Current Situation

My boyfriend of 5 months is currently living with me in my aparment. He moved in about 2.5 months ago, because he was kicked out by his roommate with a 2 week notice and completely out of the blue and since then, he has been living with me. We are both 24 and employed. I work a full time job while he works 15 hours a week but he is also still attending university.

If the reason of why he was kicked out is in any way important please say so and I will update this question. But since it is a long story I will skip this part for now.

I made sure to be clear on what I wanted when he moved in. I told him he could live with me for as long as he liked, but I would prefer it if he would eventually get his own place since our relationship is still very new (I just don't think you should move together after just 3 months). He agreed but also said he would be fine with staying at my place permanently. (To which i did not respond, since I already told him what i preferred)

Problems

We have not set any boundaries or rules on living together, since I thought this was only a temporary situation. And maybe it still is, but I do not know if he decided to just stay and ignore my preference or simply thinks that I got used to him living with me. There are now slowly things arising like:

  • him taking a shower when I need to get ready for work, while he has a day off (I came late to work because of that)
  • loud music when I need some peace and quiet
  • no more time alone in my apartment
  • a lot of laundry, dirty dishes, ..

And I do not know how to approach him about these things, since A) I do not want to suggest that he has to move out and B) he thinks he can stay because I am talking about long-term commitments.
I am not sure if A and B are in conflict to each other, but what I basically want is I don't want to "force" him to move out, nor do I want to invite him permanently into my place.

Goal

I want to keep a healthy relationship with him and eradicate the negative feelings I get when the problems from above arise.

I want to find a non-suggestive way of reminding him that I would still sort of prefer if he got his own place, without sounding like I want him to move out. And if he decided to stay, that there are things that need to change.

Summary

I guess he does not see the need of having to move out at all. If I was him I couldn't see a reason either. He lives rent-free, close to university, in a quiet area. Except for the weekends and evenings, he basically has a whole apartment to himself.

I am looking for an approach that won't hurt his feelings or suggest him to move out, but just to make him aware that there is a problem that needs solving. How do I correctly start up a conversation about this? What can I say or do so he knows he is free to stay with me forever if that is his wish (though it is not mine), but then we have to set up some rules?

And just for clearance: I would prefer it if he moved out. That means if he wants to stay with me I would accept that. But if he has no preference of staying/ moving then I would like for him to move out.

UPDATE

Thanks for all the answers and comments, I see now that I will have to talk about this with him openly if I want my issues solved properly.
As an addition, I will try to start a conversation about our current living situation and ask him if he is happy with everything so far. I have not considered the possibility that maybe he also has issues that he does not speak up about since he is basically only a guest.

  • I would include the reason he was kicked out as it might help build a more complete picture – Jon.G Nov 5 at 11:10
  • 1
    I think simply saying "I know the reason he was kicked out and don't see it causing any problems with us" should suffice. – Jesse Nov 5 at 23:59
up vote 12 down vote accepted

You should talk to him like you would to regular roommate. Sometimes people think they can get away with "regular stuff" because there is something more involved.
As almost all people will tell you: communication is the base of any healthy relationship.
You are fairly early in your relationship so not only you need to get to know each other but you also get to work with each other on things that don't work for you (like loud music).

  • You should set and communicate boundaries you wish to have. Tell him that because of your job you need to have bathroom unoccupied before you leave to work. And that it's your need not wish.
  • Your wish is that he would take dirty dishes to kitchen and put them in the sink. Explain why it's bothers you and why you want it your way.
  • Make a list of things you would like him to do or not do. Maybe he could prepare such list for you too.
  • Propose "alone time" for each other. You need time to process all that is happening between two of you alone, or with friends (if he don't have them it's a good opportunity for him to seek it while looking for a new hobby)
  • Think if the reason he was kicked out by his ex-roommate should be a red flag for you.
  • An obvious red flag temporary things tend to become permanent. And in your case it's in his best interest if it became permanent. No rent (check your bills how they spiked up), close to university (so as long as he's studying he don't need to pay for transport). In your both best interest is that you live apart from some time so you can find things to bond over with rather then going straight to problems of everyday living together.
  • 1
    Thank you, I have accepted this answer because it helped me sort out clearly the things that I wanted to do from the things I didn't want to do. +1 for "temporary things tend to become permanent" I will definitely keep this in mind! – S. Tea Nov 6 at 12:58

The item that jumped out at me was

no more time alone in my apartment

Almost anything else can be dealt with by drawing up rules (take out the trash, no showering at time X, etc). But if you are feeling like "I really need my space" unless you are in a big apartment, you need him to move out.

So you need to be direct. Plan a talk at some "quiet time" when you are both comfortable. You said that when he moved in, you made it clear that he should get his own place, that this was just a temporary solution. Just go through that again and set up some timeline to make it real. Obviously he is very comfortable, so unless you take action, nothing is going to change.

Also make it clear that this isn't a "breakup", it's just what you need right now. If he cares about you, that should be enough. If he cares more about his own comfort than he does about you, you've learned something important.

TLDR

As you expressed it in several ways, I would suggest that you stick to the idea of him moving out.

Have a heathly relationship also means telling when things are not okay.

Make him a short time guest. He needs to respect your conditions, but when he comes its a special moment together.

Suggest the benefits of both having your own place. You will have plenty of time to move out together later.

My Experience

I am myself, a messy person. My roommate (girl) considers that cleaning our apartment is very important. As we are both equal (we pay equal share, hold equal responsability) in this apartment, I have to consider it.

We have set a few rules, that allow everyone to be happy. Obviously, cleaning benefits everyone, but I'm not honestly sure I would be cleaning as much if I was living on my own.

We made such arrangements, among others, so everyone is happy. because we are both roommates.

Your Problem

But you're not really in a roommate situation -> You are in a relation, and he is a guest.

How he ended up in your place, or why you actually want him to move out, is less important than the simple fact that he is living at your place.

You actually don't share the weight, you have it all, and this could create some drama if you let this grow.

He may be taking things for granted, and is happy about this current situation, but if you express your concerns, he will probably take them into consideration.

Possible Solutions

If you really want a healthy relation, you have to discuss about your concerns. If you don't express your feelings, he has no sign that there is any problem.

You have to sound that you want him to move out, because you simply want him to move out. But that's not a bad thing, and you can/will show him why.

Take a time when you're both in a good mood, and have a few hours to have this discussion. Be ready to comfort him. He might firstly thinks something is very wrong. It would be actually useful to demonstrate your affection so he understands everything is fine.

I wouldn't advise you to mention the past roommate story, as this is not relevant (you are both in couple and he is your guest) and this might create some negative thoughts.

You: I am very glad to have you here, and I really care about you (and/or I love you). I won't argue that.

State the basics, you obviously care about him very much.

You: We are together, but I feel like, at this moment, we could both have benefits to have our own place.

This is the tricky part. Don't let this discussion become arguments vs arguments, because it's not! You're both on the same side.

You: You will always be welcome here, actually, I really expect you to stay several days a week because I want you by my side.

You: And I hope you will invite me as well.

Him: But why should I leave then?

You: I want to keep spending most of the day with you. So no one really leaves.

You: I don't want us to see each other because of habits! I care about you and I want to see more about your own world.

Nobody is leaving, you will spend most of the time together. This also means you can organize your time as you wish.

Point that he will have more freedom, by saying that he will make all the decision in his apartment.

You're both in for the long run, and you are okay about the idea of living together. But you will have to find a good place, discuss about rules, and set up a stable situation.

These are in my opinion the difference between moving together and him moving at your place!

Home & Rules

If he becomes a "short" time guest, you will have less weight. Actually, the guest statut will have more meaning. When you stay at his place, you will do thing his way, and the same will apply at his place.

By giving him the right to make you follow his rules at his place, you get the same rights in your own place when he visits.

  • 2
    Thank you, I have not considered the guest status at all! I have always seen him as someone with equal rights, but that might have been a mistake. I will keep this in mind when I talk with him tonight. – S. Tea Nov 6 at 12:43

I would prefer it if he moved out. That means if he wants to stay with me I would accept that.

For discussions you should draw a clear line in this statement.
Telling to accept gives him an argument to stay. But for you this means you are not really ok with it, you'd only try to take it calmly. But looking closer you want him to move out actually.
How long do you think this will work? Things already are not so "calm". You see problems arising, will they resolve? I don't think so.

So if you talk to him address the problems you see. Don't say "but if you want..." because this is an end of discussion for him.
Help him to find a place, don't set a too tight timeline but stay tuned to the situation. Make clear to him that the situation will evolve to not accepting this any more.

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