Forty years past and still roommate
With its joys, frustrations and memorable parties, rooming is often associated with life as a young adult. However, while over the years many decide to live alone or as a couple, others choose to extend the lease. Encounter.
Patrick Aubert, 45, and Miguel Doucet, 44, have been living together for 13 years. Having first lived in a 4 ½, they then moved to a 5 ½ in order to have their space and because by dividing the rent in half, they could afford it.
Patrick started the roommate in 1996, when he moved from Quebec to Montreal to study cinema. After sharing his accommodation with a few roommates who left him to live as a couple, he finally found himself alone. To be able to pay his rent, he had to work more and above all, he was starting to find the time long. That's when Miguel, his friend who had just been evicted from his apartment in the Plateau, moved to Verdun to live with him.
A good agreement
Thirteen years later, the two friends still get along just as well. The key to making it work? Good communication, mutual respect and accommodation big enough for everyone to enjoy their own space when they need solitude.
“When it comes to housework, is clear who does what, and we each do the tasks we prefer, adds Patrick. Everyone does their dishes as they go after each meal. The rules are clear and are respected.
Even if they don't spend all their time together, having common passions has also allowed them to enrich their friendship and their roommate experience at the same time. Both working in the arts, they love “discovering vinyl, discovering music, cooking, sharing meals and entertaining friends,” says Patrick. They also have some of the same friends, which allows them to easily spend time together. They even know their respective families.
If cohabitation in normal times works very well for them, what about during the pandemic? Did they manage not to get on each other's nerves? Well yes! “We each did our 9 to 5 on our own, after that we met for supper, we had meals, then after that we listened to a film, testifies Patrick. During the pandemic, we listened to one every day.” The roommate also allowed them to avoid finding themselves completely isolated. “During the pandemic, having a presence, being able to speak, helped enormously, explains Miguel. I wasn't the only one moping, worrying.”
“Are you sure you're not in love?”
Over the years, Patrick and Miguel have had all kinds of questions and remarks on the part of those around them: “You are still in a roommate at your age!”, “Are you sure you are not in a relationship?”.
“Yes, I live with a roommate, it’s a choice. And no, Pat, he's not my boyfriendresponds Miguel, who was also told by his parents that he wouldn't really be an adult until he was a landlord.
“It hurts me that people don’t look at me the same way as people who invest in real estate,” he says. I'm in the arts, which is a pretty precarious field. The salaries aren't huge, I don't have the insurance or whatever comes with it. I prefer to live with a roommate to give me a good quality of life, I have the apartment that I like, I have friends that I like and I still do what I want.
Since this lifestyle suits them, do the two friends intend to continue living together for the next decade?
For his part, Patrick is open to the idea of living alone and is even tempted, why not, to buy. It's not his priority, but if Miguel decides one day to go live elsewhere, he wouldn't consider having another roommate than him. For his part, Miguel does not plan to move in the near future. “I feel so at home,” he says.