So we’ve all been there, that moment when a friendship dies, you can’t quite put your
finger on it, but you remember the exact day, maybe it was a conversation that became filled with constant awkward silences, or
the hesitation to schedule hangouts or invite them to parties or your annoyance
with their incessant posting on social media, you feel bad for the way you feel;
you do but you can’t help it.
About a year and a half ago, a good buddy of mine
unfollowed me on Instagram. Was I surprised? no, I saw it
coming, what my intuition had been screaming at me weeks prior, got confirmed at that point. I’ve heard people say, the social media unfollow is the modern-day version of IDFWU.
I don’t think it hurt me; it was challenging for me to process, but as with all situations I made peace with it and took it in my
Now there may be a lot of reasons this friendship imploded,
non I was privy too at the moment but looking back it was inevitable.
you grow older, your views about what friendship means and its purpose will evolve.
You recognize that humans are fickle, life happens and circumstances occur,breakups are inevitable.
You see people for who they are, it will make you
more tolerant of their shortcomings but less desiring of their company.
You grasp that true lasting we die here friendship is not just built on mutual shared interests and hobbies, but on reciprocal respect, trust and unwavering support.
You learn how to fight fair, you will understand the subtle
art of balancing the need for space and intimacy, which is crucial for any relationship.
You understand why it is important to surround yourself with like-minded, emotionally healthy and confident individuals.
that your social media followers are not always your friends.
You become selective, filtering friends
into groups, some for fun, some for business and some for secrets.
the value in having a large network, but you also see sense in cultivating a close circle of companions. You learn to keep certain
details to yourself; you understand that friendship and money don’t
always mix well, you also learn that it’s not a good idea
to live with your buddies, or date their exes.
You yearn for friends that expose you to new concepts, philosophies etc. Friends who can help you with career ambitions or business goals, take precedence over those, who just want to gossip about nothing serious all the time.
You care less about their opinions; you spend more time with one particular friend; you understand that friendships between the sexes work and can be very enriching.
You stop seeking for perfection in friendship,
because you won’t find it, you become cognizant of the fact that you should be
your own best friend; you learn that, what you get out of a friendship is
not always what you put in; you become pragmatic; you demand the best from people,
but expect less of them, nothing surprises you any longer.
You let people earn
the right to be your companion; you let go of the ones that no
longer serve you.
You understand that true friends celebrate your wins and commiserate when you lose, but don’t allow you stay down for too long, they want the best for you always, they listen, they criticize constructively and love unconditionally.
In 2017, nearly 79 million adults (31.9% of the adult
population in the United States) lived in a shared household–that is, a household with at least
one “extra adult” who is not the household head, the spouse or unmarried
partner of the head, or an 18- to 24-year-old student.
I’m not surprised, living on your own can be very expensive, especially as a young person who is pursuing a career in a major city. I have lived away from home since I was 19 . At university; I shared a unisex housing building with 11 other guys and girls; shortly after that I lived in a self-contained studio apartment, and right now I share a cozy 2 bed with my friend, so you can say, I have experienced my fair share of roommate drama.
Truth is many people have a roommate from hell story, some see it as a rite of passage as a young adult. Learning how to share your personal space with another human being is a transferable skill that comes in handy in all facets of your life. Living with a friend, colleague, someone you met on craig list, the first few years out of university whilst you stabilize your finances is a great way to save enough money, before you eventually get your own place with a future spouse or partner. You can split bills, living expenses, share the burden of managing household chores and make a lifelong friend whilst you are at it, sounds like a win-win situation right?
Well, slow down your horses, there are a few rules that can help smoothen the inevitable kinks and ensure a pleasant cohabitation.if you successfully stick to them you should have no problems living with anyone until you’ve saved up enough money to buy your dream townhouse.
Great Friends Don’t Equal Great Roommates
I’m sure this comes across as counter-intuitive, if you can spend 4 hours chatting on the phone with your bestie, enjoy laughter filled brunch sessions and endless shopping trips together, then you should automatically make great roommates, right? well not really. Just because you get along with somebody, doesn’t mean that you guys can or should live together, I will go as far as saying you may end up potentially ruining a great friendship if you do. If you will live with your best friend, I assume you know him or her well enough to know their personality, temperament, habits are. If your friend is a slob and you are a neat freak, I don’t care how much you like each other, you cannot live together,harmoniously.
Most people have this fantasized idea of what living with a best friend will be like, frankly if you are over 25 I don’t advise it. Think about this, most of the time, you schedule time spent with your bestie; mentally you both are in a space where you want to catch up and have fun, laugh and let your hair down, or lend a listening ear. However, you don’t see them 24/7; you do not get to see them exhausted after a long day at work,when all they want is their glass of wine and bed. If you expect that it will always be late night girl chats, your personal live-in entertainer, comedian, chef and therapist you will sorely disappointed and resentful, be realistic.
Not all friends know how to handle conflict in a productive and healthy manner, it’s okay if you have disagreements with your friend, you don’t speak for weeks and when you do, you guys move on as if nothing ever happened, if that works for your friendship, hey I can’t knock it, but when you live together, it’s a recipe for creating an unhealthy home environment (I will discuss further shortly). Disagreements are inevitable when you live with someone, if you and your friend are passive aggressive or overly confrontational, then it’s best to just leave it at sleepovers sis.
Bills Bills Bills
This is one in particular, is for my Africans in the house (don’t shoot the messenger), please do not think it is okay for you to move in with a stranger or even a friend, and think you will “wing it”, “see how it goes” or ” believe that there will be a mutual understanding” regarding paying bills. Before you move in both of you MUST mutually agree and decide on this important aspect of housekeeping.
In whose name will the bills be in? How frequently will they be paid (bi-weekly, quarterly) and how i.e. by cash or electronic transfers? An established structure of how things work must be in place. There are great apps such as Splitwise and Zently (available for free on the web, Android and Iphone devices) that help you split and pay expenses easily between multiple groups of people. A lot of people get uncomfortable talking about money and bills, especially if they live with “friends” but I think it is better to have these difficult conversations at the get go, to avoid unnecessary complications. It would also be ideal if both of you can be transparent about your respective financial situations going into a living arrangement, i.e are you both employed full time, students etc
The same thing applies to household chores, there is nothing wrong with creating a roaster, assigning tasks and responsibilities suitable for everyone’s schedule, I know I am making it come across like you are running a military operation but I believe that disharmony will thrive if some form of structure doesn’t exist, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Bend It Like Beckham
In other words, you have to throw in some good measure of flexibility and compromise. People differ on what they consider a clean house or a quiet environment. My idea of having friends over is just one friend, for someone else that may be seven, learn to compromise within reason. Truth is, as far as both of you are going 50/50 on the rent, you can’t dictate, how the common areas will be furnished, or how often the house is cleaned.
Take into consideration
his/her lifestyle and be realistic, ask yourself does it really matter if they do things my way, and if the answer if yes, then you might have to rent your own space.
Grown adults, are not malleable, if you find an issue unbearable raise it, any reasonable person will make adjustments but do not expect it to get done the way you want it always and be ready to pick up the slack if it is important to you.
Would you feel comfortable living in a space
where you had to always log out of your email account, because you are afraid that your
nosy roommate would browse through your in-box when you stand up to get coffee? Do you have to hide everything that comes in the post, because it tires you, dodging unwarranted comments from your roommates. Does everything that happens to
you become gossip for him/her and their friends?.
Your privacy matters, you must expect it and create an environment that fosters it. If you don’t have a close personal relationship with your roommate be cautious about discussing private matters and divulging personal information to them. Equally, you must allow them the space to take the lead, and do not bring up their own personal affairs, unless they have implied in conversation or otherwise that they are comfortable sharing that information with you.
Many people have a tendency to feel entitled and take this personally but honestly as long as they pay their share of the bills and fulfill their housekeeping responsibilities they really don’t know owe you anything, the only time you may butt in without their permission, is if you perceive that are involved in criminal or illegal activities that may endanger your well being. Otherwise mind your business.
Be Friendly Be Nice
Everybody loves to come home to a great environment, and I don’t mean tidy and clean. If you constantly bicker with your roommate about everything chances are that you will not look forward to spending anytime at home. What was supposed to be your sanctuary becomes a negative space for you.
Create a space where you learn how to communicate and resolve conflicts in a way eliminates unnecessary long-term tension, have difficult conversations respectfully, if you are mad at something, it helps to calmly reflect on the issue first, that usually calms you down, instead of lashing out immediately at your roommate. If anytime you come home, your roommate is scurrying to their room or you can barely acknowledge each other in the morning, then there is a problem. You don’t have to be best of friends, but you need to be cordial and friendly, you can establish a relationship by organizing a games night, going out for a movie, to dinner, get to know and understand each other.
Remember that he or she is most likely going to be your first point of contact if an emergency occurs, it pays to be on good terms with them.
These are just a few rules, that I think would be great to live by, I have made lifelong friends with absolute strangers, by applying these rules in my personal life, living with people doesn’t have to be a nightmare, it can turn out to be one of the best experiences of your life, if you try.