How much notice is enough notice?
September 3, 2012 11:50 PM Subscribe
Ettiquette for inviting people over when cohabiting.
posted by ZeroDivides to Human Relations (49 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
My SO prefers to have the option for spontaneity when inviting his friends over to visit. I would prefer advanced notice so that I can make sure the house is at its best and I am dressed and can plan around the disruption (I work from home). My SO feels that this is unfair and results in not being able to have his friends over as often as he would like, since he is not really a planner.
In my perfect world, he would give me a day's notice when having guests over, but I realize that's unrealistic. In my SO's perfect world, he would not have to let me know at all but could just come over with his friends without worrying that I will be upset. Barring that, he'd prefer to call me when he is en route (about 10 minutes in advance) to let me know he and his friends are coming.
Where is the middle ground? I'd be happy with an hour or two (unless someone will be spending the night, then a bit more so I can arrange linens and bath towels and things) but he finds this limits the chance to spontaneously decide, "hey let's go play games at my place while we wait for the movie to start" etc., which I think has been how he tended to socialize before he and I met.
I don't want to be a wet blanket but the idea of guests descending upon me when I'm not really dressed for the day and may be in the middle of something else is upsetting to me.
We also have a cat, who is a fur-puller, so even though I'm not lax with the vacuuming, if I don't vacuum before guests come over (even if I vacuumed that morning) it looks like a cat exploded in our house, and it seems rude to have people into that kind of situation. (The cat is being treated by a vet, but it's slow going.) Our house is not a sty, but if people are coming over I'd like to run the vacuum and make sure all the dishes are in the dishwasher, that kind of thing. I am the sole cleaner for various reasons, and I think part of the dynamic here is that he thinks I should keep the house ready for guests at any time, which is a nice idea, but I feel is unrealistic.
This came to a head today when I was cooking a big batch of stew and the kitchen was a mess, and he called to tell me he and his friends were coming over and would arrive in 5 to 10 minutes. I hadn't really dressed for the day and I panicked when he called, since I couldn't really finish the stew and make myself presentable at the same time. Now he is angry and I am upset (since due to my reaction, he felt that he had to cancel his plans). There has to be a compromise in here somewhere.
I know every relationship is different, but he feels like I am being totally unrealistic, and I'm starting to feel like I don't know what a realistic arrangement would look like at all.