classic flatshare dilemma


I think this one's a bit of a cliche, but here goes...

In November moved in with a very dear friend: we are very close. Small two-bedroom flat. About two weeks before Xmas, she meets a guy online. Within a week, the other guy has stayed over at our place 3 nights running. This seems very swift and it's a bit surprising for me. Then there was Xmas when everyone was with parents or friends. Then my flatmate stayed over with the new boyfriend but the problem there is that he's a Masters student so lives in a dorm... not ideal for new romance. So then this weekend just gone the new boyfriend stays over again for 3 nights running.

I sense the start of a pattern... it might be that now I live with a couple at weekends... not what I signed up for (and the flat really stretches my budget). Sunday evening I said to my flatmate: "I worry that I'm cramping your style, as you're in the first flush of romance..." i.e. My passive-aggressive way of saying "What is he doing here *again*?" Flatmate looks at me like I'm a cruel alien and says I shouldn't feel that way. She was used to living with her boyfriend and an extra person for many years in the past, so this is her template for a living situation. She looks really hurt and distressed. She is a very loving person and used to having lots of people around. She was also an absolute rock for me during my MSc, so I owe her big-time.

So I would basically like the new boyfriend (who is perfectly pleasant) to be around less. But am I a) sad and jealous cos I miss the closeness with my friend? b) Bitter cos I've been single for AGES? c) in my right mind because the new living situation has been imposed on me and not negotiated?

This friendship means a lot to me, so I don't want to strain it. But it's rather a surprise to be living with a couple at weekends, especially when they only met a month ago. On the other hand, perhaps I should just use the situation as motivation to sort out my own love life? I really am too old for flatshares (I am really really old), and maybe I should just take inspiration and try to get myself married off ASAP...? ,-)

Whaddya think?


I think your friend is just different from you in some respects and while I'm with you (I'd feel really uncomfortable in your position) I don't think she gave it much thought and assumed it would be OK. It's early days and could easily fall apart or it could be the start of something serious. If you have a good secure friendship you should be able to have a mature conversation about the situation and reach a compromise.

Now I'm curious about your age!!!


======= Date Modified 11 Jan 2012 00:08:50 =======

in my right mind because the new living situation has been imposed on me and not negotiated?

This one. She should have asked. If you're in a mutually agreed flatshare then having people over for extended periods should be negotiated.

My flatmate has her bf around 2-3 nights a week BUT she owns the flat (I am therefore a lodger), they've been together a while and their relationship pre-dates my moving in. So that's fine. But I'd be uncomfortable if I was a co-tenant somewhere and suddenly a new person was around all the time and I hadn't been asked.

Maybe best to tone down the passive aggression and just be straight with her. It obviously hasn't entered her head to think about your perspective so spell it out. Don't ask that he's there less, just explain your discomfort with the current scenario and the lack of consultation.


Yeah, I think an adult conversation is the right thing. Because although I am single and bitter, it IS also true that this has been a bit much. If I extrapolate a line on a graph... he's here 3 days weekly after one month of the relationship... that means in only 6 more weeks he'll have moved in! And it hasn't been negotiated.

But this friendship is really important to me, so the whole thing needs to be done with grace.

I'm nearly 39. Probably too old for flatshares, but doing a PhD makes me too poor to live alone... I will chat with her tomorrow.