As a child, I think everyone (particularly girls) grow up believing that when they move out of home, they're going to live in a nice apartment with their best friend. I know I certainly did. A lot of the time, this notion disappears and doesn't end up happening but what about the rare occurrences when it does happen? Whether it is while you're at university or just a halfway house while you both get on your feet to buy your own house, it can be difficult knowing whether living together will ruin your friendship or make it stronger.
Recently, I started living with my best friend. Only for two weeks, while her family was away, but it was my first time living with someone other than my parents. I didn't know what to expect from it, but I learnt a few things whilst living with her and I'd like to share this advice with you so that if you end up living with a friend of yours, you can stay friends and keep your friendship as good as it has always been.
There are three main things to address:
First thing’s first, don't expect it to be like an extra long sleepover. Living with someone is very different to having a sleepover. At a sleepover you might stay up all night and eat nothing except junk food and spend all the time talking. However, when you're living with your best friend, it's likely that isn't going to happen. When going about your normal life, you need to eat somewhat healthily and get a decent amount of sleep, and you are going to run out of things to talk about when you're doing everything together. Me and my friend often didn't speak about anything meaningful in the two weeks we lived together. We ate normal food such as rice and chicken and vegetables for tea, and we slept in separate bedrooms, in proper beds and got up to 8 hours sleep each night. That doesn't make it less fun, or new and exciting, just know that it will be different to what you are possibly expecting.
Similar to what I've briefly touched on in the previous paragraph, don't be worried if you don't speak all the time, everyday. When you're only staying for one day, you talk about everything all at once because you've got a limited amount of time to tell them everything you want to tell them. However if you're living together, your time is unlimited and you will start to run out of things to tell them. Me and my friend barely spoke on some days and we can usually always find things to talk about. It doesn't mean that you've fallen out or that you don't like each other, it's just the way it is sometimes.
Third, make sure you pull your weight. You aren't a guest anymore. It is your house for however long you're staying there. It's your responsibility to clean up after yourself and to do the dishes or make dinner. It's not all your friend’s responsibility anymore. You may be happy to live in a pigsty but that's not fair.
Those are the three main things to remember when living with a friend. I am well aware that it makes it seem extremely boring, but that doesn't mean that every day has to be like that. Sure, you may need to dedicate a day to housework or one of you may be working/volunteering or whatever you do for a living, but here are a few ideas to make living together exciting whilst still being responsible.
1. Plan a day out
There's never any harm in spending a day having fun. You could go to a park or the cinema and just do what you would have done if you were hanging out like before, adding in a bit of fun. If you're living together long term, you could make it weekly or monthly.
2. Have a sleepover
I know I said that living together isn't a constant sleepover and you may be thinking how can you have a sleepover when you're living together? But you can! Just do what you'd do on a sleepover like binge watch your favourite series, stick on a film, eat loads of junk food and stay up until the early hours of the morning!
3. Spend time doing things together.
To have fun, you don't have to go out. It can really help if you find a fun activity to do together. You could do some baking or play a game. You could even do the housework together and play some music during that time to make it more fun. It doesn't matter what it is so long as you make the most of it.
All I'm saying is make sure to have fun. Living together doesn't have to be boring. If you want any more advice on living with your friend, you can always contact me on my social media which you can find on my profile.
Here are a few good articles which include other tips which I may not have covered: