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

How to Stop Being Jealous of Your Friend’s Success

You’re scrolling through the status update and then you see it. Your friend, glass of bubbly in hand and the caption “Woohoo, just got another promotion at work. So happy”

How does that make you feel?

I can tell you, a few years ago I would have reacted very differently to how I do now. Sure, I’d be happy for my friend. But there would also be a sense of “why her. Why not me?”

 

Jealously is one mean bitch.

As much as we love our friends and want to celebrate their success, it’s hard to not get jealous when one friend earns more than us.

We question what they’ve done to deserve it. And we worry that we’re not going to ever be as successful as them (as if success is something finite).

I’ve had to work quite hard to stop comparing myself to others. I wouldn’t say I’m a jealous person, but I did used to get uncomfortable when something great happened to a friend. Getting a payrise, buying a house, even getting engaged or married – these things can all bring up negative feelings about our own lives and what we have achieved.

Sure jealously never completely goes away. But I’ve learnt over the past few years how to stop being jealous and to turn those feelings into something positive.

Ask Yourself What Are You Really Jealous Of

Say you’re envious about a friend who’s recently got a payrise or new job. I doubt you actually want her job, so ask yourself what it is that you are really jealous of.

Is it because she seems to be taking great leaps in her career while you’re stuck in the same cubicle you’ve been for the past 8 years? Or maybe it’s because she’s doing something she loves, while you’ve lost all the passion you had for your job.

Once you understand what you’re actually jealous of, turn those feelings around. Work on making yourself stand out at work to start getting those awesome projects. Update your LinkedIn to let people know you’re looking for new opportunities and to let you know if something comes up.

Feeling jealous of other people while doing nothing to change your own life is just wasted energy. So use that energy to find your own passion and then put every effort into making your own success.

Recognise What They’ve Sacrificed to Get There

Sometimes we get jealous because we think that our friends have had it ‘easy’. We only see the success, and don’t see the struggle on the way there. You forget that your friend has spent many late nights at the office to get ahead. Or that she spent her weekends studying for the degree she needed to get a new job.

Then ask yourself if you’d be willing to make those same sacrifices. If you do want the same success as them, then you’ve got to start putting in the work.

And if you realise that actually, “hey I like my weekends and would rather come home at 5pm each day”, then that’s totally cool. We all have different priorities and it’s up to us to decide what we are willing to give up to achieve our goals.

Get Them Off Your Radar

Sometimes there are people that are going to make you feel envious no matter what. Maybe it’s the woman whose dad buys her a new car every year. Or the person who never seems to put a foot wrong.

Thanks to places like Facebook, it’s even easier to find yourself confronted by these people every day. You don’t even know them well (or even like them), but somehow you get jealous of every post they share.

Sure, we can remind ourselves that social media only shows the best parts of someone’s life. But that still doesn’t stop those feelings of jealousy when we see yet another post about how awesome their jet-setting lifestyle is.

The answer to this is as simple as it is obvious – unfollow them (or at the very least hide their posts on your feed). There’s no reason to follow people online who make you feel bad and who don’t add to your life in any way.

I’ve unfriended a whole bunch of people over the years because I decided I just didn’t want to know what was going on in their (fabulous) lives.

So if you’re sick of hearing about Becky’s amazing week at her glamorous job, hit that little button right now. I promise I won’t judge.

Have you ever been jealous of a friend’s salary or job? How did you cope with it? Let us know in the comments below.