Would You Rather?

Should your roommate also be a friend?

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In a city like New York, it's likely you've either had a roommate, currently have one,  are looking for one , or are looking to get rid of one. We asked five New Yorkers: Would you rather have a roommate who wants to become friends? Or one who is a complete loner?

  • Three's not company Right now, living with three other people, I have to say I prefer a loner. That’s how it is in our place now: except for one guy, we all keep  to ourselves, and it works out great! We all have different schedules so we can avoid each other. I never see any of them. It sometimes feels like I’m living by myself. Besides, I’m a workaholic,  so I don’t really have time for them anyway.  —Jonathan, Hamilton Heights (pictured at left)
  • Keeping business and friendship separate I’ve had so many roommates and it’s different with each, but on the whole, I like to keep to myself and I like them to keep to themselves. That was the beauty of our set-up (brownstone floor-through with bedrooms at opposite ends that each have an entrance). There wasn’t much of a common area, so there was nowhere to hang. At most, we exchange pleasantries in the kitchen. I like feeling like our living arrangement is just a business arrangement. There are rules like paying rent on time, and keeping the place clean for each other. I think when things get friendly, people start slipping on their responsibilities. —Johanna, Upper East Side
  • Stranger danger I’d prefer them to be friendly and sociable! I don’t want a loner in my house. Who knows what they get up to in their room. They could be sociopaths, plotting things and what-not. I’d like to know the people I live with! —Neda, Harlem (pictured at left)
  • You had me at hello I definitely like to have a friendly roommate because I am a friendly roommate! I think your living space should be a home, and it should have a nice atmosphere. We don’t have to be best friends, but still: Hello? I chose you to live with me because I liked you when we first met! You were interesting and nice! So why wouldn’t I want to continue to get to know you? Why can’t we be friends? —Krista, Upper East Side
  • Where Ben and Jerry are all the friends you need  I wouldn’t want an unfriendly person, but I would prefer the loner over somebody who wants to be friends. I have friends already. I know you can never have too many, but honestly, when it comes to living together, you do NOT want to live with your friends. When I come home sometimes, all I want to do is shut the world out…that includes shutting people out. Especially people! I don’t want to be in a situation where I might hurt somebody’s feelings just because I don’t want to give them access to me right now. Friends are people who are invested in your life and vice versa, that’s a heavy responsibility! I don’t need that…sometimes I just need Ben and Jerry’s to be my only friends! Beth, Yorkville

Verdict: Lone wolves for the win.


Would You Rather: Live with a same-sex or opposite-sex roommate?

Roommate Report: Are you better off moving in with a friend — or complete stranger?