At some point during the relentless merry-go-round of flat-hopping in London, you and your best mate may be in sync enough to move in together. However, what might appear to be a golden opportunity for all manner of tomfoolery and shenanigans could quickly descend into a Machiavellian nightmare neither of you will recover from. In order to help you preserve your companionship and avoid criminal proceedings, here are five ways to make it work (sort of).
1. Be realistic from the outset
Unlike subjecting yourself to the judgement of several collections of strangers, living with your best mate means you get to make real choices. But be totally upfront and get your cards on the table; eg. if you don’t want to live in Morden, above a kebab shop on a street which is a massive hike from the tube then say so! Better to walk away now rather than sow a burning seed of resentment that will destroy you both.
2. Remember that the world outside still exists
When you're not living with someone you thought might secretly be a serial killer, your flat will quickly feel a lot more like a home than anywhere before. However, it’s a big old city out there so make an effort to go out or you’ll end up as the Netflix generation's version of Morecambe and Wise. Mop up the free wine at an East End gallery opening, see out the balmy weather with a trip to Hampstead Ponds or go selfie-stick-dodging on the South Bank... just get out there!
3. Disconnect from time to time
After tough working weeks, stiflingly hot tubes, annoying living statues and all the other madness, London is sometimes a bit too much. Make sure you have some time out, hide in your room, sulk and pull yourself back together, away from all other humans. Don’t feel under pressure to socialise in your teeny tiny living room (if you have one) just because it’s your best mate and not a complete stranger. They’ll survive without you for a bit.
4. Do stuff together (to save money)
The cost of a pint of beer tipped over a fiver long ago and posh houmous can run up the best part of a tenner at a foodie market. So cook together (or warm up packets of things for each other depending on skill level), shop together and on those sad nights out where neither of you get lucky, grab an Uber together. Maybe you’ll both get to the end of the month without having an involuntary Super Noodle crash diet.
5. Mind your notes
Post-its are pure evil. If you ever feel tempted to use them to communicate with your best mate, think again. Even if you reckon you’re being ‘fun’ it’s more likely to be misinterpreted. That smiley face you just left on the kitchen cupboard will be seen as a patronising smirk after your mate has had a bad day and spent an hour stuck on the Northern line.
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