That’s my Shampoo!- Roommate boundaries.
Living with roommates is difficult. Add in the fact that they are (or used to be) your best friends and it becomes even more difficult. Certain lines (no matter how thin) just shouldn’t be crossed. Here is an example of some things that have happened at our apartment in the past couple of weeks.
Using our shower products without asking or letting us know:
One thing we all agreed on before (and after) we moved in was that we aren’t sharing shampoo, conditioner or soap with each other. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the bathroom after one roomie had showered and could smell my shampoo in the air. I didn’t mention this at first, but the second and third time it happened, I confronted him. I knew he was using it for sure when I noticed that mine and my fiance’s products were the only ones in the shower. When I confronted him about it, he confessed, saying that he had been using our shampoo AND body wash because he had run out a couple weeks ago. I was furious. This particular roommate makes more money than I do, and he couldn’t go buy his own? The dollar store sells shampoo and body wash….needless to say I bought more, and now hide it under the counter, which I shouldn’t have to do.
The final straw:
Another thing we absolutely don’t share is bath towels. We each have our own shelves in the linen closet and our own place to store dirty ones. My fiance keeps a clean towel in the bathroom at all times to wrap around himself after a shower (otherwise he’d forget and be yelling for me to bring him one every time lol). One day we noticed that all of the towels that were on the rack were gone. Confused, we confronted the same roommate who had been using our shampoo. He then informed us that he thought it was his, and had been using it to dry off with after each shower. This is completely unacceptable and rude, not to mention unsanitary. He also hasn’t lifted a finger to help us clean, even when we ask.
This same roommate has done several other things to make me not EVER want to have a roommate again (like looking through our cupboards without asking, and taking food without replacing it.) His girlfriend has been staying at her parent’s house and is fully moving in this week (her first time living with a boyfriend). Good luck with that, is all I have to say to her.
Tips on boundaries and keeping the peace:
1- Before you move in, and after, set the rules and make sure everyone understands them clearly. If anything out of line happens, make yourself clear, and let them know that it’s unacceptable.
2- If behavior like what I’ve experienced with my roommate continues, go to their significant other for help and advice (or close friends). Chances are their boyfriend/girlfriend has more impact on them then you do, and might be able to defuse the situation.
3- Respect your roommate’s boundaries too. If you’re respectful of them, you’ve already got the upper hand if they cross the line. Don’t go for revenge! I’m sure you’ve heard your mother say, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
4- Don’t call them out in front of other people. When I went through these situations, I texted the roommate that we needed to talk. If you embarrass them, chances are they’ll get angry and nothing will get fixed.
5- Stand your ground, and don’t give up if nothing changes. Although I’ve confronted our roommate several times about certain things he’s done, some of these things still haven’t changed. He still hasn’t replaced the food he’s taken, and I’m pretty sure he’s using our products again. I plan to talk to him again this week.
Although things haven’t gone as smoothly as we’d like, setting boundaries is still a must, and makes living with roommates a lot more enjoyable and tolerable.