3 Key Questions to Ask Before Choosing a New Roommate

It's not likely that you'll make it from birth to death without having to deal with roommates at some point. Just look at it like a real-life episode of Survivor ... but with functioning bathrooms, cell phones, and the opportunity to interview the people you share your island with before you get started. It's honestly not too bad of a position to be in (especially when we're talking about splitting the rent), but that list of questions becomes really, really important when it's all the information you get about someone before that person (or you) moves in.

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So what's a girl to ask? We turned to Astroglide's resident sexologist and relationship expert, Jess O'Reilly, PhD, for answers. Or, for questions, rather.

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O'Reilly got right down to it and identified the three questions you need to know the answer to before move-in. Shower schedules and chore charts can be dealt with later, but here are the three questions to deal with now -- because if you wait, it'll be too late.

  1. What is your financial backup plan? 

    "Discussions related to money may make you uncomfortable, but when it comes to paying your rent or mortgage on time, you can't afford to take risks," O'Reilly says. "Your new roommate might have a steady job, but everyone needs a nest egg or backup plan in the event of a change in employment situation."

    O'Reilly recommends pulling credit checks in advance if your landlord doesn't already require it. It'll save you from awkward situations, or, at worst, from having to cover their share of the rent. 

  2. What is your sleepover policy? 

    Depending on which policy you choose, you could be forcing your roommate to basically date whoever you're dating at the time, and there's almost no way that's going to be good for anyone. Knowing the answer to this question now will save you stress (and a relationship you didn't ask for) down the road.

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    "Can a lover sleep over for days on end? Will they share the cost of food, utilities, and/or rent if they spend a significant amount of time at your place?" O'Reilly asks. "These questions may seem irrelevant now, but they'll be easier to address in the hypothetical as opposed to in the heat of the moment." 

  3. How do you feel about nudity?

    It might sound like you're coming on to them, but O'Reilly argues that it's still a valid question to ask in a roommate interview, especially because it's not one you want to have to ask after said roommate takes up lounging around naked in the common space.

    "Different strokes for different folks applies in theory, but you'll both want to lay the ground rules in advance to avoid potentially awkward situations," O'Reilly says. 

 

Image via iStock.com/Catherine Yeulet

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