angry roommates

When Best Friend Roommates Break Up

Five Things You Must Do to Save the Relationship

Maybe you’ve heard it said, “Never room with your best friend.” In college, I scoffed at that and I roomed with a best friend during my Freshman year. Yes, it was hard at times and we became frustrated with each other, but there were many good things, too, like the nights binging on I Love Lucy reruns or singing at the top of our lungs with all the songs in Disney’s Tangled.

In my junior year, I roomed with another best friend, Susie. Susie and I were tight. We went to the same church, always ate dinner together, and we both felt like social outcasts. In the beginning, things were wonderful. But as the semester stretched on, I watched the stress of classes and duties as a resident advisor chip away at her. She was no longer light and happy. Out of the blue, she began to launch hurtful accusations at me of things that I didn’t believe I had done.

In the middle of all of this, our friendship exploded. I found myself living with someone who resented me and who made a point to leave the room when I was in it, and I felt unwelcome in my own home. In the end, Susie moved out, leaving me wounded and confused. I wondered what had gone wrong.

Sometimes relationships with roommates end badly. Whether or not you’re the one to leave, it is important to take care of yourself through the process so you’re ready to move forward into positive experiences.

  • Take time to grieve, especially if you’re the one who was hurt. Do whatever you need to do to get that emotional gunk out of you. Write a letter forgiving your roommate, take a bubble bath, or grab coffee with a friend and talk it out.
  • Do not revenge-post information on social media. Yes, it’s tempting, but that makes you look like a smaller person and also sends a warning to future roommates. Remember the burn book from Mean Girls? Make your own, write down what you’d say to your roommate if you could, and then tear the pages out and burn them (safely). Let it go.
  • List five positive things you gathered from the experience. Do you have happy memories? Write them down. Are your favorite moments captured in pictures? Form a listicle collage.
  • Do something nice for yourself. The entire experience of a roommate breakup can sometimes leave you feeling pretty worthless. There is nothing farther from the truth. You’re valuable and you deserve to be treated that way, especially by yourself!
  • Make a list of boundaries you’ll set with your next roommate, and be sure to stick to them from day one. Your negative experiences won’t be wasted. Instead, they’ll have taught you what you aren’t willing to accept.

A negative roommate experience is hard, but by taking care of yourself, you have a chance to keep your spirits high and restore the friendship if that’s your goal. I made the mistake of not taking care of myself, letting go, and moving on. I held on to all of the hurt inside of me. As a result, I never ended that friendship on a good note. I share that regret with you because I don’t want you to lose your close friend to a bad roommate experience. After taking care of yourself with a bit of breathing room, I’m confident that if you want it, your friendship can heal.

About the author: Sydney Scrogham loves creating happy endings. She started writing when she was 12. Her first book, Chase, was published by Koehler Books in August 2015. When she’s not writing, she’s at the barn with her horse Snowdy or catching up on reruns of the best TV show ever, Castle. She lives in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with an adorable dachshund named Zoe. To learn more, visit her website at sswriter.com.

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