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How to Live With Your Best Friend Without Hating Each Other

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

You may have come across posts or videos online that tell horror stories of former best friends turned mortal enemies after deciding to live together. Perhaps you even received in-person advice to never live with your close friends because it always results in disaster. Naturally, this is disheartening to hear if you were planning on rooming with your bestie in residence or living with them off-campus.

But don’t worry! It’s 100% possible to live with your best friend and not end up hating one another—in fact, it can be an opportunity to bring you closer as friends and create a home environment that feels extremely safe and fun. I’ve lived with my childhood best friend for two years now, and it’s felt like one big extended sleepover! However, there are definitely things you should take into account when deciding to live with your bestie—the following tips will make sure the experience is enjoyable for everyone and not detrimental to your friendship.

Have a trial run

You may think you know everything about your BFF, but when it comes to their living habits—like how often they wash the dishes, when they use the bathroom, and how clean they are—it’s likely that you know less than you think. 

This is where a trial run can help. Sure, you’ve probably had sleepovers with your bestie, but have you ever spent an extended amount of time sharing the same living space? Try having a multi-night sleepover, going on a trip together, or sharing a room or bathroom with them. 

The key here is to get to know each other’s daily routines and to discover any hidden pet peeves—for example, maybe your friend has a tendency to leave their clothes on the floor or take really long showers. Once you know your friend on a more domestic level, you can evaluate whether you can see your living habits peacefully coexisting. 

Don’t take your friendship for granted

Remember that while this person is your friend, they’re now becoming your roommate as well. Don’t assume that just because you’re close you have permission to borrow their clothes, eat their food, or enter their room without knocking. Besties or not, you should respect each other’s personal space and boundaries. 

Being best friends with your roommate may also make some conversations more awkward—like who’s getting the bigger room or how you’re splitting the grocery bill. Friendship will not make all situations light and breezy, so be prepared for serious conversations that are more practical than fun. 

Be prepared for conflict and know how to resolve it

Even if you and your best friend have never fought before, conflicts will inevitably arise with anyone you’re around for long enough. To prepare yourself, try spending enough time with your friend to the point where you get sick of them. Discover what these feelings are like and how you manage and communicate them—it’s important to remember that wanting to spend time away from your best friend is normal and shouldn’t be taken personally!

Dealing with larger conflicts in friendships can be hard, especially if you have to tell your friend that something they did annoyed, upset, or inconvenienced you. While expressing your feelings may be uncomfortable, it’s essential that you communicate to avoid bottling up your emotions or being passive-aggressive. 

You can mitigate potential conflicts by understanding your and your friends’ communication or conflict resolution styles, and also by identifying and accepting each other’s flaws. Maybe your BFF is chronically forgetful—keep this in mind in case you get upset when they forget to turn the lights off. 

At the end of the day, all healthy relationships depend on communication and respect. If you and your bestie have a solid friendship built on these principles, then you can 100% live together happily! 

Carolina Herce

U Ottawa '24

Carolina is a third-year student pursuing a degree in Conflict Studies and Human Rights. She loves reading young adult novels, iced lavender lattes with oat milk, and playing the Legend of Zelda.