Home > Case Studies > I Didn't Get on With My Flatmate's Partner Case: A Case Study

I Didn't Get on With My Flatmate's Partner Case: A Case Study

By: Emma Eilbeck BA (hons) - Updated: 25 Apr 2010 | comments*Discuss
Flatmate Partner Boyfriend Flat

You’ve found your perfect flat, your perfect housemate and even bought a cat together, but there’s one problem you weren’t prepared for – your flatmate’s partner.

You may have stringently tested your flatmate out before letting them in your flat, assessed their personality, their finances and their habits, but their partner is the one person you have no control over.

Christine had been living with her flatmate Rebecca for over a year, they were getting on well and there were no problems in the house, however all this was about to change when Rebecca met Ben.

When Problems Start

“At first I liked Ben he seemed like a nice guy and he would maybe stay around the flat about three nights a week. I didn’t mind this as he always made sure he did not leave a mess and I never really noticed he was there,” says Christine.

But as the relationship got more serious Ben started to spend more time around Christine and Rebecca’s flat and personalities started to clash.

“Ben had always lived with his parents so he liked the idea of being able to stay over at our place but within a few months of their relationship getting serious Ben lost his job and was starting to spend a lot more time around the flat,” says Christine.

“He was there in the morning and there when I got in at night, I did feel sorry for him not having a job, but I didn’t like him being in the house while we were not in and he was also not contributing to the bills, he was becoming an additional housemate.

“It started to feel like I was living with a couple and I was an outsider, which is not what I had signed up for. Ben was also living at the house for free and was not contributing to any of the bills, which also annoyed me,” says Christine.

Confronting The Issue

“Tensions were starting to mount in the flat as I was finding it hard to hide my feelings, this had already resulted in a few arguments and I think Rebecca could tell I was annoyed,” says Christine.

Christine eventually decided that she would speak to Rebecca about her boyfriend. They sat down one night in a separate room from Ben and Christine tried to explain that although she liked Ben she didn’t really want him in the house everyday and if he was going to be then he would need to start paying some of the bills.

“At first Rebecca was not happy that I had confronted her about the issue, but after a small argument I think she could see where I was coming from and understood that I just wanted to live with her and had not signed up to live with Ben as well,” says Christine.

“Obviously it was her boyfriend and she loved him, but I felt I needed to say something. We agreed that Ben would spend a maximum of four nights around the flat and that he would not be in when we were both out at work,” says Christine.

It was frosty for a few months between them, but once everybody got used to the new arrangement Rebecca and Christine got on a lot better and Christine could enjoy Ben’s company once again.

Speaking to a flatmate about a problem you have with their partner can be tricky as they could see it as an assassination on their character as well.

You should be reasonable about the issue and even write down a couple of reasons as to why you are having problems. Make it clear it is not about your flatmate but their partner. If you are being reasonable they should understand and hopefully you should start enjoying living in your flat once again.

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