By E. Max Bonem Esq.

Editor’s Note: The following is suggestive commentary on how to live with another dude from a guy’s perspective.  If you’d like to read about living with a fella from the mind of a lady, we got you covered here.

As I write this, none other than Big Daddy Matt Jared is trekking down through Kentucky (most likely) on his way to Austin, Texas. Although we’ve spent the better part of a month talking about this very fact almost daily, it has just set in for me that he’s going to be arriving tomorrow. Whoa. By this point, we’ve all heard the back story of how we both arrived at our current situation, but until he called me to double-check that we’d have enough closet space for this epic collection of 90s basketball jerseys, I hadn’t really considered the logistics of the situation.

Now we’ve both lived with plenty of fellow dudes over the years, but Matt and I developed a bond that is mostly rooted in our online/digital correspondence. Sure, pre-The Bro Journey® Matt and I spent time frolicking in the sun and going on bike voyages through my handy neighborhood cemetery, but to say that we have limited experience interacting with each other in a normal, everyday domestic setting would be an incredible understatement.

More of this is going to lead to even more things in poor taste.

As with all new roommate situations, there are a variety of questions that suddenly flood your mind while waiting in anticipation of either an epic meeting of kindred spirits or a disaster that rivals even Rush Limbaugh’s current hoopla. Does he cook? Does he clean up after himself? Will he cut into my valuable post-work illegally downloaded premium cable viewings with Call of Duty sessions where he ends up talking so much sh*t to 7thgraders with names like Miller and Flannery that he gets imprisoned and I’m left with the same roommate situation that I had pre-crazy decision by Matt to move down here in the first place?

This is my nightmare.

Well, with that in mind dear readers, I present to you my take on the (non) Definitive Guide to Bro-Habitation.

Expect Initial Uneasiness

"Um, no offense man, but you didn't really sound black over the phone..."

When Matt finally arrives in beautiful ATX, one of the most monumental hugs the world has ever seen will take place. It could last seconds or it could last days. One day, students of business will read about the hug that we bestowed on each other as a moment when the world changed. However, after that, then what? No matter whom it is that you move in with, there are moments early on of discomfort and annoyance. Whether it’s altering your morning routine or designating whose turn it is to buy necessary household items (i.e. paper towels, Febreze, or ax heads (ya know, for protection…)), it’s possible that you’ll experience moments of tension or temporary frustration. However, these moments will pass once you and your new roommate have gotten acclimated to each other and have learned to accept the quirks that each of you brings to the man cave.

Understand Boundaries

Don't you wish you got to see this first thing each morning?

I’ve never lived with more than one person, but I’m sure privacy becomes even more essential as the number of people in the apartment/house increases. Sure, you and your roommate could be best friends that have experienced enough together where you could legitimately inspire a web series on Netflix that could last beyond one season, but that doesn’t mean that an unsuspecting shower taker will be cool with you dropping a deuce while they’re serenading themselves to Bel Biv Devoe’s “Poison.” Boundaries, as with any intimate relationship (and yes, the relationship you have with your roommate can get pretty f-ing intimate), are very important to establish. If you don’t want to be disturbed when your bedroom door is closed, make sure it’s known. If you REALLY don’t like sharing peanut butter (#xtracrunchy4life), politely tell your bro-habitant. If you’re tired of your fellow dweller scalping your magnums to use as balloon animals, slap him in the face and show him who’s boss (sorry, I had to get weird at some point, right?). Having an understanding of each other early on will lead to a greater sense of harmony much quicker.

Respect Privacy 

As I am rather bear-like, this is highly applicable.

Sometimes when you get home from work, all you want to is unleash every stinkin’ detail of your day to someone. Just free-flowing gobbledygook about how stupid your boss is or how you got called out in a meeting or how there weren’t any salted macadamia nuts left for your second mid-to-late afternoon snack. Other times, however, you want to get home, pour yourself a drink and not even think about the past nine hours of your life. Assuming you know your new roommate at all, do your best at determining when they want to talk and when they just want to be left alone. Most likely if your roommate wants to share something with you, they will, and if they don’t want to, they won’t. No need to create any sort of preposterous man-drama, just be fine with your bro cooling off and wanting to discuss the intricacies of some graphic lady-parts photo that he saw on Pinterest rather than prying his day out of him. Also, make sure there’s some sort of alcohol in the house, that’s usually a good play.

Activities Outside the Homestead 

Future subjects of TBJ

In our current situation, Matt is moving to a city where he basically knows no one (except for the 319 people he’s been digitally networking with, homeboy’s on TOP of his sh*t) and will therefor rely on me (initially) for meeting people and for finding things to do. I could not be happier to oblige since I know that, just like with my last roommate, all of my Austin cohorts are going to love this Big Bird-esque man-child. That being said, living with someone puts their entire private, never-before-seen behavior under a microscope and it can lead to you getting annoyed with their habits quickly. That is why participating in events and activities outside of your home is very important. Sometimes it’s the smallest moments that can remind you of how awesome your bro-habitant is and those moments can really help smooth over minute events that can occur at home (whether it’s when he borrows your beard trimmer to shave his perineum or when he smashes the last slice of three-day old pizza that you have telepathically called earlier that day).

Enjoy Each Other

Just add beards and BOOM, you got it.

I’ve lived with three very different people (by choice) over the last four years and the number one thing that I’ve learned is to laugh with each other and enjoy the fact that you get to live with someone who has your back and will totally wingman for you whenever you need him. If you can find a friend who will skip a swanky party downtown with you to watch the entire (legit) Star Wars trilogy (pants-optional) while each of you downs an entire DiGornio pizza and debate why George Lucas recut the Han/Greedo cantina scene for the re-release (Note: Han DEFINITELY shot first), then that is when you just gotta relish the fact that you are living large and in charge with your fellow Bromosapien. Cook a nice dinner for the two of you every now and then or maybe splurge on a nice bottle of Whiskey or some sweet wall art. Whatever you can do to optimize your bro pad for the betterment of both of you (minus converting his bedroom into the Mechanical Bullpen (boy does Matt have a surprise coming his way…)), do it to it and let the mother f-ing good times roll.

Note for readers: With Big Gene and I now living under the same roof (wow, I actually sold another person who has NEVER been to Austin on moving here basically on a whim), our range of content, not to mention the quality (hopefully), is set to radically increase. We’ve got all sorts of ideas in the works, but we’re hoping to start including videos, podcasts, and maybe even a sponsored night at a local honkytonk or jamboree. So I say unto you, dear reader, prepare yourself for glory because TBJ is about to get all sorts of epic.