There’s no getting around it: bringing in a roommate is going to bring up feelings, especially if this is your first time homesharing. Here are some common emotions you may find yourself struggling with, even if you’re generally feeling good about having a roommate.

  • Reluctance to change: Honestly, there isn’t a human alive who doesn’t feel some reluctance in the face of a big change. Whether it’s anxiety over how things might work out or a little sadness over the previous chapter coming to a close, it’s only natural. Letting go and taking a new leap forward is always hard.

    Here’s some perspective: This isn’t about loss. You aren’t losing anything. If you are letting go of physical stuff, you’re doing so to make room for something positive on the horizon. For more specific suggestions, check out How can I homeshare without losing what I love about my home/my life?

    Also, try to remember that there are few decisions in life that are permanent (fewer still that you will be 100% confident about).

  • Self-doubt: Some homeowners hit a speedbump where they worry that choosing to homeshare means they have failed somehow—perhaps in terms of finances or relationships, or just general life choices. The thing is, the markers of success we prized 20 or 30 years ago may not apply to real life as it currently is. The economy is different. Circumstances in your town may have changed. Expectations for everybody are simply different.

    So what do you do? You can reframe your definition of success. Making the decision to homeshare because it will enable you to live life the way you want to right now…. Well, that sounds like a wise and strong person. Don’t let outdated ideas of who you thought you’d be or how you thought you’d live hold you back from being happy and free today.

  • Fear of judgment: Similar to the self-doubt described above, anxiety over “what people will think or say” is pretty common. Anytime you make a choice that’s a little unexpected—whether it’s getting divorced, taking a hiatus from work to backpack Europe, changing careers or any big bold move—some people aren’t going to understand it. That’s a given. Hold tight to your reasons for homesharing and remember that this is your life, and nobody else’s.

Anticipating these emotions and being ready to face them head-on is half the battle. If you find yourself unable to move past them, it may be time to seek some counsel from a qualified mental health practitioner.

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