Ask Cordelia

Dear Cordelia,

My best friend asked me if we can live together next year. I love her, but our styles of living are so different that I know we’d be at each other’s throats. I don’t know want to offend her, but at the same time I don’t want to risk our relationship. What should I do?


Stay outta my room

Dear Outta,

I understand where you’re coming from. The annals of history are filled with friendships that have been sacrificed to the roommate gods. The last thing you want to do is lose your best friend for the sake of cheap living accommodations.
Your best bet in this case is to tell her the truth, but heavily sugarcoat it.

The next time she brings it up, tell her you’re flattered she thinks you’d make a great roommate, but you’re not so sure that she’s right. Tell her how much you love and value her friendship, but remind her that you’re so picky about your living situation that you know you’d find something to complain about. Explain that because you know yourself, you’re afraid of offending her and ruining the best friendship you have; and you’d rather be her friend for a lifetime, than her roommate for a year.

By laying all the blame at your own feet, you run less of a risk offending her, while still politely declining her invitation. She may sulk for a few days, but eventually she’ll see you’re right. In the meantime, start quietly looking for other people to live with; preferably someone you have no problem leaving behind should a roommate wreckage occur.

Submit your questions for the Ask Cordelia advice column to Responses are written by various Life staff writers, the Managing Editor Katie Flood and other individuals from The Cord Editorial Board.