By Enid Steiner
Can you describe your perfect flatmate in less than 30 seconds? If you're having trouble, help is on the way. The good news is you'll be able to find the right flatmates for you by creating your own "perfect flatmate recipe".
By creating your own recipe, you'll be able to find which qualities are important to you, which in turn will help you decide whether a person would be suitable as a flatmate. The ingredients or factors that form part of this recipe will always be the same regardless of your current situation. It's just a matter of finding the right combination of ingredients that will help you find the perfect flatmate for you. As each person has different tastes, there's no right or wrong answer as everyone's idea of the perfect flatmate is different.
When putting together your recipe for the perfect flatmate, simply take these ingredients, stir and add your own twist.
Do you wish your new flatmate to be male or female? Consider the gender of existing flatmates and how a male or female could affect your existing household.
Will new flatmates need to be in the same age group than you or existing flatmates? People of different ages often have different living patterns, interests and viewpoints.
Do you prefer flatmates who are non-smokers or a living environment where flatmates can choose to smoke? The smoking habits of current flatmates and their preferences will naturally determine the smoking arrangements in each household.
Is it important whether a flatmate likes a glass of wine, prefers a beer or is a non-drinker? Keep in mind that non-drinkers may not be happy if a portion of the shopping budget is spent on alcohol.
Do you prefer your flatmate to have a quiet, outgoing, independent, laid back or reserved personality? Whatever your choice, this essential ingredient will influence group dynamics and the interaction between flatmates. For example, a person who sees their flatmates as friends may feel isolated if all of their flatmates are independent and make their own plans.
Hobbies and Interests
Do your flatmates need to enjoy the same type of music, like to entertain or lead a health conscious lifestyle? Different likes and dislikes can cause conflicts and disruptions within a household. To ensure a harmonious living environment all flatmates should have some interests in common.
Length of Stay
Is it important that you and your flatmates spend a minimum amount of time living together? For example, deciding that current flatmates should set up a household for a minimum of a year will help household budgeting and allows everyone to have the same expectations.
Friends and Guests
Do you prefer flatmates which have a lot of friends visiting or living with people who meet their friends elsewhere? It's a matter of deciding whether you prefer a busy home where people are continuously walking in and out or a quieter living environment.
Will your flatmates need to bring or contribute any items to the household and how much space will be available for personal belongings? For example, if you are living in a small apartment, a flatmate with only a few personal items may be more suitable than a person that has a 3-piece lounge set.
Do you prefer flatmates that wish to form close relationships with other flatmates or should flatmates be independent and want to do their own thing? The amount of independence of each flatmate will play an important part in the development of relationships within a household.
The advantage of this recipe is that whenever a part of your life or living environment changes, you can simply re-create your recipe to match your new hobbies, lifestyle or living situation. Changing your perfect flatmate recipe when you need to will help you find the right flatmates each time. Remember, if you are ever unsure in which direction you are heading, just ask yourself "Can you describe your perfect flatmate in 30 seconds or less?"
Good luck and happy flatmate hunting!
About The Author
Enid Steiner is a Director of http://www.flatwithme.com.au, an Australian online roommate service. For more tips and hints about finding share accommodation log onto http://www.flatwithme.com.au/advice.html