What to do when your flatmate's Significant Other moves in
Remember when your flatmate suddenly became two flatmates overnight, and there was nothing you could say about it?
No, we’re not referring to them growing another limb – although it’ll probably feel a little like that. We’re talking about the Significant Other. The person that finally tamed your flatmate and made them into a hopeless romantic. The one you’ll see them with all the time, cuddled on your sofa, or even if you don’t you’ll definitely hear them... #GROSS
It can certainly be frustrating when your flatmate suddenly abandons ship on your weekly pizza and movie night and starts spending every waking minute with their new bae. But it’s even more frustrating when said new bae starts spending ALL their time at your place, effectively becoming a new flatmate minus the rent/bill/food contributions.
Sound familiar? Here are some suggestions to help you handle it (with your flatmate relationship still intact).
1. Work out the damage
If your flatmate’s S.O. is genuinely starting to take liberties when it comes to money (staying over ALL the time, taking advantage of your living space/tumble drier, using the milk up etc), you’re well within your rights to ask for a contribution. If you’re not comfortable speaking directly to their partner, go via your flatmate who will be able to pass the message on in softer tones.
Approach this one from a negotiator’s standpoint (i.e. “Would you be okay to chip in a little for toilet roll?”), rather than an accusatory stance (“You owe us £50 every month from now on”). This will give both your flatmate and their partner the chance to think about the real cost and impact that the situation is having on the wider group. They probs hadn’t even considered it until now…
2. Set some boundaries
Desperate to get stuck in to a new boxset, but can’t get on the sofa because love’s young dream are draped across it EVERY SINGLE NIGHT? Let’s do something about it.
This can feel like a petty topic but it comes down to simple facts: you’re in a flat share. Which means the common areas are shared. It’s as unreasonable for your flatmate + bae to hog the TV every night as it would be for you to fill the oven with pizzas around the clock so nobody else could use it.
Again: communication is key, and in this situation there’s no reason why a compromise can’t be reached. First, make them aware of when your priority TV-watching time is and let them share their schedule too. This way you can stay out of each other’s way when it’s time for House of Cards (or Pretty Little Liars).
Or if their public displays of affection don’t nauseate you too much, you could try third-wheeling on a few of your fave shows together. Because nothing is more bonding than a good binge watch.
3. Try to move forward
Once you’ve voiced your concerns to your flatmate (i.e you’re not really up for having a live-in squatter that’s not contributing), and hopefully reached a compromise… it’s time to move on. Whatever the outcome, you can’t hold a grudge about it forever.
If they’re still around the house a lot (with all due consideration and financial reimbursement, of course), why not try getting to know their Significant Other a little better? There’s gotta be a reason why your flatmate likes them so much.
And after all: you like your flatmate, your flatmate likes you, and your flatmate also likes their partner… therefore it’s mathematically impossible for you guys to not get along, right? Who knows, you might wind up with a brand new bestie (as well as a flatmate)...