How to diplomatically tell university friends we're not living with them again?
December 31, 2012 11:34 AM Subscribe
How to diplomatically tell university friends we're not living with them again? Group of friends live together one year and then go on exchange years, and upon returning for final year don't want to live with a certain friend - whereas he thinks everything is fine and rosy and the old arrangement will be repeated.
The core of our circle of friends, including me, lived together in a 7-person house in our second year of university. Now we've all split up doing different things, mostly on academic years abroad, and next year we'll be back in our university city. It's now the time when people start talking about housing arrangements.
3 of them have invited me to live with them, as they want a small house of 4 at the most, and enjoyed living with me in second year. However, for many reasons, my 3 friends XYZ don't feel the same about another former housemate, W. Partially because of his long-term girlfriend V, who they find it hard to be around, whereas I don't. And when W lived with us, it was basically taken as given that V did too, even if she officially lived somewhere else (she's not a student, so isn't exempt from certain taxes, which is why she'd prefer not to live with us/her boyfriend - doing so would mean we lose the tax exemption we got from being a student-only house) - so XYZ don't want a repeat of that. The remaining two housemates from second year are a couple, and happily living together and plan to continue.
VW are unaware that XYZ have made plans to live with me, and they're taking it as assumed that a similar set up to last year will be in place. How do I tell them that we won't be living with them? should I be tactful but honest and say something like 'It's because we want a small house, and the 4 of us feel compatible on a day to day livability basis, and it has no bearing on our friendship etc' - the thing is XYZ don't feel particularly close to W, partially due to the reasons mentioned above, whereas I do, but my closest friend is X, and I'd rather not live with W than not live with X next year.
It might seem laughable that i'm even asking this, but I've always tried to be as diplomatic as possible when it comes to tensions between people - in our circle of friends I've been 'delegated' a couple of times to talk to a friend if something they did was bothering the rest of us. And in a way I'm the only one this bothers, because XYZ aren't close enough to VW to care about feigning naivete in deliberately excluding them from living plans. so I'm in a bit of a fix. I'm also slightly nervous about this as the very fact that XYZ don't want to live with W will be the first unambiguous sign to W of how distant they feel from him.
I hope i've made things as clear as I could here. Also, while we're on the subject, there is another friend who we started getting to know towards the end of second year, and we think that he seems great, but XYZ don't want to risk living with him, as they feel they don't know him well enough, and it sounds a bit like he *maybe* has mild anger issues. Our general crowd will be meeting up in a few days (sans VW), when this friend will undoubtedly bring up whether he can live with us - how do we let him off gently? Is it a good idea to send him a message beforehand?
Sorry if this all seems hopelessly neurotic. thanks for reading!