In the beginning, sharing a flat is AWESOME. It’s like one giant sleepover. You meet loads of interesting people – hey, you might not be BFFs forever but they seem lol, right? – someone always has a bottle of gin open and let’s be honest, a hungover Sunday session with last night’s pizza are the best things since the invention of stuffed crust.
But maybe a few years down the line, the penny drops – somewhere around the time you start to sniff around your bank account and realise that a) there’s no legit way on earth you’ll ever own your own house and b) the only way you can afford a roof over your head is to crowd under it with loads of other people. That’s when the nightmare properly begins – and it’s time to get the hell out.
You’ve become a massive jobsworth
You’ve hidden your olive oil because you’re convinced your flatmates are sponging off it. You’re convinced your clothes are being stolen from the dryer because that’s a far more reasonable explanation than actually looking for them. There’s never any toilet roll because everyone thinks they were the last one to buy it, and you’re all locked in a pass-agg stalemate over an Andrex four-pack.
Basically, you’re being a total twat and you need the space to go and arsehole around with your £3 extra-virgin all by yourself.
Your flatmate has gone from being friend to, um, just a flatmate
At the start you were so excited about living together! You even made a Whatsapp group titled <3 ROOMIES <3! But several mouldy-soup-saucepan incidents later, the tone has gone from bff-riendly to frosty.
You’ve had enough of being a part of a relationship you didn’t sign up for
The Spice Girls said it best: ‘If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends.’ Date one flatmate, date all of us, (all obvious benefits discluded, soz).
Mostly this works out really well – and let’s be honest, it kind of has to if you want to spend your Sunday evenings in front of Geordie Shore bleaching your top lip without third-party judgement.
But it doesn’t matter how excellent they are at cueing up incredible tunes at house parties when you get home at 6pm on a Tuesday and they’re well stuck into their nth spliff of the day. Or has drained your well-earned, hard-saved mid-week beer. Or (and this is the worst) spends more time in their morning shower than your entire flat combined.
Wouldn’t it be great if Tinder could add a ‘with flatmates’ function? Hogs the whole sofa to watch Extreme Fishing? Swipe left! Buys the entire flat full-fat Cokes when he comes over? Swipe right!
And on the other hand, you’re ready not to share your relationships with your flatmates either
Whether it’s the time you saw off your one-night stand and opened the bedroom door to your flatmate’s entire family (Mum, Dad, sister, poss dog), all up from the sticks for the day, all keen to meet ‘your young man’, who tbh you yourself only met maybe five hours and three large white wines ago.
Or the time you fancied a spot of one-on-one aqua aerobics but didn’t exactly want to send a group text shotgunning the shower. Or wanted to spoon on the sofa but couldn’t because your flatmate has really got into Peter Kay’s Car Share.
You’re fed up of being in constant competition for every bit of hardware
Ever got a message like, ‘Hiiiiiiiii just to let you know I’ll be in this eve (going to use the kitchen ALL night making lunch for the week!) and I’m just going to do all my washing and can I also shotgun the TV because Peter Kay’s Car Share is on. Hope that’s OK!’
In a flatshare, there’s no such thing as just popping a wash on. You want to do your whites? Book your 5am slot three weeks in advance. And suck it up.
You’ve started giving more of a shit about where your money ends up
As good as they might be at fixing the washing machine, there’s nothing great about handing over the biggest chunk of your pay packet to your landlord, especially when you look back at your payments and realise that they could’ve paid for a deposit on a small tropical island.
There’s something super-irritating about knowing your inability to get on the property ladder is funding someone else’s mortgage, or home renovation, or third cruise of the year – and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.
Getting home to an empty house is the best feeling in the world
Sometimes, there’s nothing like that total relief of knowing you’ve got the luxury of an entire evening alone. Even if you do want to spend it in bed with Netflix, the utter peace of being the sole human between your four walls is properly blissful. Feet up. Wash on (obvs). And your mind starts wandering…
What if it was like this all the time?
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Picture: Sophie Davidson
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.