If you haven’t lived with a roommate before, one of the most interesting and challenging aspects of the relationship is the subtle layer of tension that seems to coat each and every roommate relationship. You aren’t strangers - you eat, sleep, and breathe each other - but you usually aren’t friends either. Sometimes this layer of tension is very thin and you and your roommate are able to develop a friendship despite your numerous differences. Other times, the layer of tension that exists is thick and noticed within 24 hours of being introduced to your new companion. As time passes you will either gain or lose confidence in your roommate and as you do the boundaries of your relationship will become increasingly clear.
We all know that some people are more flexible than others. When you live with someone, it doesn’t take very long to find out just how flexible—or stubborn—they really are. To mitigate the risk of discovering that your roommate is truly unwilling to compromise, create ground rules at the very beginning of your relationship so that you can head off conflicts before they start. This will help you avoid stepping on each other’s toes more times than you have to.
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