Living with a new roommate can be a difficult transition. If you’ve never met before, it can be challenging to share your living space with someone who may have completely different likes, dislikes, habits and beliefs than you. Even if you have a previous relationship, moving in together creates a whole new level of intimacy between the two of you. Those first few days can be awkward as you figure each other out. It’s a great idea to intentionally foster your relationship so that you can develop a sense of trust and respect which will help you survive all the ups and downs of the roommate experience. Here are six simple icebreakers that can help you get past the awkward phase with a new roommate.
1. Twenty questions
It may seem cheesy, but there’s a reason classic icebreaker games remain the old standby when people are meeting for the first time. Grab a coffee, take a walk around the neighborhood or order pizza while you play games that will tell you everything you need to know about your new roomie. Take turns asking each other questions like “What’s your favorite movie of all time and why?,” “What’s your biggest pet peeve?,” or “What hobby would you take up if time and money weren’t an issue?”.
2. The Desert Island game
The Desert Island game can also be a fun way to get to know your roommate. Sharing what five items you would want to have with you if you were stranded on a desert island can certainly help you understand what is important to someone!
3. Explore town
If either of you is new to the area, hit the town together and go exploring. Look up a few online reviews first or just stroll down a block that strikes your fancy. Even if you’ve both been living in this area for a while, share your favorite spots with each other. Your roommate might know of a great little coffee shop, and you can take her to the thrift store where you always find deals. Many great friendships can trace their beginnings back to a common shared experience.
4. Watch a TV show together
As water coolers everywhere can attest to, a good TV series can bring people together who might have little else in common. Starting a new series together can give you common ground to meet on and can serve as a gateway to a deeper relationship. Ask your roommate if there is a series they’ve been wanting to watch and suggest you make a night of it. The genre might be a little out of your ordinary tastes, but you might be surprised to find that you enjoy it.
5. Cook and share a meal
Everyone loves a good meal, and food tends to bring people together. A great way to get to know someone is to prepare and eat a meal with them. Ask your roommate to teach you one of their favorite dishes or cook something entirely new. As you prepare the meal, you might find that conversation flows a bit more easily when you’re working side by side. Additionally, cooking together can help you identify items that your kitchen is missing and make a plan to purchase them.
6. Go shopping to decorate your new home
Even if one of you has already been living in the apartment, dorm or house for a while, it’s a great idea to do a little redecorating when a new roomie moves in. If both of you are just moving in, your new place is bound to need a little love to make it feel like home. Take a shopping trip with your roomie to pick out a few items like curtains, rugs or artwork to make your home reflect your mutual style. You’ll both get a chance to learn more about the other person as you see what kinds of things they gravitate toward and what they tend to veto. Also, be sure to pick up a few home organization items and other products that might make it easier to live together.