Dinner, for Three! First Planning Meeting with Roommates

It has been about a week since the informal decision to move in with my future roommates, boyfriend and girlfriend, Chris and Kayla was made. Since the three of us are all in study mode getting ready for finals, it has not been very easy to get together to talk about logistics. Recently, we were able to get together at a local restaurant to talk business over some drinks. Let me start by saying the “20 Questions to Ask a New Roomie” post is a great icebreaker for getting a conversation going between yourself and potential roommates. Even with people I’ve known for years, Chris for two and Kayla since high school, it was a little awkward bringing up questions about privacy, money, and responsibilities. I brought up the post on my phone and treated it almost like a game; I’d ask the question, and each of us would take turns responding, followed by discussion when necessary.Question and answer

It turns out that we seemed to be on the same page on most of the topics. Better yet, it feels like Chris and I are both more lenient about compromising, which I’m sure Kayla will appreciate. The big ticket items were taken care of first. We had previously decided on looking at 2 bed, 2 bath apartments, in which Chris and Kayla would obviously share a room (the master if applicable), and I would get the other. We decided on splitting rent 3-ways and sharing expenses on furnishing, groceries, and everyday items (toilet paper, cleaning supplies, etc.). Lucky for me, since Chris and Kayla intend on eventually living together, they had already bought many of the bigger furniture pieces beforehand: sofa, table, chairs, T.V., etc. We agreed to use what they already had for our apartment, with the understanding that at the end of our lease the bigger items that they provided they would keep. I would provide my own bed, a bigger T.V. for the living room, and some smaller things like: throw-pillows, kitchen supplies, tools, and sheets that my parents are letting me take.

As the conversation progressed, we began discussing less material matters. We all agreed that the primary way to avoid problems before they arise is through communication (like any good relationship). We were all on the same page about wanting the apartment to be a place to come home and relax in, so terms on parties, noise levels, and visitors were mutually accepted. We agreed to share housekeeping responsibilities and payments on the honor system and to treat each other with the respect that adults deserve. I feel fortunate going through this process with people I’m already comfortable around that seem to agree with me on what they’re looking for. Although maybe not as adventurous as someone moving in with a polar opposite, my experience living in military barracks was adventure enough, and I hope having such similar expectations will prevent many of the common problems and arguments that would normally arise.

I continue to get warnings from family and friends about the dangers of living with a couple, but I hope we can be the exception to the horror stories. In any case, that dinner really made me feel more confident about the whole situation, and I have nothing but optimistic expectations for the adventure ahead of us. Next week is finals, then we begin the real process of visiting apartments, making decisions, and taking the first step on a long journey into adulthood. Until next time!

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Armando Robles is currently studying political science and getting ready to attend California State University Fullerton. He is also a Member of the United States Marine Corps Reserves, and in his free time, he participates in as many theater productions as he can get involved with. He keeps busy, but never turns down a spontaneous adventure.

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