How to Be a Considerate Flatmate When Your Boyfriend Stays Over

Relationships are great, aren’t they? You’ve finally found someone to curl up with on the couch watching movies on a Friday night. Who’ll happily make you bacon and eggs on a Sunday morning. Heck, you’re so comfortable that you’re happy to let them see you schlepping around the house wearing your daggy trackies.

Yep, being in love is great.

Unless you’re the unlucky flatmate of one half of the loved-up couple. Then it can get kinda. fucking. annoying.

Look, I totally get it. You want to spend time with your new boyfriend*. And his place isn’t nearly as nice as yours (I’ve seen some pretty nasty showers in my time).

And I’m sure your boyfriend is super nice to your flatmate. Offers her a glass from the bottle of wine he brought over. And always asks before changing the channel to the footy.

But when your apartment has become the love nest, all that loving can mean your flatmate starts to feel like the third wheel.

How do I know this? Well, I’ve been on both sides of the situation. So I wanted to offer up my little pearls of wisdom to make sure that everyone in the relationship keeps feeling the love.

How to Be a Considerate Flatmate When Your Boyfriend Stays Over

1. Housemates Get Priority Over Guests in the Bathroom. Always.

In the morning (especially on a work day) everyone’s trying to balance that fine line between sleeping in as long as possible, and getting optimum time in the bathroom to look half decent before rushing out the door.

Adding an extra person into the morning bathroom waltz is always going to be tricky and a major cause of friction. If you each have your own bathroom, then this isn’t an issue and you can move on.

But if your house guest needs to use a bathroom that’s also used by housemates, then I’m sorry but they basically have zero rights. They either have to get up and out before the other housemates, or wait until everyone else has finished.

You and your boyfriend can however get around this by using the 2-for-1 clause. If you can both get ready in the bathroom in the same time that it would take one of you to get ready, then go for it. Yes, this may mean showering together (hey, you’ve already seen each other naked, right?).

2. Regular Seating Arrangements Must be Respected

This is especially true if you’ve brought your boyfriend into a long established apartment. Everyone will have their favourite spot to sit around watching television. Make sure you’re boyfriend knows which seats are out of bounds. So you may not get to snuggle together on the comfy couch if the left corner is your flatmates favourite spot. But the harmony that will be brought about by separating from each other for an hour or so will be so worth it.

The exception is of course when your flatmate has indicated she’ll be out for the evening. Then you are quite welcome to occupy her seat for the entirety of your Breaking Bad marathon.

3. Give the Housemate a Break

Even the most respectful partner can start to feel as welcome as a weird rash on an tropical holiday annoying after a while. More so if you’re on the outside of the relationship and have no say in how the relationship progresses.

So no matter how much your flatmate says she’s fine with it, if your boyfriend is spending every waking minute (and the sleeping ones too) at your apartment, then she’s going to get pissed off.

Instigate a seven-three rule. That means that out of every seven days, your partner is only able to sleep over for three nights. The rest of the time can be spent at his place. Or why not give each other a little break and just hang out with your flattie like you did pre-relationship.

4. Have Him Contribute to Household Costs

Ah yes. The money issue. Sharing an apartment is often a decision based on expenses – namely, saving money. So when an extra person is seemingly enjoying the benefits of living in your share house, without contributing to the costs, resentment can build.

If your partner is spending a significant amount of time at your place, then he should be contributing at least something to the shared expenses. What that contribution is can be hard to determine, but might be putting money towards the utility bills (electricity, gas, internet) or paying a token amount of rent.

Even a small amount of money goes some way to acknowledging the fact that you boyfriend is somewhat of an inconvenience to your flatmate.

And if things are going really well, and you’ve been doing the sleepovers for a while, then perhaps it’s time to start talking about getting your own place together.

*Note: I use the term boyfriend because that is my experience, however this could apply to same-sex relationships as well. Just wanted to acknowledge that, y’all.

Have you ever had to deal with a housemate’s boyfriend staying over too much? What other things should I include to make sure everyone stays happy?

Image credit: Flickr/Library and Archives Canada

Do I Need a Will If I’m Young, Single and Broke?

If Hollywood movies have taught me anything, it’s that Wills are a quirky plot device to be used by writers of romance and comedy movies to set up their stories and lead to a happy, yet expected ending.

Okay, so Wills are a necessity for more than just kooky rich relatives.

Having a Will means that your assets are distributed in a way that makes sense to you, taking into account dependents, friends and even causes that you care about.

But what about if you have very few assets to your name and no dependents to speak of?

Do I Really Need a Will If I'm Single, Young and Broke

Do you really need a Will if you are young, single and broke?

A little while ago I stood firmly in the ‘no’ camp. Although my possessions mean a lot to me, I really doubt my family is going to fight over my scooter and laptop once I’m gone. And I’ve got (comparatively) very little in the way of investments and liquid assets. Sure, I’ve got a bit of life insurance through super, but other than that I’ve very little to my name.

I figured that if I were to leave this party early, my family could just sort out what happened to everything pretty amicably.

So like I said, writing a will wasn’t even on my radar.

And then I talked to my Mum. I’ll tell you what, having a lawyer in the family is both a blessing and a curse. After telling her that I didn’t have a Will yet, I got a ten-minute lecture on how important it is to have one even if you are broke and young.

[Sidenote: How old is too old to still be getting lectured by your parents?]

Anyway, my Mum did bring up some valid points so here’s a few reasons why you should consider writing a Will.

1. You have a significant Significant Other

My boyfriend and I took the step of moving in together earlier this year. We haven’t combined our finances or set up a joint bank account or anything yet. But obviously our relationship is getting more serious and we’re starting to talk more about our future life together.

As my Mum pointed out to me, if one of us were to die now, the other person would sort of be in limbo financially. Sure, it would suck to lose my boyfriend. But it would also be really horrible to have to pay for our joint expenses on my own, have to move out of the house, and even try to figure out what happens to furniture and other stuff we’ve brought into the relationship.

So as your relationship progresses and more of your life and finances become entwined, it’s important to work out what should happen if one of you were to die. For example, will you leave each other money to set up at a new place or cover joint expenses?

2. You have a close relationship with non-dependents

If you die without a Will, you are considered to have died intestate, and your assets will be distributed according to a standard set out by the Trustee in your state.

If you’re single, your assets will generally be given to your parents or siblings. But that may not be what you want to happen.

I’ve got a (gorgeous) niece and nephew and I’d like to leave them something to help out with their education or buy a house down the track.

Without a Will, I’d have to depend on my family to just know this is what I want. But if it’s included in a Will then I know they’ll get the money and it will be used in the way I want.

3. You want to leave money to charity

If you’ve got a cause close to your heart, you might want to leave some money to a charity that supports it. You can include charitable bequests in your Will so you know that your money will go towards a cause that you care deeply about.

You can also include in your Will certain things that you want to have happen at your funeral or wake (like no playing ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’).

How to Write a Will

Writing a Will isn’t all that hard. The hardest thing is gathering together details of all your assets and expenses and then working out where you want it to go.

You can buy a Will Kit from your state trustee and this will take you through all the requirements. It’s important that your Will is witnessed by two people who aren’t beneficiaries.

Although my Mum pointed out that if you want to make sure that everything is done right, it’s probably better to get a lawyer to draw it up for you. This obviously isn’t the cheapest option.

After You’ve Got a Will

You’ll need to review it regularly. Things change. Maybe you get married, buy a house, have children or buy or sell assets.

Review your will each time you have a big life change (plus maybe annually too), to make sure that it still reflects your situation. In fact, a Will is automatically revoked if you get married so you’ll definitely want to review it if that happens.

Sure, thinking about what will happen once you die isn’t the funnest thing. But it is important. And once it’s done, that’ll be one less thing your Mum can nag you about.

Right, I’m off to figure out what I want in my Will. In the meantime, tell us if you have a Will yet? What made you decide to write one?

Photo credit: Flickr/keremtapani