I am currently supporting a guy friend who is looking for a job by offering to let him live with me. It’s been 7 months now and he still hasn’t found one, for reasons that I completely understand. The problem is that my boyfriend wants me to throw my friend out of the house as he says it restricts his privacy with me. The idea of putting my friend who is in a difficult situation into a tougher situation is not easy for me. What is even more irritating is that my boyfriend didn’t want to live with me before. But when I suggested that we break up because I am getting tired of his demands in asking me to throw my friend out, he changed his mind and now he wants to live with me. I don’t know what to do. Please help!
Dear Live-In Friend,
The unfortunate reality is that there are only so many relationships that you can prioritize. You are well within your ability to support your friends, guy or girl, employed or unemployed, for however long you desire. However, the time or space that you devote to helping these friends will take away from the time or space that you can devote to other people. All relationships have costs. Many of them also have tremendous benefit. The challenge for you is to find the relationships that give you the right balance. Otherwise, you will likely find yourself overcommitted or under loved.
The question for you is how far you are willing to go in order to help out a friend in the context of your current relationships. You may decide that helping your friend in a tough spot is worth whatever costs you have with your boyfriend. You may also discover that you have given your friend tremendous help for these past 7 months and that it is coming time for him to find a new solution.
Regardless of whether this impromptu roommate has caused conflict or not, you likely can’t be his landlord forever.
Regardless of whether this impromptu roommate has caused conflict or not, you likely can’t be his landlord forever. I would begin looking towards an exit strategy for him so that you can have the space and energy needed to focus on your relationships, current boyfriend or not.
Dear Live-In Friend,
Hard times call for great friends and it sounds like you have been monumental in your friend’s journey during this season of life. But in 7 months, seasons have come and gone and it looks as though your friend has gotten a little too comfortable with the living situation. You don’t have to kick your friend to the curb, but unless you establish a timeline, he doesn’t look to be going anywhere.
Your boyfriend on the other hand seems envious of your time and a tad jealous by your live-in friend. Let’s flip the coin. If you were standing in your boyfriend’s shoes and were dealing with the same situation, how would you feel? This is your decision, but I would take a step back and consider how your partner is feeling too.
The best friends are there when times are the hardest and you have been a great friend.
It is important for you to determine what you want. Do you want the live-in friend to stay or go? What timeline do you see for that? Regardless of job (which could take 1 more day or more 1 year), I suggest you address the situation with both live-in and boyfriend, as it is obviously weighing on your relationship. I would have an open conversation about your living situation with your live-in friend and communicate a timeline. The best friends are there when times are the hardest and you have been a great friend. What do you want now?