In these harsh economic times, shacking up with a few friends is a popular way to save money on living costs — or, if you’re in school and living on campus, you might have no choice but to live with someone else. One of the many glories of being a twenty-something is this rite of passage: sharing a living space with someone from a completely different background. Unfortunately, that background sometimes includes a solid lifetime habit of not cleaning, stealing, partying until 8 AM, and sleeping with your mom. How do you deal?
1. Communicate – It’s the foundation of relationships, families, friendships, and roommates alike. If there’s an issue, bring it up in a tactful way. Call a household meeting and meditate over a peace pipe. If it’s a tactless issue (i.e., your sleazy roommate slept with your mom), communicate with your fist.
2. Set an example – Don’t party until 8 AM when you don’t have work and then get pissed off at your roommate for doing the same thing when you DO have work. Double standards don’t fly, unless you’re a government official. Same goes for cleaning. If you take the initiative to clean up after yourself, chances are, your roommate will follow suit. If not, refer to Step 1.
3. Keep your room locked – You’ll never have an issue with an invasion of space or privacy if you take care to protect your valuables. Xboxes can’t go missing unless you leave it out for your drug-addict roommate to sell for horse.
4. Don’t antagonize – It’s true what they say: two wrongs don’t make a right. If you stop cleaning to combat his laziness, you’ll end up worse off than you are now. Same goes for sleeping with his mom, unless she’s really hot and willing to rescue you from your hovel.
5. Vote him off the island – If all else fails and you’re tired of recovering your stuff from the pawn shop after spending all morning picking cigarette butts from the potted plants, kick him out. If you’re in a dorm room, petition the housing department to have him moved. Killing him and hiding the body in the laundry shoot is not recommended. Alternately, save your money and get out of there yourself.