It’s midterm time now and the honeymoon period for the relationship between roommate pairs is over…. LIfe gets more serious now and the little differences between roommates become harder to ignore……. If your relationship hasn’t already caused you and your roommate to have a serious talk about any issues, you should probably sit down and reassess how things are going for each of you. One theory about the stages of group development categorizes the stages each has to go through before they can become a high performing team as: Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing…… Forming was when you met up and moved in together, Storming is next – and it’s where the group learns to address and work through conflicts. If the conflicts in a group (you and your roommate are a group of 2) aren’t addressed, then you will stay in this stage.
It’s hard to confront things that may seem silly, but when you live in such close quarters, the little things add up and can become a big deal. If you have a list in your head of all the things your roommate has “done” to you, or a list of their ideosycracies that annoy you, it’s time for a talk – You can also be sure that your roommate has the same “lists” for what they would like to change about you.
Most people are reasonable. If you don’t give them the chance to change by even letting them know that you are upset, then the issue is yours. Moving on to become a team that can develop a healthy level of mutual respect is far better than living with daily issues that distract and upset you.
Please do yourself a favor and have a discussion. Don’t whip out your list and attack, demanding that everything be perfect for you. Ask your roommate how things could be improved when you are both at home – review or create a real rooommate agreement, now that it’s not just an exercise… Get advice from your RA on how to ask questions and on how to create a welcoming environment that will encourage some open and honest sharing.
Take responsibility for making it a healthy and productive relationship.