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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Boyfriend vs Housemates

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Author Topic: Boyfriend vs Housemates
Kabith
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I'm sure this is a time-old issue, but I would like any fresh perspectives here.

Here is the thing- I've been in a relationship with this guy for about a year and a half now. We were already in a relationship for a year when I moved into a house off campus with my two housemates. I told them before moving in that I have a steady boyfriend, and that we would probably want to spend time together. They didn't think anything of it at the time. I also asked them how conservative they were with boyfriends, sleep overs, and sex, and they are both liberal and are all for healthy sexual relationships, and are cool with me having one. (Meaning, it isn't like I was living with a couple of conservative Catholics who would be extremely uncomfortable with a guy being alone with me at all).

However, it has been a bit stressful keeping everybody happy. One girl has a long distance boyfriend whom she never really sees except when she goes home for break. The other one is single. I have my boyfriend to sleep over just about every weekend, and he sometimes visits over the week during the day. He lives in the dorms and has a roommate, so it is just way easier for the both of us to hang out at my place (no roommate overhearing our conversations, I can actually eat something without having to walk to the cafeteria and buy food, bigger bed to sleep on, etc.) One weekend (about four months ago), one of my housemates told me she didn't like having my BF over so often. Basically, the argument is that he is always here but doesn't pay rent, and they want to not have company on the weekends sometimes to relax. (He doesn't use up any resources that we pay for though, like food or extra electricity). They feel like whenever they are home, he is there. He isn't over that often, but that is how they feel, so fair enough. I limited stays to one night a weekend, and I try to let them know when he is going to be coming over. I've also trained him up so that he cleans up after himself so they don't feel like his is making the house dirty. He is friendly to them and everything, and doesn't really understand why they don't like having him around.

It still feels tense though. I can't run to the store and leave him alone in the house. I can't go to bed and let him stay up and watch tv. I can't have him over more than one night in a row. I feel like I pretty much have to babysit him while my housemates are around so that they aren't offended by him being here. And I get stressed out telling him all of these rules he has to follow when he is here (clean the dishes, don't get up and leave my room when I am asleep, when I get up you have to leave, make sure you are nice to the girls, etc). It isn't really fun for either of us.

I've been to other houses, and it doesn't seem to be a problem. There are always random people over cooking, watching tv, playing games. Sometimes they are boyfriends, or friends, family members, even one night stands. Other households just accept that their housemates are social, and want to have people over. If they feel like they want alone time, or private time, or time to relax, they just go to their rooms. But at my house, the whole house has to be empty for anyone to feel relaxed it seems.

I don't know what to do. I want to keep harmony, and I want my housemates to feel comfortable in their own home. But I also want to be able to hang out with my boyfriend and feel RELAXED, instead of stressed out about how I am offending somebody this time. Am I being unrealistic? Is there anything I can do about the situation? Or do I just need to suck it up and deal with it till I can move out? :s

Posts: 120 | From: Washington State - USA | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kabith
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Also, I just told one of my housemates today after she messaged me about not liking it when my BF is watching tv while I'm asleep. I said:

"Oh, ok. Sorry! He just has sleeping problems and sometimes it takes him a long time to fall asleep. But I will talk to him about it
Was he keeping you up?

I guess sometimes I don't understand why I have to be with him all of the time for you guys to be ok with him being here. I just don't understand that. If one of you guys had a friend, or boyfriend, or family member over, I wouldn't care if they hung out and watched tv while you guys were at work or whatever. It happens at other people's houses all the time, including the house I grew up in. So I have a hard time understanding why it bothers you guys. I respect you guys though, and I will still talk to him about it and try to change that. I just don't get sometimes why it is a big deal, and sometimes I feel like I have to be really careful and thoughtful when I bring him over so that I don't bother you guys, and that make me sad sometimes. I am trying to keep you guys happy, but I'm just letting you know how I feel
But I will talk to him about staying up, none the less"

Not sure if saying that to her was a good idea or not, she messaged me last night a 2am and I just messaged her this morning. She is probably asleep, and may come down later today to talk to me about it [Razz]

Posts: 120 | From: Washington State - USA | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
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Have you been able, before now, to let them know how you feel, and that you are experiencing their requests as an all-or-nothing rather than all of you working towards a compromise? If you feel like you can approach them, I'd suggest sharing that with both of them, at the same time, so all three of you can be on the same page.

It may very well be that your lifestyle choices and personal space needs are different from theirs, but I do think it's worth talking to them and letting them know how you feel.

Also, in terms of commpromise (or ways to get through until you move out, whichever turns out to be the best option for you), does your boyfriend's roommate go home at all on weekends? If so, maybe you can spend those weekends with your boyfriend in his dorm room? Alternatively, what's your boyfriend's relationship like with his roommate? Could he talk with him about the possibility of finding somewhere else to sleep once in a while?

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Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kabith
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I will try to talk with them again about it. I feel like what we have now is the "compromise"- he can come over, but only if I am there with him and he is only over at one night at a time. Like I said though, I just always feel stressed about making it work and so that they are happy. I don't know how to bring that up- like, our current compromise isn't good enough? What would I ask for? Just for them to be less bothered by him being around?

And as far as his room goes, there are several reasons why I don't like it very much. I do like his roommate, but he is ALWAYS there. He is a gamer, and all of his friends and his girlfriend play games with him all day long. He skypes with them 24/7, and his webcam points at their bunkbeds, so while I'm sitting on the bed hanging out his whole skype call sees me. He has no life outside of class and his computer. He does occationally go home on weekends though. The reason I don't sleep over then is because: 1. their room is usually messy, and it bothers me. 2. the twin bed is pretty hard to fit two adults on. 3. I have no way to eat while I am in his room, unless I pack all of my meals before coming over, which is kind of a pain. I do go over there for a few hours at a time, or to say hello and visit, but not really to spend a large chunk of time together.

So I /could/ make it work, but my house just makes more sense. Over half of the time, my housemates just aren't even there (same goes for me). But when they are home, they don't want anyone else to really be there. They don't say anything most of the time, but they will act moody or just avoid us while he is over sometimes. Sometimes they are happy and don't seem to care, but the former is more common :/

[ 01-21-2013, 12:39 PM: Message edited by: Kabith ]

Posts: 120 | From: Washington State - USA | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
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I guess I'm hearing that while you have this compromise you're being made to feel as if you have to be responsible for your boyfriend the same way you would , say, a cat, or your belongings. If I misunderstood that, I apologize.

What I was suggesting was more based on letting them know that you feel like you have to tiptoe around with your boyfriend and it feels uncomfortable. I'll confess I've never had housemates so other people may have clearer perspective for you. [Smile]

Okay, maybe a more helpful way to approach this would be: If you could change anything right now, given that you do want to respect your housemates' needs and space, what would you change?

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Robin

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Kabith
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Haha, no you hit the nail on the head. I feel like I have to babysit. And I've asked my BF- he says that if I'm not in the same room as him, and the other girls are, he feels like his is annoying them or they are judging him.

Maybe I will say that- that I feel like I have to babysit and tiptoe around the house with him. I'll let them know that I am always worrying about stepping on their toes, because it seems like when I let me guard down and stop worrying, someone says something or acts annoyed and I go back to having to worry all the time when he is over.

Hm, I would change they way they feel about him. Like, if they could be friends and sit down and watch a football game together, or play an xbox game together, I wouldn't feel so stressed. I have spent hours in my BF's room alone with his roommate, and we just chat about random stuff or watch a show or play a game together, and it is relaxing and fun. He isn't annoyed by me, I don't feel awkward waiting for my man to get back. I wish it could be that way with my house too.

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Kabith
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After talking to one of my house mates- she seems to think that he makes himself TOO at home at our house. She feels like he just makes himself comfortable, and he isn't paying rent. Even though he isn't over very often, when he is over, he just makes himself too at home (makes food, eats on the couch, watches TV even if I'm not there), and it makes her uncomfortable and frustrated.

What do I do with that? I WANT my boyfriend to feel at home and relaxed in my house, not like he has to be on his best behavior because people are judging him all the time. My housemate says she was raised differently, and she would never make her self so "at home" at her boyfriend's parent's house, even though she has known them for 6 years.

Yeah, I really don't know how to compromise with this. D:

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Kabith
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UPDATE: Apparently, it just shocked her one night when she came down the stairs and he was on the couch, watching TV, and she was in her PJ's, and I was in another room.

We decided that I will text everyone and let them know when he is coming over.

Hopefully it is resolved... hopefully I won't feel like people are feeling annoyed when he is over. I guess I will give it some time and see what happens.

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Molias
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From your housemate saying she feels like her boyfriend makes himself too at home, I wonder if she has a different sense of boundaries and privacy around her living space than you do.

Even if she likes your boyfriend just fine, having him around still might mean she acts differently around the house when he's there than she does when she has the house to herself (or when it's just other housemates around). It could feel less private or relaxing for her when that's the case. Also, I know some people who have shared common areas like a living room or kitchen in their homes tend not to want to hang out in those places when other people are around; if someone's watching TV they might stay in their bedroom vs. coming out to read on the couch, or something like that.

If this sort of thing is the case for your housemates, I don't think it means that they or you are the ones "in the wrong" here, it may just be that everyone has different ideas of the best way to handle shared spaces and resources. It might help to ask your housemates if they have any other specific things that might make them happier when your boyfriend's around, but it does sound like you've already had those conversations a few times. This may just be a case of having housemates with different expectations around guests in the house than what you have. My suspicion is that they might also be frustrated if you had a non-romantic friend over just as often.

Posts: 1352 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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