In my last post I mentioned I was participating in the Discovering Shared Housing webinar. Each session included assignments to think of what we wanted in a potential home sharing scenario.
I consider myself a pretty flexible individual, but after looking back at my prior living situations–both platonic and romantic–there are a handful of “Oh, no, this is not acceptable” aspects home sharing. As I began to list these can’t live with elements I began to think that maybe I wasn’t quite as accommodating as I thought. Yet, I realized if I made compromises my home sharing situation would be less than optimal and there would be the greater likelihood of having to find another home-mate or move out. This is why its important to know what you need from your home-share.
The Absolutely Can’t Live With List
Below are my top can’t and won’t live withs. These are all based on past experiences that made my home sharing experiences less than comfortable and sometimes downright awkward!
Opposing Ideologies. A former friend from high school recently attacked my politics, saying I was partisan and not open to differing philosophies and ideologies. Not accurate. If my future home-mate’s ideologies are misogynist, racist, elitist, and ultra-conservative then it’s a no go.
Friends and Lovers. I don’t mind an occasional overnight stay from friends or lovers, but if it becomes ongoing sleepovers then I don’t have a home-mate, but home-mates. Once that happens, it opens the door to having to renegotiate rent and common household expenses. And if I’m the one who isn’t the homeowner, I might find yourself in a situation where the happy couple tells me they want their own space and ask me to move out.
Vices/Addictions. Drinking, smoking, drugs, sex, gambling. No. Just plain no. I’ve lived wth someone with an addiction and I’ve spend more money and energy than I ever wanted or anticipated.
The Chronic Late Payer. If I’m expected to pay my share of the household expenses on time, I should expect that as well from my housemate. Chronic lateness in paying the bills is a red flag and one I won’t tolerate.
Dirty Dishes in the Sink or Dishwasher. Would one dirty plate or saucepan in the sink or dishwasher typically throw me over the edge? No, but if I live in an area with field mice they might think you are inviting them for a free meal. It just takes one crumb and Stuart Little and friends or, worse, Templeton and his multiplying brood might be making themselves unwanted pets. My rationale: first-hand experience with a rat infestation that makes a Stephen King novel look like a Disney story.
P-offed Cats. I like cats. I really do. What I don’t like is having a kitty shower its discontent on my clothes. If there’s a cat in the house its litter box must be kept clean and easily accessible. Obviously, to avoid any fragrant outbursts, bedrooms are declared kitty non-grata areas.
Noise. I work at home. As a writer I like it pretty quiet. Does that mean the other person has to tiptoe around me, dreading to make a sound? Of course not, but having the TV or radio on for background noise 24/7 is not tolerable.
What are your can’t live withs in a living situation? Those aspects of living at home that you cannot live with?