The best way to break up with your roommate
You're sick of the mess and the bad habits, and you want your own space. Here's how to dump your roommate without either of you losing your cool.
He snores like a freight train.
She hasn't done her dishes in five months.
His collection of empty cola cans has taken over your kitchen table.
Whatever the reason, you're sick of your roommate. You want out. But how do you dump the person with whom you've shared space for weeks, months or years?
A roommate breakup can be just as tough as ending a romantic relationship. You share a home, a refrigerator and even a bathroom. Your lives are intertwined. You must present your case clearly, keep a level head and address all the practical aspects of disrupting your living arrangement.
We've enlisted the help of some roommate and relationship experts to break down the best breakup strategies and advice.
Is it really over?
Before you scrawl an angry "get out" note on the offender's door, think about why you are upset and whether the situation can be remedied.
If a specific behavior bothers you, have you talked to your roommate about it?
"I'm a huge fan of always giving someone a warning, " says Jodyne Speyer, author of "Dump 'Em: How to Break Up With Anyone From Your Best Friend to Your Hairdresser."
Whether your roommate is always late paying rent, never buys household supplies or refuses to scrub toilets, she may just need a nudge to clean up her act.
"The remedy may be simpler than you think," says Mary Lou Podlasiak, author of "Rules for Roommates: The Ultimate Guide to Reclaiming Your Space and Your Sanity." "A timid woman I interviewed for my book was eaten up emotionally by a mooch who wouldn't buy necessities such as soap and toilet paper. I recommended she leave a note 'reminding' her roommate to pick up items that should be alternately purchased, and that put an end to it."
There are definitely times you can work things out, Speyer says, but you have to be able to put your voice into the relationship.
"Speak up as soon as an issue becomes an issue," Speyer says. "Give them the warning, and say, 'Look, I care about you, but if this continues, maybe we're not meant to live together.'"
It also can't hurt to do some self-analysis and see what you're doing to contribute to the discord at home, says Amy Zalneraitis, author of "Room for Improvement: The Post-College Girl's Guide to Roommate Living."
"And borrowing from a bit of Buddhist philosophy, it's important to get rid of those strict expectations of what you think a roommate should be," she says. "Instead, deal with the reality of the situation."
Your roommate may not be the one you envisioned, but can you work with the real version? If you decide you can, sit down and have a face-to-face meeting to talk about what is bothering you.
"It may sound hokey, but these face-to-face roommate meetings can work wonders in creating a harmonious living situation," Zalneraitis says.
She says it helps to have a sense of humor to defuse animosity: "For example, 'I don't necessarily mind when you borrow my clothes, but I've worked hard to maintain a monogamous relationship with my underwear.'"
If your roommate doesn't respond to your efforts to make things work, it's probably time to call it quits.
"People usually know when they've had it, just like in a relationship," New York psychologist Kevin Kulic says. "It's when they really act on it that's important."
my daughter is the worst roommate in the world. it always blows up in her face. I told her the common denominator was her. The look of "huh?" on her face.
Her current roommate has refused to turn in her paperwork & since my daughter was living there under her name they will vacate the apartment. I guess that's one way to do it!
I feel bad for my 2-year-old granddaughter in the snow tho. I'm 2,000 miles away & she could be homeless. Thanks daughter for screwing up AGAIN!
It's easy to kick a guy out.
Pack his/her stuff for him, provide a letter as to why and when he/she comes back, Simply say "Goodluck out there "
I rent out two rooms i just give a 30 day notice and file it with the courts . BAM in 30 days , most times less they leave , and if they dont by the 30 days i change the locks and put there stuff on the curb. One even called the cops after i filed with the courts ,waited the 30 days he said i cant throw him out ,well he left for work and i did he came home found his crap on the curb and a copy of his notice that was signed by the court, the cop said he no longer had a right to the space and even told him he would give him a ticket for dumping trash if he didnt move it in 1 hour. Always use a MONTH TO MONTH lease this favors the landlord in the law you can even change the rent as long as you give a 30 notice thats what you will be doing.
check with findlaw dot com for your state
I have a hard time sharing anything with others. I always seem to be the one left holding the empty bag.
I have had room-mates, boyfriends and husbands. I now live alone. It is much easier.