Even the best marriages and the best friendships and, of course, the best roommate relationships do better over the long haul if there’s time away from one another here and there. Senior Flatmates Dina Wilcox and Ann Fry talk about this in a post about how much they like living with one another as roommates-over-50, and how much they like being away from each other as well. They rarely have tiffs, so the need to have alone time is not driven by problems or conflicts; it is in fact part of the formula for their well-balanced friendship.
In another post on the same site, Ann talks about honesty and openness in communication as essential to a successful and mutually beneficial relationship. But she points out, astutely, that one person’s version of honest communication may be quite different than another’s. You need not adopt another person’s style, she observes, but merely be aware of each other’s different ways of communicating. She herself, she says, is quite sensitive, so flatmate Dina treads softly when bringing up an issue that needs discussion, whereas Ann can be less conscious of treading lightly. Dina, she says, is a tough cookie and takes criticism or suggestions well without being bothered. The key is understanding and respect – just as important in a roommate relationship as in any other.