INFOGRAPHICS: How to Find the Perfect Roommate

If you’ve ever shared a home with someone, you already know that living with a roommate can sometimes be a messy business. It’s all fun and games until some random friction appears, conflicts arise and everything gets really awkward. After that, it’s all a matter of time until the roommate relationship goes downhill.

If you can relate or you have ever felt hopeless in your roommate quest, you could surely use some confirmed life hacks. A roommate survey conducted by RENTCafé of 1,500 respondents sheds light on the issue.

Here’s some insightful info to help you improve your next roommate experience:

Quarrel frequency: 42% of Roommates Fight

Light quarrels over open shampoo bottles and dirty mugs do not count as major problems, even though they can lead to bursts of frustration in the long run. Surprisingly enough, 42 per cent of those surveyed said they had major fights with their roommates and 58 per cent of the respondents claim not to remember having big disagreements. Here’s what you can do to avoid setting a precedent in the future:

  • Make a list of non-negotiable rules. This will be your deal breaker list.
  • Be open about your needs and show real care for theirs.
  • Stay one step ahead of any quarrel by deciding now how you will cope with an issue later on.

34% of Men Prefer Female Roommates

They say opposites attract and this also seems to ring true when it comes to roommates. A full 34.2 per cent of male participants graded their female roommates with an A, and just 19.6 per cent did so in respect to their same-sex roommates. Fifteen per cent of men roommates get Ds and Fs, while just 10 per cent of female roommates were graded as such.

  • Men are more likely to hit it off with a female roommate. If you’re in for an A experience, a female roomie might be the best idea.
  • Men can also happen to be of one mind with a fellow male roommate, if the odds are in their favor. Based on the survey, male roommates outpace women in terms of a B experience.
  • An unfortunate roommate quarrel is more likely to take place between cohabitants of the same sex.

42% of Women Gave Their Male Roommates an A Grade

It turns out that women also feel better about having a man to share their apartment with. While only 23.2 per cent of women were graded an A in this survey, 42 per cent of male roommates received an A, which is a proof that many women would choose to share a room with a “he” rather than a “she”.

  • If you’re a woman, you’re more likely to have a better roommate experience if you choose a man to share your living space and expenses with. You are a lot more likely to be happy with your choice.
  • F grades from women are uncommon, so the good news is that roommate failures don’t happen too often.
  • Even though you are more likely to have an A experience by renting with a man, it is also true that you can have a good experience if you choose a female counterpart.

The Worst Roommate Offense is Not Paying Rent, Say 20% of Respondents

A look at the top F-rated offenses reveals that money is indeed the root of all evil. A roommate who doesn’t pay rent turns out to be more troublesome than a roommate that uses illegal drugs or offensive language. Mean and insulting behavior ranks as a close second in the list of house splits, while race and religion offenses are easier to overlook.

What you should do to become the ideal roomie:

  • Make a priority out of paying your bills and monthly rent by the due date.
  • Words can be like knives, so make sure you don’t cut your apartment mate open. If you sow kindness you are unlikely to reap rudeness.
  • Passive-aggressive reactions seem justifiable sometimes, but the truth is they do nothing but deepen the gap between two fellow renters. It’s important that you behave like a grown-up, addressing the problems when they need to be addressed.

Where to find the perfect roommate

According to the respondents’ answers, there is no magical pond where these mythical creatures dwell. They are actually closer to you than you believe them to be. It seems men are more likely than women to find their ideal roommate among their friends. Almost 30 per cent of the men did best with such a rooming situation. Conversely, women tend to prefer the roommates they met with a friend’s help, on the internet or who were already living there. It turns out that:

  • Sharing a room with a friend might be a mixed blessing. It will work for you best if you are a man, but it also works for 25 per cent of women.
  • The “friend of friends” thing seems to work for both sexes, but it proves to be more convenient for a woman than for a man.
  • Men did not give as much credit to random roommates as women did.

Women Who Work in Broadcasting and Journalism and Men in Construction Fight the Most

It turns out that professional compatibility is important because it is directly linked with quarrel likelihood. It’s easier to prevent a disease than treat it, so spare yourself the trouble of a disturbing roommate before you actually get to that point. Things to reflect upon:

  • The study reveals that women who work in fields like journalism, broadcasting, technology, warehousing and transportation tend to be more quarrelsome than roommates who work in other fields.
  • Housemates who work in the legal field make the best female roommates. They take rules very seriously, apparently.
  • If your perspective male roommate works in construction, marketing, advertising or legal, the odds are not in your favor.


Take all things into consideration and choose wisely. If you and your future roommate have similar personality traits, if they’re of the opposite sex, or you were friends previously, you are on your way to having the best possible roommate relationship.

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