When a Roommate Takes a Lover. And They Want the Place to Themselves.
Roommates aren't just for college kids. Plenty of adults live with a platonic friend, to save money, to feel safer, or just to have someone to hang with when there's nothing to do.
But what if one roommate falls in love? Not with the other roommate, which is its own special kind of super flipping awkward, but with someone new? And they are so in love, they want to move in together. And the only thing standing in the way of their gross happiness is the third wheel, the roommate who's still on the lease, and not in the mood to move out or to pay the whole lease alone.
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It happens a lot. ("A lot" is based on no scientific research whatsoever, just anecdotal evidence from people we know, and passive aggressive Facebook posts. In fact, most of the quotes below are based on real life, with all the identifying details changed, because vengeful roommates are the worst.)
Getting rid of a roommate so you can shack up with your main squeeze is kind of rude, but there are times when it has to be done. There's no perfect way to do it, but we've listed some options, in order of least to most likely being able to maintain a friendship with the odd man (or woman) out.
Make out on the sofa, the one your roommate inherited from his grandmother. Shower together, and don't be shy about making all the noise you want. After all, you want your roommate to know how happy you are, right? Talk in baby voices to each other over coffee every morning.
Make sure your boyfriend or girlfriend leaves hair all over the bathroom, never replaces the toilet paper, and drinks orange juice straight from the carton.
Honestly? You might be able to skip it all and just do the baby voices. Most people will move out if subjected to extreme baby voices.
Keep trying to set your roommate up with your new squeeze's friends
Say things like, "It'll be so much fun if we can double date!"
Talk about how much fun it is to be in love. Feel free to completely disregard your roommate's gender preference. Just try to set them up at all costs. Things will get super awkward fast.
Have your new squeeze break the news
Leave the house, and let your boyfriend or girlfriend tell your roommate that they have to go. It won't be pretty, but you'll be at the bar with your friends, so what do you care?
Leave a note, and go out of town on a romantic vacation
"As you may have noticed, Chad and I are in love, and looking forward to starting our lives together right away. Please move your things out ASAP, so we can get on with it. Headed to Cabo. See you Monday! (Unless you're already gone, which would be totally fine with us.) Byeeeeee!"
Just don't expect to find your television, the sofa, or any dishes left when you get back.
See if you can make it work as a threesome
Um, no, not that kind of threesome (though if you propose one, that's a pretty good way to send your roommate running for the hills).
If you're all willing to set some ground rules, a third roommate could save everyone some money. Make sure you agree on how the rent and utilities will be divided, and how space will be shared. Get specific about things like food and common areas.
It may seem silly, but you'll save yourself some misery later if expectations are clear. This option can be a nightmare, but every now and then, it works. It helps if your roommate and your partner share an easy friendship already.
Your roommate may have been thinking of moving on anyway.
For all you know, they've been dying to get out of the lease so they could move in with another friend, one with a sweet condo downtown.
Start the conversation when your boyfriend or girlfriend isn't there, so it doesn't seem like you're ganging up. Your roommate might already have another opportunity in mind, or he or she may want to take over the whole lease while you find another place.
You need to start the conversation, and remember that you're the one who's making a change.
Put on the brakes
Make sure you aren't making the move to Shack-ramento with your new love too soon. If your roommate is a friend, you don't want to alienate them.
If this is "The One," you'll pull through, and you'll want your friends around for the wedding.
Consider living separately, and taking a few fun vacations together, maybe even splurging on an in-town hotel every now and then, if you want to enjoy more privacy. If you're going to spend the rest of your lives together, you have plenty of time to argue about closet space later.
Let the lease run its course
As soon as you know you're ready to move in with your new love, talk to your roommate about what will happen when the lease is up.
Be open to letting them keep the place if they want to find a new roommate or live alone. Remember that you're the one looking forward to something great.
Give your roommate as much notice as possible, so they have time to consider their options. Treat them like you'd want to be treated. And bask in the glory of knowing that your boyfriend or girlfriend will love seeing how kind and fair you are to your friends!
So, has this ever happened to you? What did you do? And did your friendship crash and burn or do you still get together and talk about how much fun it was when you lived in the old place?