4 Tips on Becoming Friends With Your Roommate

By Kaitlin Hurtado on December 8, 2017

There are plenty of movies centered around college life and when it comes to depicting the relationships between roommates, it can either be overly idealized or the ultimate horror story. A roommate can be your best friend even out of college and become lifelong friends, or they could be someone you never want to see again after your lease ends. While the latter is the worst case scenario, you are going to be living with your roommate for an extended amount of time and there’s no need for you to live uncomfortably with a stranger in your own living space. You don’t have to become the best of friends, but it helps to be friends with your roommate all the same as you can communicate more easily and be more comfortable in your own living space.

via Unsplash.com

1) Initiate conversation when you can

If you’re wondering why your roommate hasn’t reached out to you to start up a conversation, they may be wondering the same about you. If you find out who your roommate is going to be prior to moving in, try getting in contact with them. Introduce yourself with the basic things: where you’re from, your major/year, interests, random facts about you. Small, common interests can spark longer conversations and get you both out of that new roommate awkwardness.

When you both have actually moved in and still are lacking in the conversation department, try to initiate a conversation when you can. Greet them in the morning or when you come home from class. Ask them how their day was, or if they are liking their classes so far. They may seem like mundane questions, but they are enough to show your roommate that you are interested in their life and willing to talk to them on something other than the cleaning schedule for your room.

2) Invite them to hang out outside of your dorm/apartment

Instead of letting your friendship be confined to your shared living space, invite your roommate to hang out just as you would any of your friends. If you are still on semi-awkward terms, do an activity where conversations can naturally happen. If there’s an event at school, like an athletic event, go together and even if you can’t find something to talk about right away, you can still talk about the game you are watching. If you both find a movie you want to see, watch it together and make conversation about the movie afterwards. Friendships won’t always spark after one hangout, but the bonding time will definitely help develop the friendship between you and your roommate.

If you see them cooped up in your apartment all the time, invite them out to activities with your friends. However, do be aware that they may not know anyone other than you and make sure that you introduce them to people before inserting them into the conversation.

3) Share food 

This may seem silly, but offering your roommate food can build a bond between you. If you plan on ordering pizza or something on Postmates, ask them if they want anything as well. They may feel touched that you even considered asking them, especially if you guys weren’t really on speaking terms beforehand. Once you guys get your food, you can sit down on your couch and watch a movie together, creating even more bonding time.

If you’re out and about and going to pick up some ice cream to take home, shoot your roommate a quick message asking if they want you to pick up anything for them. Again, this action can cause them to look at you as more of a friend for reaching out to them and may even push them to do the same in the future.

4) Give them space

You may want to be doing everything in your power to become friends with your roommate, but you shouldn’t be overwhelming when it comes to approaching them. Be aware that you both have separate lives, and when they say they are busy, they really are. Your roommate won’t always have time to hang out, or may just want to rest peacefully at home after a long day. Know when to give your roommate a little space, just like you would your friends.

Maybe you’ve already tried all you can, and your roommate still isn’t warming up to you — that’s completely okay. Roommates are roommates after all, and though they are the people you are going to be living with, it doesn’t necessarily mean being best friends. Not everyone clicks right away, or even at all, so it’s okay if you find yourself not friends with your roommate. However, despite not being friends, still try to be on good terms with your roommate to make the most of your living situation.

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