My roommate and I both moved in to the apartment a few months ago. Her long-term boyfriend lives two hours away -- I knew about this beforehand, and was prepared for frequent visits. But it's exceeded my expectations, and I don't feel very comfortable.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (33 answers total)
He's here every weekend for 2-3 nights. She's busy, so he lounges around (sweating profusely) on the couch all day. Fine -- I figure I'll chat with him, get to know him a bit, and we'll share the space cordially. I ask him something about himself, and he get shifty, avoids eye contact, answers in monosyllables, and doesn't ask any questions back or continue the conversation. I try that several times, give up, and retreat into my room or go out, even if I'd rather be putzing around in the kitchen or whatever.
I've had several roommates, and I'm used to compromising on stuff like this. But these two seem to believe it's their apartment, not hers and mine. She moved in two months before me (though we were both on the lease and splitting rent). Boyfriend helped her move, and they got a lot of the common area furniture and utilities set up, so I can see how they feel some ownership of the place. Still, I know it sounds silly, but I get annoyed when they start talking -- to me and others -- about their oven breaking or plans to rearrange their living room or why they chose this apartment, without referring to me at all or asking for my input.
His mother visited last weekend and slept on the couch. I wasn't given a heads up, and they didn't introduce me to her when she came. (I did introduce myself briefly when I ran into her.) I would have felt differently if it was my roommate's mother, but I thought this was stretching things. This weekend, they had friends over (again, with no heads up), and midway, when I went to get something from the kitchen and said hi, the friends expressed surprise that there was someone living here other than the roommate+boyfriend -- my existence hadn't even been acknowledged!
Tangent: My roommate has a kitten. She works long hours, and I love cats, so I spend a lot of time with it when I'm home. She's not as particular about hygiene as I am, so I offered to help with scooping -- and as expected, I've ended up doing all the litterbox work. That's fine, though it would be nice if she pitched in. But sometimes, when the boyfriend's here and the kitten comes to my room or follows me around, he'll pointedly pick it up and move it away, or start distracting it with toys. I don't know if he thinks he's doing me a favor by not letting it disturb me or what, but it's hurtful. I know it's her cat, and by extension his, but I spend enough time caring for it that he can't possibly grudge it playing with me.
I've tried reaching out to my roommate: asking her about her day regularly, inviting her (+bf) out for dinner or movies, etc., hoping that if we get to be sort-of friends, things will fall into place. She's polite but not forthcoming.
(To pre-empt the inevitable comment about how I'm jealous of their relationship -- just, no. I have a happy long-term relationship, long-distance at the moment, and I really don't care if someone is partnered up. And I'm not interested in having him pitch in for utilities or what-not.)
I know people have posted on Metafilter with much worse roommate SO stories, and this sounds trivial, but I guess I've had the good fortune to live with respectful people in the past and it's bothering me. I wouldn't want to make him feel unwelcome, but I don't want to feel like an unwelcome guest when he's here either.