Like Your Friends? Don’t Move In With Them. Let Us Explain

Unless you come from the bank of mum and dad, living by yourself is pretty expensive, especially in cities like London. So, more likely than not, if you want to leave the shackles of your parents’ home, you have to live with other people.

This gives you three options: going online and finding random people to live with, but you run the risk of living with a complete weirdo so that option is scrapped.

Or, you could live with your partner (if you have one of course) but you might not be ready to make the big move.

Or you could go with the safe option and live with your mates. What’s the worst that can happen? You see your friends every week, you know most of their habits, so it seems like the right idea.

Wrong – living with your friends can either be the best thing to happen to your friendship or a recipe for a disaster.

You may think you know your best pal but living with someone really shows you who they are.

33-year-old Lauren* who is a director of finance from London knows this all too well. She’s had her fair share of friendships breakups due to flat-sharing. The first occurred with someone she had been friends with since sixth form. She described her as a close friend and they moved in together during their mid-twenties.

It all came crashing down when she ended up getting too cosy with a guy she was dating.

“I went out of town for my grandma’s funeral and found out she called him for relationship advice while I was gone and then when I came to our place, I saw her cuddled up with him in her bedroom.

“Dumped him and never talked to her again even though we had two more months on the lease.”

Rebecca* met her soon-to-be ex-best friend at the end of her first year at university. They went out all the time and when her friend went through a difficult point in her life, Rebecca was who she went to.

However, she started to notice a few red flags but brushed them aside – but then things seriously escalated when they moved in together.

“Friction was caused by two main things, her selfishness and the fact that we were both emotional people so when we disagreed on issues we both took ages to get over it,” Rebecca says.

She describes her former friend as ‘incredibly entitled’ because she grew up with household help: “She wasn’t used to doing household chores but as I was her best friend in the house I found myself constantly reminding her of things and doing her chores often with no response of appreciation.”

Tensions then exploded when Rebecca’s friend didn’t have her back in a household dispute which left her feeling betrayed and led to the fallout of their friendship. They eventually did manage to patch things up but did not remain friends.

Sandra* lived with four of her best friends doing her second year of university. She quickly realised that living with her best pals wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. “I had one friend who used to boss me about if the kitchen wasn’t clean enough,” she shares.

“She always made me feel like the house wasn’t up to her standard, I don’t enjoy cleaning but I did it but was never enough for her,” she adds.

But, her other flatmate was the complete opposite, despite being the group’s girly girl. “She was ridiculously pretty but lived like a teenage boy. She used to eat sugar with the communal spoon and put it back into the drawer without washing it.

“She vomited once and left the remains of the vomit in the sink, that’s when I knew I could never live with her again.”

Before you move in with your friend, ask yourself if you’re actually compatible to live with each other. Ideal Home Show, the world’s longest-running exhibition, has explored Brits’ biggest bugbears when it comes to flat sharing to help you decide if you make a good flat-mate and what gives most people icks when living with someone else.

The ickiest flat-sharing trait is someone who doesn’t wash up after themselves. Almost 9 in 10 millennials would be annoyed by a flatmate disturbing them late at night.

The ongoing cost-of-living crisis is also playing a hand in flatshare arguments, as almost half of participants took the opportunity to complain about energy-hogging residents. Growing tired of their bad habits, including leaving the lights on and turning the heating up.

You don’t want to lose a friendship over living arrangements, especially if you’ve been friends for years. Maybe try living with a stranger before you live with your pal from secondary school? It could benefit you and your friend.

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