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I live alone and I just love it. I have a girlfriend (of 5 years) who I also love, and since the start of our relationship I've told her that "living together would not happen."

To make a long story short -- her parents are getting divorced and she will be homeless. So she told me she will move into my house, until she finds a place to live. Two months, she said.

I'm glad to help and I know she is in a time of need. However I'm terrified by the prospect of things getting too comfortable and staying that way.

What if she does not look for a place? If it takes too long, how can I tell her I still want her to leave? How can I make her leave without breaking up? How can I enforce that this is a temporary thing without hurting our relationship? How can I make it clear without looking like I'm constantly trying to evict her?

To be clear, I like our relationship (that's what I'm trying to preserve) but I just don't believe in living together. I guess she understands my position, I'm just looking for a way to keep it clear and not let plans change over time.

My reasons: I like having my own space, my house is my kingdom, I love the silence, the loneliness, the freedom. Sorry if that sounds selfish, but that's it.

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    Can you add a location tag? Answers may change depending on your culture. – scohe001 Nov 22 at 15:48
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    'How can I make it clear without looking I'm constantly trying to evict her?' but that's exactly what you seem to want to do – BKlassen Nov 22 at 17:27
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    @BKlassen "without looking" is the key here. – hundredcats Nov 22 at 17:33
  • @BKlassen in this case both people are agreeing to living together for two months. Asking the girlfriend to abide by what she agreed to is different than "evicting" someone. – DaveG Nov 26 at 14:04
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    @DaveG Two months of continual habitation, especially if she chips in on rent/utilities/other necesities might literally make her a tenant. OP might want to ask over at law.se. Regardless of the legalities (which don't really matter from an IPS perspective), if she feels like she's being kicked to the curb after 2 months it's a distinction without a difference because her opinion is the one that matters here. – pip install Monica Nov 26 at 18:08
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I dated someone for several years who was upfront about the fact that they never wanted to live with a romantic partner. Although I understood and respected their decision, it was still hurtful for me because I love spending time with them and I ultimately do want to live with a romantic partner. (Due to that and several other long-term incompatibilities, we are no longer dating, but still close friends.)

They did in fact end up living with me for a month while they were between leases, and it didn't go very well, in part due to the fact that I was hoping for it to be a "romantic couple living together" situation, while they were trying to set clear boundaries and hoping for it to be over as soon as possible.


You don't mention how long you've been dating. Have you and your girlfriend discussed where you each want your relationship to go long-term? If not, this might be the time to sit down together in person have that conversation, even if it feels a bit early, because it seems like you need to re-assert your boundaries and make it clear that you do not want to live with her. The fact that you say she 'informed' you that she will move in with you, rather than asking you, concerns me that she is not respectful of your boundaries. Is your girlfriend at peace with your desire to live alone, or is it painful for her and she's hanging around hoping that you'll change your mind?

If she's using this situation as an opportunity to slide into a living-together situation, it could end badly and it's better to be on the same page upfront. As someone who's been more-or-less in your girlfriend's position, a conversation like this is what I would have wanted -- even though that conversation would probably be very unpleasant for me, it would save me a lot of anguish in the long run.

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My wife and I both lived alone for a very long time before we got together. It wasn't necessarily by choice, just circumstances; and while neither of us had a lifelong goal to live alone as you do, we both enjoy some space. I would say that we can now fully appreciate and acknowledge the benefits of living alone, but also the benefits of being together as a couple.

Because my wife and I are both alike in this respect - both know the benefits of being a couple, but also the need for space - we enjoy our time together more because neither of us feels that we will never have any personal space ever again. Either of us can disappear into our own space (I've got a music studio, we also have two living rooms with TVs if we want to watch something the other isn't interested in) and both of us feel comfortable going away for a weekend with our friends, leaving the other behind. Truth is though, that just knowing we can do that is often enough - in reality, we choose to spend way more time together than we do alone.

To try and change your mind about the benefits of living together would likely be pointless and out of the scope of your question, but you may not have considered the possibility that you can have an adequate measure of all the things you mentioned - the quiet, the freedom etc - even as a couple. That would all depend on whether your girlfriend is actually of the same mind as you on the matter of personal space. But that question is really the answer to your stated problem anyway - is it her long-term goal to live alone, too? If not, then what you have together might have a limited lifespan anyway. If she really wants to live with you and is with you in the hope you will one day change your mind, she may well try to stay in your house longer than proposed. If though she also wants the arrangement you have laid out before her long-term then she will already be looking for her own place to live.

So this isn't really a frame-challenge, but I do feel that the conversation you should be having is more about the long-term future than just this next 2 months.

  • Re-state your feelings on living alone
  • State that you don't believe your feelings will ever change on this
  • Say that you are happy for her to stay temporarily while she looks for somewhere else
  • Be prepared for her to re-think the entire relationship

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