Tips for Dealing With a Roommate You DON’T Love

Two angry friends after a quarrel sitting on a couch and looking at the other sideWe’ve all heard the cliche poem: “Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and my roommate is not.” Wait, that’s not how it goes?! While love is in the air for most on Valentine’s Day, if you’ve got a bad roommate, we’re guessing that the air is heavy with sighs of frustration. Never fear though – here are some tips on dealing with a roomie that you can’t stand.

Set down ground rules for common spaces

We all have our own way of doing things. That means everyone is unique in the way they choose to live. If you and your roomie are total opposites (for example, you make your bed every day, while she can’t remember the last time she saw her floor…) set up rules for common spaces, like the living room and kitchen. Need even more accountability? Keep a list of the chores and rules on the fridge. Seeing “take out the trash when it’s full” may be just the reminder to keep the peace.

Stay calm & keep your cool

Though it can get frustrating, try to remain calm. The last thing you want to do is step on eggshells around the person that you live with day in and day out. If you get into a heated argument, end it and come back to the conversation when you have both cooled off. This may seem super difficult at first, but it’ll save you both from saying things you may regret. It’ll also allow you to see things from each other’s point of view. Speaking of…

Take a walk in their shoes

Maybe your roommate is passive aggressive. Maybe they’re dirty. Maybe they have a weird habit where they have to touch every doorknob in the house before they leave. The point is, everyone has their own story. Don’t expect to know every little thing about your roommate, especially if you guys weren’t friends before you moved in together – but think about what they may have gone through that made them this way. Maybe they grew up with older siblings who never let them get mad, or maybe they really were raised by hyenas and have no idea how to clean up. When it comes to arguing and solving problems, try and think about their point of view before you point fingers.

Get out of the house

If your roomie doesn’t understand the meaning of “alone time,” you may have to carve it out for yourself. Your apartment isn’t a prison. If you need some air, make time for activities outside of the house. Take a walk, work at a coffee shop, or hang out at another friend’s apartment for the afternoon. Clearing your mind and taking a break from an atmosphere will do wonders for your mental state.


Though roommate relationships have their ups and downs, always remember the golden rule, kids: treat others the way you want to be treated. If your problems can’t be solved through simple and open communication and if your roommate doesn’t respect you, it may be time to consider a different apartment (and roommate).

Unfortunately, not every story has a happy ending. If you’re dealing with roommate problems that can’t seem to be resolved, search recent apartment listings on Find studios, one bedroom apartments, and short-term leases near you, in just a few clicks!