At around 16, we all dream of the day when we can finally leave our parents and get out there on our own. Then, college happens, roommates invade and we usually find that—due to different circumstances—we keep roommates for some time.
Fast forward a couple years: you’ve just graduated, got yourself a big girl job and now you want to find yourself a big girl house or apartment, but are you really ready to ditch your loving roommate and venture out on your own?
While you might think the fantasy of having your own pad and living by only your rules may be the best thing for you, take a look at these signs that you just might not be ready to live alone yet.
1. You frequently need your roommate’s help
The very first sign that you’re not ready to give up living with someone else is if you need them all the time. It’s one thing to need someone to help you move your dresser when you’ve decided to rearrange your room; it’s another when you’re dependent on them to help you do your laundry, dishes or anything else that you should know how to do yourself.
2. You’re scared to be alone at night
I find this just depends on maturity and whatever movies you’ve been watching lately. However, if you’re someone who struggles to get a good night’s sleep when your roomie makes plans to sleep over at her boyfriend’s, maybe living alone isn’t the best idea for you. Some people just take longer to feel comfortable being alone in their homes at night.
3. You barely have any belongings of your own
Chances are, if you’re living with a roommate, you own a few pieces of furniture and they own some and you just share them while living together. But, if you only have your bed, dresser and desk while the rest belongs to your roommate, maybe you should reconsider getting your own place right now.
If you haven’t thought to get some of your own furniture by now, you’re just not prepared mentally for living alone. Plus, it will be a huge cost if you decide to move out. After all, furniture is not cheap!
4. You still plan “Roomie Date Nights”
This can be cute and fun when you first have a roommate. Call it roomie date night or roommate bonding—whatever you prefer. The point is that if you’re still doing this, life beyond your roommate is almost non-existent. You’re still living with the mentality you had when you first moved in with them.
5. You customize your schedule to fit your roommate’s
If you’re changing your workout routine, hair appointments and other aspects of your schedule to mesh with your roommate’s, you’re not ready to live alone yet. This is a sign that you’re more stable with a roommate than without. Moving out on your own can corrupt those walls you’ve built. Find some independence first, then you’ll be ready to head out on your own.
6. You’re not financially stable
For obvious reasons, if you can’t financially support yourself while living on your own, you’re not ready yet. Having a roommate gives you someone to split rent and utilities with, making it a lot cheaper. So, if you’re having trouble with your finances while you have a roommate, you won’t be able to afford your own pad.
7. You use most of your roommate’s things
Run out of toothpaste? Grab your roomie’s. Run out of shaving cream? Just snag some of your roommate’s stuff. If this is your mentality day-to-day, you’re not actually ready to live alone. What happens when you’re on your own and you realize you don’t have deodorant? You are not prepared to live alone when you’re constantly borrowing your roommate’s belongings.
8. You can’t cook
This is pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll elaborate. If you only eat out or eat the food that your roommate cooks up, you’re just not ready to live alone. You can’t survive on McDonald’s and cereal. Learn how to cook before heading out on your solo journey.
9. You don’t clean up after yourself
Does your roommate follow you around with a broom and a mop and constantly need to clean up after the messes you make because you don’t clean anything yourself? Yeah, you shouldn’t live alone. Until you learn the responsibility of cleaning up your own messes, you’re not ready to be cleaning an entire house or apartment.
10. Your emotional well-being is dependent on your roommate
If you need daily emotional support from a roommate, you may not be ready to live alone. Some people just lack the emotional stability and maturity to be able to come home and sit down for the day without venting about their daily whereabouts to a roommate. Until you can cope with all your daily struggles on your own, you’re not ready to live alone.
Some people go their whole lives without living alone—and for good reason. If they’re not ready, they’re just not ready. If you fall into the majority of these categories, stick out another lease with a roommate before making that big leap into solo living.