The apartment is beautiful, more space than you'd ever dreamed of. The location is ideal, a fifteen minute walk from work and two blocks from your favorite restaurant. The landlord is cool with your mewling cat, the appliances in the kitchen were all replaced two weeks ago, and it's only half a block from the subway. The only problem? The rent is twice what you can actually afford. photo by Erin

We're sure you've all dealt with many kinds of roommate experiences. Some people co-exist, never talking to each other, while others are best or lovers with their roommates. Some roommates are crazy, or too neat, or too messy. Some cook like experienced chefs and leave mints on your pillows.

How do you find a roommate? It may actually be better to check out roommate ads on craigslist or or some other website. In our experience, living with one of your inevitably ends in disaster. Well, not always, but often - the personality quirks you hadn't noticed or that hadn't bothered you before suddenly become magnified, and little things you'd never thought would bother you suddenly do (When did she start listening to hip hop at 3am? Why won't he take out the trash more? I can't believe her stupid cat peed in my room again!). Then again, we've met plenty of people who have happily co-habitated with close , so it could work out well.

Finding the right person depends on what kind of relationship you want. If co-existing is fine, then it's probably not a big deal. You just want to make sure this person pays rent on time and won't destroy the apartment. It can't hurt to get to know the person, too; you will be sharing the same space, the same bathroom, the same kitchen.

And all kinds of roommate conflicts arise, naturally. There are too many to address in this space, so you can send us an email if you've found yourself in a pickle.

One last thought: We received a question a little while back from someone wondering when was the right time to move in with a girlfriend. That's a tough call, but we say try spending a lot of time doing domestic things together. If you feel like you know her well enough to gauge how she'd behave on a day-to-day basis, and you're okay with most of her habits (she calls her mother every Thursday evening, she doesn't eat pork, she's neurotic about keeping the bathroom clean) then you're probably good to go. It's something you should think through and not rush into, though, because if it goes sour, you're in a sticky situation.