Episode 24

Roommate Roulette

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Living with someone you love is often difficult, but it does have its advantages. I've never understood the appeal of sharing a home with someone you didn't love--like a roommate. I'm aware of the financial benefits of such an arrangement, but personally, I'd rather live alone in a tight quarters than have to adapt to the quirks of someone else. Have any stories? Anything to share?   

Your stories

  1. New dog, old tricks

    by Phil
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  1. Great for me. Moved to a new city. No family

    by Giana I moved to a new city for a job. I'm female, and rented a room from a guy who traveled frequently. He owned the house. It was NEVER a romantic relationship. That tends to get messy. We were the same age. Neither he nor I ever really had frequent guests as we both preferred to go out for social activities. We had our own lives and friends. We were friendly with each other and he was always respectful. The common areas were kept neat and our rooms were our own business. We did not share bathrooms. That's a huge plus. Pajamas ok in common areas, underwear was not. We kept it quiet after 10pm on weeknights. I always smoked outside. We were a great match for 2 years.. He decided to get married so now I live in my own place. I think it works best with strangers rather than family. Agreeing on house rules is key before moving in.
  2. New dog, old tricks

    by Phil At the age of 38, with no assets save the well-worn charm, wit and an endearingly lopsided face, I accepted an invitation to move into my ex-boyfriend's spare room. I needed to save, he needed new furniture. This set-up seemed strange to many and the presumption was we'd rekindle our romance. However, a deep platonic love and an understanding and tolerance of one another's foibles has in fact engendered something entirely different; housemate harmony. Throw in his new puppy, Gilbert and I get dog love on tap without the poop scooping responsibility! Works for me.
  3. Bondage is a choice

    by Amy I have a mother and a stepfather who are miserable individually and as a couple. Now that I am 36, I have some insight on why "misery loves company". My mother says she admires me, however the truth is she envies and hates me. I broke the cycle. And she would not. I grabbed for my freedom, where she would rather remain in bondage to a relationship. For me the bondage was to a parent & stepparent. For my mom, the bondage was to her husband. When I freed myself, I lost my mother. She was willing to take the emotional abuse then, and took it now, even still. My stepfather convinced my mother to no longer love me or help me, despite my very ill health. You can leave a husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, or wife. Those are made by choices.....you choose them to be in your life.....and if you have a child, that " choice" better be a good choice for the child too. If it is not....it was not a good choice to begin with. Nothing ever done for "convenience" ever truly works out.
  4. Don't smoke in my house and tell me it's chicken..

    by Randall Hello Judge. A quick thank you for inspiration. Your lessons that I watch daily have set my life on a new "adventure". I am 41 and always dreamed of finishing my degree and going to law school. This fall, that exactly what Im going to do. Thank you. Now as far as my roommate. A friend of mine, lets call her Duck, needed a place to live for one reason or the other. We are non-romantic friends. I haven't seen her since I was 13, now age 41. I have a spare room that I thought I could offer her for the exchange of rent. I have a couple of rules I asked be followed. One, no smoking inside the condo. Two, pay your rent. Three, NO illegal behavior on my property. ( side bar, if you have to say these things to someone, or these issues even cross your mind, DONT let them move in. ) Today, for someone reason, my condo smells like Marlboro smoke. Behold, in her bedroom I found one of my drinking glasses filled with 2 cigarette butts. =( Lesson learned. Roommate situation? DENIED! NO!
  5. Alone

    by Joanne Starting over after a divorce at 59 is a challenge, especially if you're not financially set. I recently tried moving in with a love interest, it was financially beneficial to both of us ( he was recently divorced too and paying alimony). The first months were great, after those initial honeymoon days I felt like I was in a Seinfeld episode where they begin to pick apart their prospective mate's most innocuous habits. Needless to say I moved out, am a lot poorer, but feel much better. I wonder then if some of us are just meant to live alone. I like the 'concept' of having access to companionship, but not so willing to make the leap into rooming in order to acquire it full time.
  6. Wrong Choices in flat room mates Judy :-(

    by Adam I moved out of home at 21 and moved to Sydney (2 hours away). I lived with four different housemates and they were all different, some were ok to live with. Of course, I'm not a perfect person; however, one mistake was sharing a house with a wine drinker. The usual knock on the door at 3am on a work night and they open the door and ask you to join them and turn up the music. You have to set limits, but it can save you a lot and can be fun. But don't live with friends, have a housemate like a business partnership and you have boundaries with each other and respect. Love your show Judy.
  7. Oh you canceled JJ on my dvr leave!!!

    by Crissie We were nice enough to let a friend with four children live with us until he could get on his feet. When he moved in, he had an apartment that all he had to do was go and sign papers, but a month later, they were still here. He quit looking for a job and a place to live and the kids were beginning to see this as THEIR house and not our house. They had to go when the kids cancelled Judge Judy on the DVR!!! Oh no! I told my husband that the time had come and they needed to GO!! One week later they were gone, and we vowed to never let that happen again!
  8. Adult Child/Grandbaby At Home WIth Dad/Grandpa

    by Mike My eldest daughter (20) who is a mother of a one-year-old baby, lives with me at my request. I'm 41-years-old and I want my granddaughter to grow up with as little family tension as possible. They live with me rent free, and my daughter is not required to carry any of the monetary expenses of the home. She's not a good house mate. I failed to teach her the skills at a young age to be a good roommate. However, she is receptive to suggestions and direction from me. I think it's natural that many of my friends and family tell me that I'm doing something wrong. That I should force her to fend for herself and find another place to live. I suppose it's hard to validate my decision except that I know my granddaughter would suffer more if my daughter's attention was diverted as a result of having to survive on her own. At this young age, I believe it's best for the baby to be connected to her mom as much as possible...that her mother's sole attention is on her health, well-being and family ties.
  9. 9 years and counting

    by Teddy I am a 57-year-old widow and my 54-year-old roommate is a divorcee. A year after my husband died, we met in church as she was going through her divorce. She couldn't afford to stay in her home. As I did not enjoy living by myself, I asked her if she would like to be my roommate. She moved in with her 3 cats 9 years ago. We have had very few problems. The only time there is tension is if we discuss politics as she is a Tea partier and I am a Democratic socialist, so we avoid that topic as much as possible :-) Which for me is hard to do as I am a political junky. We enjoy each other's company, but also enjoy our privacy. We share chores and costs. As my income is double that of hers, I pick up most of the tab. And we are both fine with that.
  10. Housesharing Success

    by Tim I've houseshared for many years and am in a good position to appreciate how much learning is needed to make it work. My recipe, finely honed, is only to associate with people whom you know and like, and who are above all else honest, and compromising communicators. University students in their third year or above is a good bet. In fact, to say it straight like Judy, I've never lived with an uneducated person who has been capable of housesharing. Have good systems in place to share the chores, and never owe or lend anyone money.
  11. Helping Daughter with bills

    by Judy A. I lived with my daughter and her husband for 10 months. All was good until l had had enough with supporting her husband also. I have no problems paying bills, but when my daughter's husband doesn't work, doesn't look for work, spends all his time wasting my money and my daughter's money on ice fishing and gas to get to fish, I finally spoke up about it and the crap hit the fan. I moved out rather than have hard feelings. However, when came tme to get my belongings, I was locked out and they kept all but my clothes and a soaked 45 inch TV. I'm still trying to get my things. I guess I have to take them to court.
  12. Roommates

    by Carla I went to college at age 18 and moved straight into an all-female dorm. I had one roommate and boy, was it unpleasant! We were very different. I was extremely introverted and she was Ms. Social Butterfly. It made me very nervous when she brought lots of people into the room. My next experience with a roommate was great. I did live alone for several years in between roommates but money became an issue due to paying back student loans and other financial difficulties, so I moved in with a friend from work. We did not have any problems at all! She and I were very respectful of each other's space and property and the rent and bills were paid on time. We have been very good friends for almost a decade now and share a mutual respect for one another. If we have any issue, we communicate and try to resolve it. I know I can trust her and that is more important to me than anything else.
  13. Accountant bouncing rent checks

    by Jeanne After renting several apartments, I decided I wanted to save money to purchase my first home. I moved in with an accountant who wrote NSF checks for the rent. I then insisted on money orders. In addition, she never cleaned her room or the apartment as agreed, so it was the longest 12 months of my life until the lease expired. I'd live in a van down by the river before getting a roommate again.
  14. How to do it right

    by Ann N. The only-only! time that having roommates worked for me was a summer that I shared a three-bedroom home with two female medical students for a summer, until campus housing opened for the fall. We made it work by sitting down and drawing up in writing who would buy what, the rules concerning visitors and overnights (which never became an issue), money, cleaning, and noise. We covered any issue that we thought would cause conflict. My roommates were also obviously serious students and very responsible, and were always working anyway, as was I. I think it also helped that it was for 3 months tops. Even though that worked out well, I wasn't really happy with roommates long-term and eventually got into an apartment smaller than my living room today, but that I could afford and it would be mine, all mine.
  15. Bad roommate

    by Janet In 1973, I was not getting along with my boyfriend. I told him I want out. Being new to the city, he found a girl who was looking for a roommate. We met and Marilyn and I decided to share a 2-bedroom apartment. From day one she was careless with her money. She would show me she had her half of the rent, come the first she's broke. I paid my half and told the manager I do not know when Marilyn will have hers. After two months of this, I decided to move out. While I was at work Marilyn moved out and took some of my things. My Eastern Star pin, top sheets, the only gift I received when my Grandmother ( old ring with Diamond chip) passed and my ex-boyfriend knew where she was would not tell me. Years later, I bumped into a friend. She told me my ex-boyfriend had been having an affair with Marilyn. Never trust anyone.
  16. Roommate from Hell

    by Raymond I did this once, and it ended very quickly. The roommate had numerous "friends" over, both male and female, and many of them were sleepovers. I can't think of one night he didn't have someone sleep over. One night I returned home, and there was a strong odor of marijuana in the apartment. I knocked on the roommate's door, and when he opened it, the room was full of smoke, and stunk from the pot he and one of his sleepover friends were smoking. I gave him notice at that time I would be out within two days. He sued me for $5000 and lost.
  17. Stray Magnet

    by Heather A close friend of mine does not know how to say no to anyone. He owns a small, 3 bedroom mobile home and his 2 children live with him full time. His problem is that he's a stray magnet. A few months back he got back together with his ex girlfriend, who is currently pregnant with another man's child. Shortly after she moved in with my friend, her drug-addicted brother and his girlfriend moved in as well. He brother was finally just arrested for manufacturing meth. Thank God! My friend could have easily lost his kids had the guy been manufacturing at my friend's home. I think he's finally waking up and realizing his kids are more important than being kind to every stray in town. Another couple that briefly stayed with him last year are currently on trial for being an accomplice to a murder involving a meth deal!
  18. I Enjoy Children Really

    by Linda In the feeble way a twenty something goes about life, I decided to rent a room in the home of a working single mother. She had one son who was between three and four during my short stay with them. She didn't want to stifle his creativity so it was ok for him to throw his full morning cereal bowl across the room causing milk stains on many surfaces. Like my only work blazer which she refused to pay to have dry cleaned. Her ex-husband brought over bags of groceries to make Thanksgiving dinner. Imagine my surprise when I went to pay my December rent she thought that $15 was a fair price for the Thanksgiving dinner she invited me to. After the holidays, I moved out and found ways to economize that didn't involve finding a roommate through the newspaper.
  19. A Balancing Act

    by John While my roommate and I are not romantic, I would say there is a platonic love we have for each other after being friends for almost a decade. Not only that, her overstressed and well-planned self helps keep my potential alcoholic ways in check. I learn from her as she learns to 'relax more' from me. I believe our society focuses too much on the idea of "love" and relationships and maybe there are great relationships we pass over while looking for our one true love. That is why a roommate can be an amazing addition. It also doesn't hurt that we are both huge fans of Judge Judy. Obviously a *platonic* match made in Heaven!
  20. Horrible Roommate.

    by Vee Well, I thought everything was going to be great when my roomate and I found an affordable place. I thought it would be fine. Until all my roomate did was have her weirdo boyfriend come over. And guess what, all they would do is have sex! I hated it and at the most inconvenient times like when I'm trying to cook a meal. Not even a month into living with her, I heard them picking baby names. I was so pissed when she caused us to end our lease early. Dumb people, making babiees without a stable environment to raise them.
  21. Married roomates

    by Debby My first experiences with having a roomate was during marriage. I am in my third and last marriage. I was "roommates" with my current husband for a few years before we actually tied the knot. I thought I would be better informed if I lived with a partner before I married him. Well much to my surprise, the man I now call husband is not the same man I married. Physically he is the same man but not too far into the marriage his quirks came out. None of which I had seen in the years we "lived together". I love him dearly but wish I had more of the man I originally married 13 years ago. Yet when I really think about it, I am not still the woman he married either.
  22. Room-mates

    by Jeremy My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for almost a year and we're both responsible, employed guys. I'm trying to pay off debt and finding it difficult to cut down on my expenses. With him here it would be easier. Nevertheless, I'm reticent to do so without the benefit of marriage. That's all the more so in the present day when we have the long-fought right to do so (in Canada). Budgetary concerns shouldn't form the basis of a decision to get hitched. So for the time being, we've decided to wait. Did I mention we're basing this on Judy's advice as well!?
  23. Roommate Roulette - A husband is hard enough!

    by Esther My experience is that I've been living with my husband for 24 years and still can't get used to sharing the same house, I can't even imagine what it would be like to share space with someone you have no emotional ties with, let alone a stranger. No thanks to roommates! If you can't afford the rent on your own, stay with Mom & Dad, they're more apt to put up with your nonsense.
  24. Not a party girl.

    by Wendie I had an apartment by myself and one of my friends begged to live with me. We would split everything and it would be fantastic. I worked the graveyard shift and dragged home at 7am to my neighbors loud music. I knocked on the door and heard, "You play it all night so we will play it all day." I explained that I worked at night and would make sure no music would play at night. By the time I finally moved out, I was taking the stereo and the phone to work with me. She partied and made lots of long distance calls and all her friends called collect. The phone bill alone convinced me that one can live cheaper on their own!
  25. Great for beginners

    by Knut While in the service, I had the opportunity to live off base. Due to lack of housing on the base, the Navy gave us enough money to live off base to almost pay for an apartment in the area. By sharing an apartment, it made the deal profitable. I roomed with a fellow member of my outfit. It cut down my sharing a room with 8 to just me and I shared the bathroom with one other roommate and guests instead of with close to 100 other sailors. The experience was great for the most part. First roommate was a slob so out he went. The next roommate was very compatible. We did our own dishes. We had basically the same schedule. We were able to have great parties and helped each other with what to do to run a house. We split the bills. It worked great. Especially for two guys starting out with their first place. The key is finding someone who is either like you or at least compatible.
  26. It is INDEED Roommate Roulette

    by robyn I moved to Dallas and I stayed in with a friend I'd known for well over 20 years. We quickly got our own apartment together. After a few months, I began to see this wasn't going to work. She was basically a lazy pig. She was never like that when I'd visit her home! I was always doing all the cleaning, even after she'd cook. She never even cleaned up her own spills. Then she'd come up short on rent or utilities and I was forced to pay the difference. I kept a record of what she owed me and that made her mad. After that was cleared up, she started hinting she was going to move out BEFORE our lease was up. It became, "I'm leaving/no I'll stay a little longer/I'm going to move back to New Orleans" and I finally had enough! On the day our lease was up, she had decided to renew the lease, but I MOVED OUT! It ruined our friendship, and I was not expecting that to happen.
  27. Roommate Needed

    by William As a man with High Functioning Autism, I find being alone very important. But I also find that I have far too much time to myself. When I had a roommate, he was able to offer conversation and laughter, something I truly miss. I had to adjust to his quirks and he had to adjust to mine. But we got into a good rhythm. I miss having a roommate. I am alone far too often these days.
  28. If You're Going to Rent out A Room...

    by Yolanda After my mother passed we decided to rent out her room. Our first EVER renter was a middle-aged lady whom we thought was a perfect fit in every way. We soon realized she was a hoarder! Not only that but on Googling her name we found out she had been arrested for embezzlement - twice! And had been incarcerated for 13 months for her second offense. We gave her 60 days to move out. We are now on our 3rd room renter. We rent to college interns. They're older than undergrads, not as flakie, more dependable, no heavy luggage. No problem after the first couple of weeks of adjustment. Since they're interns they stay for 3 months and then they're gone. We're not stuck for a long term with someone who's not working out. We have become very attached to each of them and are staying in touch on their progress in their studies, careers, etc. Maybe we've just been lucky so far.
  29. people just don't appreciate you!

    by Denise My friend was getting a divorce and asked if she could stay with me for TWO Weeks. I said ok because I wanted to help her out and she was a friend. Well soon after that she was having parties at my house without my knowledge. Then when I would come home she would ask me, very seriously, what are you doing here? My response, I live here! Well the two weeks turned into two years, without rent from her. Let's just say it was a nightmare and we are no longer friends. Why is it when you try and help someone out you get burned? I'm with you judge, I'd rather live in a closet!
  30. My only roommate experience

    by Matthew I originally shared an apartment with a roommate because I believed it would make my time at University more cost-efficient and entertaining. Both of us love history and are huge video game buffs! I thought that we would get along just fine. Unfortunately, we quickly became irritated with one another. I found that my roommate spent most of his time in his room and would outright ignore me if I was trying to talk to him. Meanwhile, both of us were in a constant battle over the heat in the apartment. I would arrive home before him and turn the heat down, and then he would arrive home and turn it back up, with the sole intention of trying to get a reaction out of me. By the time the year was over, I believe both of us were out to try and irritate each other by the time the year was over. See, the apartment was very small, so it was very hard for us to get away from one another. I think we both began to see flaws in each other that we previously overlooked.
  31. Had no choice

    by Julian I'm a student at the moment and unfortunately I've never had a choice but to have roommates. For at least this area, even the cheapest studio apartment is twice as expensive as sharing an apartment with a few roommates. When I first started at this school, I had to live with people I didn't know, because I didn't know ANYONE here. Right away I noticed that he was a heavy pot-smoker (even though he claimed to be a "non-smoker") and had lots of heavy parties even though he claimed that he just liked to relax most of the time and maybe have a few friends over here and there. After three months, he was killed right outside the apartment by still unknown perpetrators, assumingly because of drugs. Please, please, get to know someone before you movie in with them. Whether they're partiers, hang with the wrong crowd, etc. Quirks you can at least work on and figure out.
  32. Not even for two weeks ...

    by Marcia No way would I share my two-bed apartment with strangers unless I was about to be put out on the street - I'd rather leave the second room unoccupied and pay the mortgage all by myself. On two or three occasions I have gone on holidays abroad with friends and it is only when you're 'living' or staying with someone 24/7 that you see what they're really like - everything from nervous breakdowns to just plain unacceptable bad behaviour... and I thought I knew them ! The old saying "If you want to know me come and live with me" is really true.
  33. Roommate Roulette

    by Love I believe that the biggest cause of roommate dilemma is less about money and more about space. It seems this might be similar in most locales... but in my area the cost of a one-bedroom versus two is not much less, relatively speaking. I imagine that if there were apartment complexes that had more "studio" styles that they would be very popular as these are difficult to find! I would have LOVED to have this option and know many others who would too. :)
  34. Not one, but three roommates!

    by Joe When I moved away from home for my first job, I moved into a townhouse with two friends of mine from work, and another guy that one of the friends knew. We all got along very well, we divided the rent appropriately based on the room size (we were all geeky engineers). We had expense agreements, and cooking and cleaning duties. I think everyone involved has to have a good sense of humor to go into such a situation. After a few months of living together, three of us noticed that the fourth guy would always leave his underwear in the common bathroom after taking his shower. So, we decided to collect it every morning and hide it in a safe place. After we had exhausted his supply of underwear for him, we decided to go outside and decorate the tree with what we had collected. I think he got the message as he was picking the ornaments off the tree, and we never had to pick them up again!
  35. Mama was right...

    by Christine My Mom once said "co-habitation is not a natural state" and I completely agree! When I was in college, I had the "roomie from hell"! I had been living with someone for years and finally was able to live alone - until the Gainesville (FL) serial killings of 1990. I was in school at Florida State - a campus not unfamiliar with serial killers - and after the murders, my mom insisted I get a male roommate. Since I was in the theater department, I had access to a number of gay men, and a nice, tall one volunteered to move in with me. I didn't realize I was getting he and his 3 ample-sized gal pals. They slept all day and at night, he trolled the local gay bar - until he was banned for life for getting in a fight. During this time, I'd also get phone calls at 3am - the male voice on the other end of the phone would yell something like "Tell that bitch to stay away from my man!" and hang up. This happened with alarming regularity. He was kicked out soon afterwards!
  36. Living in Hawaii in a hostel

    by Jennifer I moved to Hawaii on 8/20/12. I've dreamed of living here since I could remember. Due to limited funds, I ended up in this hostel. My room was a female dorm. It's small with two bunk beds. We all shared the bathroom. All my life I was used to my own room. Other people have disgusting habits. Living with that was difficult. It was often easy to not stay at the hostel. In my opinion, it's better to get away every once in a while. I surf, ride a moped, and explore. I don't complain, I just walk away from a situation. I know I'll eventually have my own place.
  37. You and me both!

    by Leah I've had roommates from time to time, but with the exception of one, I always felt like I was a guest in my own home - or conversely, that I always had company. I live alone and have since my son left, but the only people who I share a roof with are ones that also share my last name!
  38. Roommate from hell

    by Anonymous At first it seemed like a good idea to have a roommate to help share expenses. I don't have a steady job, so i thought if I shared the rent, utilities, etc with someone I wouldn't have to worry about meeting my bills every month. It worked well for the first three months, then I had to rearrange my whole life to accommodate this other person. There was no compromise. I miss my freedom to have the whole place to myself. If I ever have another roommate, I'll be married to him

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