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spiritual's avatar

I am having issues with my housemate and his partner. How to resolve?

Asked by spiritual (1271 points ) April 12th, 2011

I moved in with my best friend around five months ago and I am finding it not very pleasant.
I thought it would be a great move, and we get on really well. The problem is that his boyfriend comes round on a regular basis and stays for days at a time. Last month he was here for a week, and the same this month.
I have had to bring up issues about money (as he only contributes £20 a month, and our bills and rent amount to more than £1000), and mess (as he often leaves things lying around the house).
Now I am finding myself not really feeling comfortable and starting to dislike the boyfriend and getting annoyed with my housemate.
When in the lounge, they are often cuddling up, or have their limbs wrapped around each other which I find uncomfortable. I often retreat to my bedroom through awkwardness, and read or watch tv there instead.
I must say that before moving in, I thought I could handle the bf not paying in really, as I genuinely thought he wouldn’t be here that often, so therefore I did agree to that. Now I am starting to regret moving in at all with my friend.
I cannot afford to move out at the moment, and I’m just looking for any advice?

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6 Answers

Kardamom's avatar

It’s too bad that you guys didn’t set some ground rules (in writing) ahead of time. So now you will have to have a little talk with your room mate and make a list of ground rules now. Try to be delicate and gentle when you tell him why. Just let him know that you didn’t expect that the BF was going to be there so often and that it makes you kind of uncomfortable to have to watch their amouressness (is that a word?). If your friend isn’t too upset by the conversation and is willing to make a list of ground rules here are some that might be worthwhile:

Over night guests can only stay over for (fill in the blank) number of days at a time or per week or per month.

Any kind of sex or heavy cuddling needs to be done in the privacy of one’s own bedroom.

If a guest is eating or consuming a lot of goods, then the room mate who is responsible for this guest needs to kick in (fill in the blank) amount of money each month that this happens, or he/she needs to replace the items immediately within (fill in the blank) amount of time.

Each room mate needs to give the other a heads up within a reasonable amount of time (fill in the blank) before a house guest or any other friends that might be having a party or sharing the common area for more than a few hours comes over.

No illegal drugs can ever be brought into the house.

Drinking must be kept to a reasonable (fill in the blank about what you think is reasonable) degree with regard to drunkeness. If you don’t want drunks in your house say so. If you don’t mind if they’re drunk as long as they stay in their own room and bathroom, then say so.

Come up with a reasonable distribution of food items with regards to who buys the food (and is there a difference if it came from the store or a restaurant) and who pays for the food and who replaces the food

Come up with workable solutions on how clean you need the common areas to be, who does the cleaning, and how often.

Think about how much noise you are willing to tolerate in the common areas, the privacy of bedrooms, and how late you are willing to allow certain noises (sex, parties, music) to go on into the night.

You’ll probably think of other things to put on this list after you read it. Draw up copies and have both parties sign it. Any major breach (and you will have to each decide what is a major breach) would be grounds for putting the other person out, or breaking the lease or leaving yourself (but find out what your legal rights are first, that is very important) Good luck!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It’s understandable how you feel. If you want the situation to change, you are going to have to get up the courage to talk to the roommate about your concerns. It’s not unfair to let him know that the financial agreement originally agreed upon isn’t working out and needs to be renegotiated. Then see if the two of you can find a fair and happy medium, which doesn’t need to be 50/50. I bought a house and had a roommate for eight years; the agreement was that I would pay the mortgage and he paid all utilities. For a couple of years, we kept our own food, but ended up just taking turns doing the shopping.

As for his boyfriend, that’s a touchy subject (no pun intended). He deserves the right to hang out in the lounge with his partner, and you are doing the right thing to leave the room if it makes you uncomfortable. If they are doing more than cuddling, then they need to take it to his bedroom out of courtesy to you. If the boyfriend is living there a week a month without chipping in, then both he and your roommate are taking advantage of your generosity.

chyna's avatar

I had a very similar problem several years ago. I moved in with a good friend and her boyfriend practically moved in, eating the food, drinking my pepsi’s and never, ever contributing to the household. They could never remember to shut the door when having sex and I had to walk by their door to get to my room. I’d get up in the morning and they’d be spread out nekked on the bed. Trust me, I didn’t want to see him naked. So before it ruined our friendship I found a time when it was just me and my roomie and told her I was uncomfortable in my own home, explained why and said that before we had a big fight over it, I was going to move out. She was very understanding and contrite and offered to move out and find a place. She was the one that found the house and it was a great deal, so I told her to stay, I would find a place. I learned then I was not cut out to be roomies with anyone I wasn’t married to. We have remained friends to this day. So my advice is to talk to roomie, calmly while the boyfriend isn’t there. Resolve it before you lose a good friend.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I’m sorry to say that roommate situations rarely work out for the best. The only ones I’ve seen work are those where each person agrees to a certain set of rules/roommate contract ahead of time. says the property manager

For the sake of your friendship, I suggest you ask your roommate to have a sit-down talk with you and you sort out all of this. If you can both agree to come to terms do so. If you can, before the talk…write down all of the things you now realize you need addressed: Money/sleep-over guests/messes/food-etc and how this could be more fair of an arrangement.

@Kardamom Has a great list up there. It’s what I’ve seen work. Often when the roommate count goes above 2, a housekeeper is paid for by the group, or one person (the clean one) does the housekeeping, one person does the grocery shopping, while another does the cooking.

I had a set of roommates that even designated that each day of the week was filled in on a calendar with bathroom and kitchen clean up duties.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Pick a time when you’re not upset, perhaps go out to dinner to keep it friendly, and review the arrangements so far. Ask if there is anything that you could be doing better, and then discuss the boyfriend situation exactly like you told us here. If you take the tact of not wanting to ruin your friendship, what’s the compromise options, will help get things resolved. Perhaps the answer is something you haven’t thought of yet. There are lots of options on how to resolve this; let your roommate come up with some solutions, too. You don’t have to start out adversarially.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

You can talk to the housemate about your feelings, but since the rules weren’t laid down during the agreement, you are kind of at his mercy. If he would like to make you more comfortable, then he will try to stop the behavior that is bothering you. If not, then you have to either grin and bear it or make plans to move out as soon as it is feasible.

So many of the questions on this site tend to be people who want to know how to “make” someone else do something. Unless they are your minor children, you can’t make anyone do anything. You can talk, you can negotiate, but if that doesn’t work, the only one that you can control is yourself.

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