Going into freshman year of college, my high school best friend and I decided to live in separate dorms. We thought that living together would ruin our four year friendship and we loved each other too much to go through that.
Living in different dorms never deterred us, and more often than not we ended up spending so much time together anyway. Going to the gym, grabbing food at the Joe, watching football on Sundays in the DC — we made sure to get our quality time together. We saw so much of each other, we decided to live together sophomore year, and then again junior year.
And as great as all of the good times were, living with my best friend ended up like living with a stranger.
Our sophomore year was complicated. We did everything together and were attached at the hip. There wasn’t a basketball game, party or doctors appointment that we didn’t go to together. We knew each other better than ourselves.
But when you know someone that well, you start to take them for granted. You assume that they’ll be okay if you start being a bad friend, or stop prioritizing your friendship. You start filling in the blanks instead of asking how they are, and when you’re living with your best friend, you make a lot of excuses and brush problems under the rug.
Even when you’ve known someone forever, it can be easy to forget to communicate and explain how you’re feeling. You get relaxed and don’t worry about cultivating your friendship. After a while, your best friend goes from your number one friend, to your roommate — someone you expect to respectfully share a living space.
Junior year was the last straw. After looking for an apartment for the two of us — which is nearly impossible in the overpopulated city of Reno — we moved in to our new place.
My best friend didn’t drive, so I was constantly mistaken for her Uber driver — which was fine, until it wasn’t. I was constantly being taken advantage of, but it was always with the excuse of “I’m your best friend, I love you.” This only works for so long before you’re personally exhausted from being taken advantage of. It’s tedious and never ends up well.
Live with someone you are friends with and who will respect your space and life. Don’t live with your best friend, even if you want to. Let your best friend’s place be a safe space to escape to when the world is crushing you. Maybe your best friend isn’t as tiresome as my ex-best friend and you vehemently want to live with them — if you do, I wish you the best of luck.
Jacey Gonzalez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.