Living with friends. Yay or nay?

Living with friends - is it ever a good idea

Modified CC image, original by Flickr user stevendepolo

When I first moved out on my own, I lived with one of my good friends. Nobody would rent to a couple of girls under 18, so we ended up moving into a six-bedroom house with a bunch of strangers. There were good things about that arrangement: rent included all bills, and the setup was a rare one: each tenant paid their share to the landlord directly. There were good times hanging out watching movies, gossiping and consolation when my ex and I broke up.

But having so many classes together and, often, catching the same buses everyday, as well as living together, was a bit much sometimes. Our bedrooms were on separate floors and by no means did we spend all our spare time at home together, but I suppose I’m just not social enough to make something like that work.

Later on, after T and I moved in together, we also lived with mates of his and a mutual friend. Those never ended well. Inevitably the financials caused awkwardness (partly my fault – I have no problem talking about money here or in real life, but asking for it – even when it’s for paying the bills – doesn’t sit right with me). Chores were a whole other can of worms – lord knows there are enough posts on this blog on that topic from those years. Flatting with friends in all of those cases proved a mistake.

We’ve discussed possibly living with one of our friends in order to get a bigger and nicer house, but I’ve always dismissed the idea – although it might actually work, because he’s quiet and likes to do his own thing, like me – because I just don’t want to jeopardise that relationship. Likewise, another of my best friends used to talk about us all getting a house together and having a merry old Friends-esque experience (before going overseas and returning to plunge into poverty as a grad student, that is, scrubbing all talk of that dream).

What’s your take on living with friends?

13 thoughts on “Living with friends. Yay or nay?

  • Reply Leah September 16, 2011 at 16:40

    I am a total NAY on this (not that I have ever lived with friends though). As the saying goes “make flatmates into friends, not friends into flatmates”. I have many cool friends who started off as flatmates, but I don’t know of anyone who has lived with friends and been amazingly successful. Even my ROOMmate (ie. same room for 6 months) when I studied overseas was a girl who I knew, but wasn’t friends with – now we are besties (and can finish each others sentences in a freaky kind of way). Personally – if they are that good of a friend…I wouldn’t risk destroying a friendship over things like toiletpaper, vacuuming and dishes.

  • Reply FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com September 17, 2011 at 02:44

    For me, no. It’s a great way for me to ruin a friendship because I have my own quirks.

    I can only live with BF. 😛

  • Reply Friday grapevine: best of the blogs - TotallyMoney September 17, 2011 at 05:08

    […] Musings of an Abstract Aucklander ponders whether living with friends is a good idea. […]

  • Reply Clare - Never Niche September 17, 2011 at 05:44

    In my experience, moving in with friends has always resulted in the loss of the friendship or a long silent treatment before things are made right again. Reversely, I have moved into a few different houses in college with people I didn’t know beforehand and they became best friends, even while living together and after moving out for whatever reason. I think it’s all about expectations. If you don’t have any of the person, you’re in for a lot less drama.

  • Reply Stephanie September 17, 2011 at 16:08

    I’ve seen it work, and I’ve seen it fail miserably. I’ve gotten it to both work and fail miserably these few years at university. In my opinion, it’s a crapshoot, and is completely dependent on the people that you might be living with.

    But as long as you are tolerant of each other’s housekeeping habits and as long as everyone respects each other’s alone time, then it’s very likely to work out. Housekeeping habits and how clean or messy you all are can make or break the situation.

    I think that I’d chose living with a friend over living alone. But I’d choose living with family or my boyfriend over living with a friend.

  • Reply cantaloupe September 18, 2011 at 03:05

    It totally depends on the friend. After college, a friend and I got a place together and had a lot of fun furnishing it and decorating it and talking late nights and throwing ridiculous parties. Then after about a year of too much time together, we started to royally annoy the hell out of each other. She and I both need too much attention, so it only worked temporarily. I just moved into a place with a friend and I hope it will go better. But she’s way easier to deal with than the other friend ever was and gives more than she takes, which is important.

  • Reply Well Heeled Blog September 18, 2011 at 13:32

    I’ve lived with a friend for 2 years after college…. and… we’re still friends! The funny thing is we’ve never even done anything like the experts suggest – write up a roommate contract, talking about cleaning schedules, etc. I think what helped was (1) we had two bathrooms, (2) we respected each other’s food, (3) we paid rent on time, every time. I wouldn’t hesitate to live with a friend again, as long as we had 2 bathrooms!

  • Reply ShoeGal September 20, 2011 at 18:57

    I am also a definite no. I think I am just way too particular to live with anyone else, except my BF but thats different. I wouldn’t want to bug the person about cleaning and would not want to feel obligated to hang out with them all the time. I think all in all it could really drive a wedge between people.

  • Reply My money, my life September 21, 2011 at 06:52

    I’ve never lived with a friend but have mostly heard bad stories of it breaking up relationships. The things is, living with somebody is pretty intimate. You never know what quirks the person may have before moving in with him or her. If you were to do it, I’d also suggest trying to respect that person’s need for the common areas. I’ve lived with an ex pair of roommates who were dating (we all had our own bedrooms), and every single nite they spent the evening infront of the TV doing couply things…. they never told me I wasn’t welcome, but it certainly didn’t feel like a welcoming environment for me. I felt really singled out and pretty much resented them for that.

  • Reply myjourneytomillions September 23, 2011 at 08:28

    I have never had the opportunity to live with buddies as I lived home during college and law school and then moved right in with The Girlfriend (who eventually became The Wife).

    I think I missed out on something there…but what were you doing pre-18 living with friends? How did that situation come about

  • Reply Amanda September 29, 2011 at 16:21

    Agreed! We did the living with friends thing exactly once and would never do it again. He was the b/f’s best friend and now they only ever see each other about twice a year for maybe an hour or so – they used to do everything together!

    Our next lot of flatmates we knew through friends but were not close with and that worked out really well. If you have anyone like that it could be a better option perhaps?

    • Reply louise September 16, 2013 at 15:21

      I have to say never live with a friend I made the biggest mistake living with my friends sister she took me in after I lost my apartment in which I am greatful but there is ni happy medium in what I do she us always oppinionated in what I do I always have to sit with her along mother on a Saturday whom she lives with oh what time are ypi coming home from rhw gym I will go to the store but never goes can’t understand why she can’t go when her mother’s aid is there it gets more and more complicated I as it goes on I have a low income job and pray everyday I get a better paying job in an office so I can live on my own I would tell you more but it gets worse

  • Reply Link love (Powered by mascarpone and early nights) | Musings of an Abstract Aucklander September 16, 2012 at 21:49

    […] year ago I asked for your take on the pros and cons of living with friends, and touched on how my dreams have changed over […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *