Taronda Gibbons
happy roommates and dog

Many take the new year as a chance at a fresh start with 365 new opportunities to achieve success in all areas of life. No reason not to apply the same logic to your living situation. Think it's time for a new roommate but not sure if you should? Here are some tips to help you decide.

Importance of compatibility

Living with someone is a form of a relationship so compatibility is crucial. When you have a compatible roommate, it decreases stress and enhances your life.

You don't have to be the best of friends, but getting to know your roommate, learning each other's likes and dislikes and being respectful of one another creates a healthy living environment. While you can't control stress from work, school and everyday life, you can create a living space that reduces your stress.


Why switch

Your roommate may be a great person (or not) but may not be the best fit to live with you. If you find that your roommate is the complete opposite of you or just not the person you thought he/she was when you moved in together, it may be time to go separate ways.

  1. Sleep/work schedule: There could be a conflict in your schedule where one person interrupts you or causes issues with the other person's plans or sleep.
  2. Cleanliness: If one of you is doing all of the cleaning while the other dirties the place with no regard, that can be a huge issue.
  3. Guests/party habits: Both roommates should agree about having guests over. Problems may surface if one person likes to have people over every day while the other prefers no guests at all or only once in a while. One person can't be a party animal while the other likes to be alone.
  4. Food preference: It's important to agree on splitting or sharing groceries to avoid one person eating the other's food without permission. Also, know if your roommate has food allergies or items they just don't eat so that it doesn't cause a problem with being in close proximity or using dishes and household items that can trigger the allergy.
  5. Pet preference: If you or your roommate has a pet that the other does not like, is allergic to or has to take care of in your absence, living together can be pretty miserable.

Other reasons to look for a new roommate could be no respect for your space and property, doesn't pay bills on time, steals, attacks your religious beliefs or morals, is mean or doesn't know how to communicate effectively to make sure you're both on the same page.

How to Switch

If you're ready to live with someone else, but you're not sure how to break up with your current roommate, unless you feel unsafe, don't be afraid to have the discussion. Tell him or her in person. Let your roomie know that you think he or she is a good person but not a good fit to live with.

Use “I" statements to convey why you want to move. “I need to live with someone who is not a smoker" instead of statements that could feel like an attack. Point out the positives, but explain that you think it's best that you both find a new roommate.

The sooner you have the talk and decide when and how the switch will happen, the quicker you'll have your new roommate in the new year!



About The Author

Taronda Gibbons

Taronda Gibbons is a native Atlantan with a passion for reading, writing, traveling, the beach and bright colors. In addition to two published children’s books, she has been a content creator for over 10 years with a background in marketing and public relations.