If you’ve ever trolled around the internet (or is it trawled?) trying to find tips for living with roommates of a different age, you’ve probably noticed a prevalent anxiety: people wonder how old is “too old” to live with roommates.
Stop worrying about age
…So let’s start there. If you’re considering living with someone of a very different age, try to get past the idea that one of you “shouldn’t” be living with others. It will only increase the stress of the situation. Every negative encounter will be a result of being “too old” to live with others; every positive one tainted by wondering, and thinking that it “shouldn’t” be as fun as it is. Let it go. You have roommates, might as well enjoy the cheaper rent.
Start thinking about difference as a good thing
There are many great things about living with someone at a different stage of life. If they’re older, they’re more likely to be a respectful and responsible roommate, and they’ll know a great many things that you can learn from, if you take the time. If your roommate’s younger, they might inject youthful energy into your everyday life
Lay out the ground rules
Everyone has a slightly different lifestyle—a difference that may be more apparent when one person has decades on another. Don’t assume your roomie will have the same expectations for a living space as you do. Instead, sit down and discuss what you want from your relationship and shared space, and how you can work together to make each other comfortable. This is especially important if one roommate is elderly or disabled, and relying on the other for regular assistance. Agree to check in after a month of cohabitation, to see what’s going well and what needs to be addressed.
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