How to Pop the Question to a Potential Roommate

how to ask someone to live with you

So you think you’ve found the one. The person for you who is compatible with your lifestyle, who you can see yourself having fun with every day, who likes the same things you like.

In short, you’ve found the perfect roommate. (What did you think we were talking about?)

The only problem is: This person isn’t your roommate yet, and you need to ask them if they want to live with you. That could be an awkward conversation.

You don’t have to buy a ring or get down on one knee, but there’s still an art to the roommate proposal. Once you find someone you think would make a great roommate, here are five tips for asking him or her to live with you.

Tip #1: Don’t catch them off guard.

Before you ask someone to live with you, first make sure they’re in the market for a new living situation. If they already have a roommate they’re happy with, or if they live with a significant other, this might not be the roommate for you.

But if you know your potential roomie is looking for someone to live with, broach the subject gently. Unlike a marriage proposal, the roommate proposal can be done via text, email or social media. In fact, the other person might appreciate the chance to think it over without having to respond immediately.

You might even want to drop a few hints first. Casually mention that you’re looking for a roommate and see how the other person responds. When you feel it’s the right time to pop the question, they’ll probably be expecting it.

Tip #2: Be specific about what you want in a roommate.

You definitely want someone who’s going to pay their share of the rent and utilities on time. That’s a given.

But there are a few other variables to address as well, so tell your potential roomie why you want to live with them. If you’re an early-to-bed, early-to-rise type, you probably don’t want someone who parties into the wee hours. You might not want to live with a smoker or someone who has pets – or maybe that’s exactly what you’re looking for. Tell your potential roommate all of this. If nothing else, tell them you think it would just be fun to live together.

Tip #3: Give yourself plenty of time.

Don’t wait until a week before you want the new person to move in before you ask them. You’re not going to have good results if you’re in a time crunch – either the other person will have already lined up a new place to live, or you’re going to settle for someone you really don’t want to live with, and that could make for an unpleasant situation.

So give yourself and your potential roommate some time. If you’ll be moving into your new apartment around the beginning of the school year, mid-summer is a good time to start thinking about a roommate. In any situation, give yourself and the other person time to make arrangements for leaving their current living situation, moving and getting settled in. You might have to work around their schedule, and that’s OK.

Tip #4: Be aware that no roommate situation is perfect, and some sort of conflict will arise.

Living with someone is very different from just being friends with them. Inevitably you and your roommate will disagree on something, and that can affect a friendship. Have you seen this person deal with conflict before? How did they handle it? If they’re the type to pick fights or hold grudges, you might not want to live with them.

Prepare yourself for potential conflict as well. Of course you want to be a good roommate, so be courteous and respectful of your roommate’s time and space, and you’ll avoid a lot of problems.

Tip #5: Don’t be offended if they say no.

The person you thought was your perfect roommate might not say yes to living with you, but there could be a whole list of reasons for this that might have nothing to do with you. Maybe the place you want to live is far away from the other person’s workplace or school; maybe it’s a money issue; maybe they’re happy in their current living situation.

In any case, don’t let a negative response affect your friendship. Your perfect roommate is out there; you just have to find the one for you.

Have you ever asked someone to live with you? How did you do it?

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