I wasn’t expecting. If anything, seeing each other in these settings have deepened our appreciation and love for one another. We are a success story! Living with her has been an experience that I know I can look back and smile upon for years to come. Here are six lessons that have made living and growing together possible and a triumphant.
1) Level Expectations
If you have a picture perfect vision in your head, that everything will be sunshine and rainbows 24/7, you will find yourself deeply disappointed. Although your best friend is someone you can’t help but put on a pedestal, you have to remember that she is human and just like everyone has bad days and make mistakes. Let’s say you are insensitive while speaking to her or fail to do your half of the chores that day. I mean things happen! Learn to accept the fact that you are going to fail her sometimes and shouldn’t expect any different from her.
2) Share Responsibilities
Now that you live together you now have some dirty work that you both may not want to do. Taking out the trash, cleaning the bathroom, keeping the common work tidy, and sweeping the floors to name a few. It can be confusing or hard to keep track of who does what and if it is your turn. I would make a chart so that all the chores or bought materials are split evenly between both! Pinterest has multiple cute and fun ideas of chore charts for the home, and hey, it can even make doing your share enjoyable. This way both of you can do an equal amount of work and not have to worry if you are slipping in homely duties or are unfair to the other.
How many times have we heard communication is key? It couldn’t be any truer. Most disagreements in relationships could be stemming from a lack of communication. From the start communicate important points such as what to maintain in your living space, pet peeves, and boundaries. Your BFF isn’t a mind reader (even though sometimes she can be when it comes to you) and it’s difficult to just know that you are fed up with the dishes being left in the sink or that she is too loud in the mornings. Expressing an issue being positive or negative right away is vital to a healthy relationship. When you talk about a rising issue which at times can be uncomfortable, it can save both parties from arguments and misunderstandings that nobody wants. Possessing a strong foundation of communication in your home from the start, can make do’s and dont’s clear and also prevent resentment that can lead to awkward tension or hurt feelings.
4) Needing Space Is Okay
We all have days where we just want to be alone or not feeling like ourselves. We all experience moments where we are at a loss for words and can’t be that fun girl that can entertain and keep up all the time. There are going to be instants when you won’t want to be with each other all the time. This is perfectly normal as we all need a second for ourselves and to recoup! Living together can be tricky because you are used to seeing each other on your best days or for certain occasions. Now, when you move in there is nowhere to hide when you want to be alone and do your own thing. It’s like you have the desire to share everything with them, but also don’t want to lose a sense of individuality. If we are being honest, they probably feel the exact same way, so just be real with each other about it. Being open about needing space doesn’t mean that you want nothing to do with your friend. It’s just that sometimes to stay true to yourself, it’s necessary to have alone time.
5) Friends First, Roommates Second
This is the most important to me. For example, if my best friend is having a bad day and left the dishes in the sink, I am not going to talk about that. I am going to be there for her. In the midst of ugly situations, try to take a minute to remember the friend that captured your heart and has been there through it all. I think when we see someone everyday we tend to forget who they are and how they made us feel when we first them. Don’t forget and take them for granted! Make them feel seen, loved, beautiful, and capable. When you live together, you are given the special privilege to witness each other grow and find your places in this crazy world. Remember above all, that they are more than just your roommate. They are your best friend and someone that will be with you long after you go your separate ways. In every situation you both may face, you are friends first and roommates second. With this, you can be your own best friend/roommate success story.
6) Take Off The Mask
Are you in the habit of putting on a certain face to the world, even when you feel the exact opposite? Do you feel like there is a image others have of you and that it is necessary to keep squeaky clean? A lot of times we can still tend to do this with the people closest to us. We don’t want to disappoint them or maybe fear that when they find out we aren’t “perfect” they will love us a little less. I am here to tell you that the strongest friendships are the ones where there is genuine emotion! Living with your best friend is the perfect opportunity to practice taking off the mask by not faking sentiment. When you are open with each other about what you are really feeling inside, your relationship has the chance to grow on a whole other level. Imagine getting to a place where you no longer have to pretend to be happy or feel the need to put on a front with each other. To be your real self and less stressed out about being who you think the other wants you to be all the time. If you are having a bad day and just don’t feel like smiling — don’t! If you are angry and need to vent — do it! If you feel like crying and breaking down for sometimes no reason at all — let yourself. Let yourself be and let the other see the depths of your heart without holding back. This is your best friend. Together, you share this bond that goes beyond first impressions. You should be able to be your complete selves and live knowing that they love you even more for doing so.