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?)
You have just one problem: you need to make sure they want to be your roommate. You haven’t asked them yet, and that could be an awkward conversation.
You don’t need the formality of buying a ring or getting down on one knee, but there’s 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.
Before you ask someone to live with you, they need to be looking for a new living situation. If they already have a roommate they’re happy with, or if they live with a significant other, they probably aren’t the roommate for you.
But if you know they’re looking for someone to live with, broach the subject gently. Unlike a marriage proposal, you can ask a prospective roommate via text, email or social media. It’s likely better that way – they might appreciate the chance to think it over without having to respond immediately.
You could even drop some 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.
You want someone who’s going to pay their share of the rent and utilities on time. That’s a given.
But there are other variables to address so tell your potential roomie why you want to live with them. Are you just looking for someone to split living expenses, or are you looking for more of a friendship? Are you looking for a short-term arrangement, or someone you can live with for a while? Do your schedules conflict? 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.
Don’t wait until the last minute to ask your roommate. They may already have arranged for somewhere else to live.
Give yourself and your potential roommate some time. If you’re moving into your new apartment around the beginning of the school year, start asking in mid-summer. In any situation, give yourself and the other person time to leave their current living situation, move, and get settled in. You might have to work around their schedule, and that’s OK.
Living with someone is different from just being friends with them. There are inevitable disagreements, and how you handle those can affect your 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. What happens when either of you comes up short on the rent or utilities one month? What if you want to leave before the lease is up, or they’re the one who wants to leave? Who gets the bigger bedroom? You don’t have to go as far as writing a roommate contract, though you could; just having a plan for how to handle conflict ahead of time will help smooth over the rough patches.
Most importantly, be a good roommate. Being courteous and respectful of your roommate’s time and space will avoid a lot of problems.
Read more: Quiz: Which TV Roommate are You?
For all your preparation, they might say no. If that’s the case, don’t take it personally. Maybe where you want to live is far away from their work, school, friends, or family. It could be an issue of money, or maybe they’re just 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?