When it comes to roommates, things can get a little tricky. In many ways, it’s similar to a new relationship — in the beginning, you have a honeymoon phase and everything seems wonderful. (“Please, let me pay for the pizza this time.”) But, the honeymoon always ends. (“And would you believe she never has cash when the pizza guy comes?”)

And unlike most relationships, you’re still legally-bound by a lease long after the bloom has faded from the rose. Living with someone else means accepting a few quirks along the way and learning to communicate.

Here are a few of the most common causes of disagreement among roommates.

Food

Birmingham-Apartment-food-fightAh, the center of so many roommate disputes. “Why would you drink my last Diet Coke?” “Why is the peanut butter jar half open?” “Don’t eat out of the communal ice cream!” Nothing can quite stir up drama, or intense stare-downs, like the issue of open cereal boxes and expired milk.

Sure, you wish he understood that not everything in the pantry or refrigerator is fair game. (There are roommate rules people!) But, in the absence of a label-maker, you might just have to talk about what is acceptable and what isn’t when it comes to food in the apartment.

And a pint of ice cream is obviously only meant for one person.

Dishes

Birmingham-Apartment-gross-dishesRoommates tend to come in two categories — either you have a roommate that is similar to Snow White and cleans everything that is out of place, or your roommate ignores the ever-growing pile of dishes in the sink. With the latter, your kitchen is beginning to look like a scene from a really bad reality show on TLC. (Note to self: no one says “yes” to a sink full of filth.)

And your roommate might know that you will eventually break down and clean all of the dishes (even if you slam said dishes around just enough to let everyone know you are angry but not enough to break anything because dishes are expensive and you don’t want to clean up the mess of a shattered coffee mug). However, if you don’t discuss it, you might be on dish duty for eternity — or the end of your lease, whichever comes first.

Late Payments

Birmingham-Apartment-brokeIt is the end of the month, and you paid rent. You feel like you conquered the world, and yes, that “leftover” money is all going to Target. (Hello, dollar aisle!) You are winning at adulting.

Then you look at your roommate. They look back at you. And in that moment, you know they don’t have the money for rent — again.

Did they need to go out to eat every night and order $20 meals? No. Did they need new Lululemon yoga pants? No. Are concert tickets a necessity? No.

Sacrifices, people! (Also, sacrifice some time to figure out how y’all can keep this from happening again. Maybe it was a really bad month for Roomie. But, no one roommate should always take the financial fall.)

Temperature

Birmingham-Apartment-blanket-pugYou feel like your apartment is a never-ending version ofGoldilocks. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. Oh wait, it’s too hot again. Will it ever be just right?

Your apartment seems to have its own weather pattern. El Nino is unpleasant, but it’s even more unpleasant when it’s happening in your bedroom at 2:00 a.m.

There probably aren’t too many knock-down, drag-out fights over this one, but the passive-aggressive walk-bys to change the thermostat or grab a blanket are ushering in their own cold front. (Cold front! See what we did there?)

Talk comfort levels before the utility bills become a secondary bone of contention.

Significant Other Sleepovers

Birmingham-Apartments-third-wheelThird wheeling will never be at the top of your, “Fun Things to do on a Friday Night” list, but your roommate does not seem to understand that.

Your room is now the only place you can find peace and quite. The couch has been taken over by your roommate and their significant other for canoodling. The TV is always dominated by a rom com or sports. Even your kitchen seems to be devoted to romantic dinners.

It wouldn’t be that big of a deal if you had known about your extra roommate when you were signing the lease, but well, now the regular appearance of the significant other seems like a hostile move.

Set some ground rules for visitors before everyone loses their temper.

What is the worst thing you and your roommate ever fought over? Leave it in the comments.

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