If you’re out of college, a few years into working, and can finally afford to live alone, you may be more than ready to ditch the roommates. But don’t be too quick to turn down your friends’ offers to live together, and start seeking out studio apartments. Research shows that being isolated from people can cause your health to take a turn, can affect your mental function, and can even shorten your lifespan. If you weren’t happy with the people you lived with in the past, maybe having roommates wasn’t the problem so much as who those roommates were. Find the right people to live with, and you could be doing your health and overall sense of well being a favor. Here are reasons having roommates is good for you.
You’ll be discouraged to binge eat
If you’re having a terrible day and all you want to do is eat everything in the kitchen, you’ll have someone to stop you. Your roommate may not exactly say, “Don’t eat that” but you’ll feel a little silly dragging bag of chips after bag of cookies into your room when your roomie is watching.
You’ll always have someone to talk to
You’ll always have someone to tell your exciting news or vent to about your terrible day. Sometimes trying to get a friend or family member on the phone, just when you need to talk, is difficult. But if you have a roommate, all you have to do is walk in your front door.
You’ll have a built-in social life
If you read about an event you want to go to or feel like going to brunch, you don’t need to coordinate with friends and schedule plans three weeks in advance. You can just grab your roommate and go.
You can meet their network
You have a natural way to double your friends. Your roommate’s pals become your pals. You never know whom you might meet or what sort of connection you may make—you could make work connections, find a new dog walker, or find a fellow hiking enthusiast.
You have someone to exercise with
If you see your roommate heading out to the gym every day, it’ll be hard to stay on the couch, watching television for three hours. She can inspire you to exercise. And, if you just want a companion for power walks, you’ve got one.
Dating becomes safer
If you don’t come home on a night you said you would, you have someone who will notice that and check in on you. If you bring home a guy who ends up making you uncomfortable, you have someone there to help you kick him out.
Someone can alert you to danger
Someone can alert you to a fire, an earthquake, a flash flood warning…If you forget to turn the oven off, somebody will notice. If you forget to lock the front door, somebody will notice.
Your place has more supervision
Your place will benefit from twice the security. At any given moment, there is twice the chance somebody will be home, keeping an eye on the place, ready to call the police if somebody tries to break in.
You can split groceries
You may be encouraged to buy actual groceries since you have someone to split the cost of bulk bags of lettuce, huge boxes of grapes and massive packages of chicken breasts.
You have a reason to clean
You won’t be allowed to let your messy habits get out of hand. You will have to clear the dirty dishes out of the sink and clean the bathroom on a regular basis because you and your roommate have an agreement. And that’s just better for everybody’s health.
You can share a pet
If you’ve been wanting to get a pet, you now have somebody to share the responsibilities with. Taking care of a dog is pretty easy when you have two people taking turns walking and feeding him. And having a pet around fights depression, gives you a sense of purpose, and is simply a lot of fun.
You can bounce ideas off somebody
If an idea comes to your head—maybe an idea for a website or a side business or an art project—you instantly have somebody there to be your sounding board. And you need one, because sometimes your ideas need a little tweaking.
They can see if you’re in a slump
If you fall into a depression or a slump, somebody is there to see it and pick you up out of it. You may be able to hide your depression from your coworkers, family, and friends, but you can’t hide it from the person you share a home with.
Somebody can judge your Tinder decisions
Your roommate can keep you in check if you’re clearly going on a sex bender, and are not exhibiting the greatest judgment in dates. You may even filter your dates better, knowing that you’ll be bringing them home for your roommate to meet.
They’ll influence your spending
You’ll start to feel a little self-conscious about all the Amazon packages that show up and all the bags of clothes you drag through the house each week if you have a roommate around watching you. And maybe you should feel self-conscious about that.
You can’t be alone with your thoughts for long
Sometimes your brain goes to some weird places. You can get into spirals of self-doubt, negative thinking and overall anxiety. If you live alone, you have nobody around to interrupt you when you’re in a weird place. But when you have a roommate, there is always somebody to distract you from yourself.
They’ll open up your world
Your roommate will open your world up. They’ll introduce you to their interests, hobbies, lifestyle, culture and more. They probably experience parts of your city you didn’t even know about, and they’ll show them to you.
You’ll always have their input
You’ll always have someone to give you input on your outfit, the chair you might buy for your room, the guy you’re checking out online and whether or not you’re wearing too much makeup.
You’ll feel safer
You’ll feel much safer when you hear a thump in the night. Living alone gets scary fast when you think you hear something in the apartment.
You won’t become a recluse
You can’t become a total hermit who says no to social plans and pretends she has something else to do when those plans involve Netflix and sewing buttons onto your pants. Your roommate sees you becoming a hermit and she’ll get you out of it.