One of the things that has been amazing about being a single girl in London has been living with girls who have become my best friends.
I honestly don't know what I'd do without my flatmate Sarah. When we've both got a day working from home, we sit together and make each other cups of tea. We share cooking duties and remind each other to clean up. We make time to watch TV we both love together and have empassioned debates over red wine. We're there for each other when we feel down or just need a shoulder to lean on.
Finding roommates in London is always a tricky task. We've recently had to get a new girl into the final room of our three-bedroom apartment and I thought I'd share what to look for in a potential roomie so you too can have a harmonious living situation, and how to overcome any potential pitfalls:
- Look for someone who when you meet you have a natural, friendly conversation. They will most likely be a little nervous on first meeting, but if they ask you genuine questions about your life and seem interested in you, this is a good sign that they're a nice, kind person. This works both ways - if you're trying to assess flatmates as a potential roomie, always watch out for people who don't bother to find out about you - if they're straight onto bills, money and moving dates before catching your second name, chances are they're only looking for someone to fill a space rather than someone to make a happy home.
- Chat about lifestyles. This is super important. I have lots of friends who are very into clubbing and dancing, but I could never live with them as I'm much more of a homebody. I love seeing them once in a while, but very probably would kill them if I had to live with them and their continual 5AM bedtimes. In the same vein, if you love to party don't move in with a group of people who like nothing better than a bottle of red, blankets and Silent Witness. Iit might be difficult for a bunch of night-shift workers to live with a day-worker or a super tidy person to live with a bunch of scruffy boys. If you have similar lifestyles and habits, the likelihood is you'll be more in sync with each other.
- Look for low-maintenance people who don't get offended easily and are aware of themselves. The biggest roommate pitfall is that as humans we're inclined to think that disagreements are totally one-sided, whereas in actual fact there is normally two sides to every story. For example, I can at times get a bit scruffy and lazy - it's not malicious, I'm just a bit forgetful. Because I have this insight into myself, I don't get offended if other people ask me to clean up or run an errand. My housemate Sarah is (unlike me) very conscientious, so from time to time she has to remind me of things. But we both know the important thing is that the job gets done and she knows she can rely on me. It's this understanding of yourself and each other that will lead to mutual, beneficial living arrangements.
- Finally, realise living together is all about the teamwork - sometimes even the best people will drive you bonkers but it's important to always act for the good of the team!
If you had a new flatmate where would you hold your first night out?
Til next time x