Here are my top 5 ways to pick a really great roommate
- See if they are willing to move across the country to help you pay rent.
- Pick out the place together.
- Figure out what chores you hate doing and see if they will do them.
- Remember that they cannot read your mind.
- Strike a back rubbing agreement.
(bonus points if they bring you your slippers and if you are incredibly in love with them)
Last January, Barton and I wrote a post on tips for moving in together, and I felt like I should provide some sort of update on how things have progressed since then. Plus we were very fortunate to get the incredibly talented Austen Diamond to take some photos of us in our house, which I’m obsessed with and can’t wait to get prints of. If anyone in the area is looking for a great photographer who is wonderful to work with and makes you feel super comfortable in front of the camera Austen is your guy.
So the first place we lived together was a “cozy” basement apartment in Salt Lake City. It was the first apartment Barton lived in by himself when he first moved to Salt Lake. When my lease ran up in the house I was currently living in I did the obvious thing and popped the – could I maybe move in with you question. At the time we were very motivated by the convenience of the matter and the incredibly cheap rent we would be splitting. Now that I look back on it I’m not really sure what I was thinking. The place was small, with very minimal windows, which is a big problem for me, and it just wasn’t a place that felt like it could be Barton’s but also mine.
The next summer we moved into a duplex a couple blocks away with VAULTED CEILINGS, and enough room for us to both have a little space to ourselves. We’ve been here a year now and I think if finally feels like home.
The actual living together has been great and taught me a lot about the different sides of a relationship. There’s the supportive best friend side, there’s the home/life management side, there’s the learning that everyone farts side, and many many more. The thing that has taken me the longest to adjust to is knowing when and how to switch between all the different sides that make up my relationship. When you are in a relationship with someone and not living together sure you have hard times but most of the time you spend together is because you want to be with that person in that moment. And when you choose to be in that moment with someone you likely choose to be a pleasant human being because you can opt to go home and be the anti-social, half naked, messy ice cream binger that you truly are. When you live with your significant other they get to see that part of you too and they might need a warning that you are going to that “side.”
You also get to see how someone chooses to live and that’s where the home/life management side comes into play. When I used to hear my mom say something to my dad like, take out the trash or get dinner started I used to think that was called nagging. Disclaimer, I’m sure some of it actually was, but most of it was just the management side of their relationship. They had figured out how they both expected to live and altered their chores to fill each other’s gaps. So because I hate taking out the trash and cleaning the toilet Barton usually does those things. He’s not always free to cook so I generally cook dinner and clean the floors. We both hate doing laundry so still trying to figure out how to get a house elf for that but mostly we’ve gotten all the home management stuff down to a system.
So when we’re sitting at dinner talking about our day it’s pretty usual that our conversations will flop from being supportive to letting the other person complain, to confirming who is going to mow the lawn, to planning our next trip ect. It’s hard to keep up mentally and to know when to insert your emotions or not. Sometimes I get in a rhythm and answer a really deep question with “kay.” I’m trying to be more aware of when to lend my emotions to a conversation and when you simply cannot be offended when someone tells you, your side of the bed is a mess and your closet is flowing out into the hallway. We are defiantly still learning and getting better at it all the time but now at least we both agree that whoever unloads the dishwasher gets a 10 minute back rub.**
*only if there is a good show on the TV
*The back rubber gets to choose the show