Living in my new place, given an opportunity to move to another place.
February 8, 2018 11:13 AM   Subscribe

The new place I'm living at isn't working out the way I hoped it would. Was given the opportunity to move to a new apartment, but big pros and cons, so unsure how to proceed.

I moved. At the beginning, it seemed like a really nice room, a really good deal. I'm now having second thoughts. I don't feel very comfortable with my roommate, due to having anxiety issues - not his fault, but it's me. I now realize I may have jumped impulsively into it because I felt the pressure from my former landlord to decide whether or not to move, and I focused on the bedroom/bathroom, without really looking at the other signs. Here's what's bothering me:

a) My roommate is very messy. He leaves dirty dishes all over the place, he leaves his laundry in both the washer and dryer and leaves clothes strewn all around. The trash basket overflowed a few times, and the only way to throw trash is through his room.
b) I noticed on the television that the Comcast bill was past due. He hasn't communicated with me about bills (which he is responsible for), which is making me anxious. Anything money-related makes me anxious. That past due was a red flag, but it seemingly was solved, because our service wasn't cut (yet).
c) Despite us agreeing initially that toilet supplies (toilet paper, etc) was on our own, he asked me for a toilet paper roll. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things - we all run out every now and then, but I'm worried this is leading to a pattern. Here's why...
d) ...He used my butter in the butter dish I put in the kitchen, without my permission. It may seem petty of me - but he didn't ask, and he used my butter without asking, assuming it was okay.
e) He didn't give me a lot of storage in the kitchen for my food, etc., so I had to make do. His dishes, etc., were pretty dirty, so I had to buy plastic plates/bowls, etc., for myself. (In all fairness to him, I'm a major germphobe, so that's not entirely his fault. Also, our condo does not have a pantry.)
f) I bought a dish rack/mat for dishes to be dried on; previously, a rag was on the counter. When I showed it to him, he kind of just nodded and didn't seem happy about it for whether reason. That could have been a lapse in communication, though, or different hearing/deaf culture norms.
g) He leaves the lights on a lot. I'm concerned about a high electricity bill.
h) Sometimes I smell weed. It's not him, not his fault, it's from the surrounding area. The smell bothers me.

I'm sure most of you are thinking... duh? Simple solution for almost all those issues - talk to him? Ask him questions? The thing here (and this is not me making excuses, even though it probably will appear that way) is that I've been doing a lot of self-analysis lately, and I realized my childhood made me who I am, and my parcopresis was caused by past bullying experiences. So, to sum it up the best I could, I've always tried to avoid conflict and tried to keep things smooth by not communicating because of my fear of being yelled at, or holding it in (which you probably can tell by my previous posts), AND this fear is tied in with my parcopresis, because I realized that my parcopresis clenches me up when there's a conflict, when people are mad at me, or if I feel I have caused a situation. That's why I became all avoidant. I don't know if that makes any sense to you, but there you go.

So, with my new roommate, I honestly feel paralyzed. I know it's weird. He has this super-chill vibe, maybe a bit too chill, and I kind of get the sense that he won't change/do anything. I could be wrong, but that's the vibe I get. Every time, before I get home, I feel anxious, for no explainable reason. I kind of bolt straight to my room and stay there and try to avoid him. I just don't feel comfortable with him. I think the problem is I feel no structure with him - no clear, defined roommate roles. I must be so used to my previous roommate situation. I have no idea if that makes any sense to you.

Again, to make it clear - my thoughts are kind of jumbled, so bear with me - he's a nice guy so far. I think it's the lapse of communication between us, my scars from my previous roommate situation, and my own anxiety that makes things really hard. I also kind of feel like I'm butting into his space, as he lived there for 2-3 years, I think. I just feel paralyzed and am terrified of talking to him, terrified that he'd look at me as a problem roommate, so I've been taking the avoidant/hide-in-my-room routine. Not healthy, I know, but it's all tied with my comfort and parcopresis. Complicated, I know. Stepping out of my comfort zone and my old living situation for 5+ years was a really big upheaval for me, bigger than I expected, I think.

I'm completely lost what to do. My friend recently told me that she was leaving her old apartment, which is much closer to where I work, and it'd be all mine, for $1075+utilities a month (currently, I pay $1200+utilities). Big con of the apartment? No laundry, which is almost a deal-breaker for me as I don't have a car and the closest laundromat is about 15-20 minutes away. Ubering/lyfting once a week to the laundromat would be expensive. It's also big and unfurnished, and I don't have much to my name right now other than my clothes and other miscellaneous items, and a few cookingware items. I can't exactly afford a bed, couch, etc.

My friend needs to know ASAP if I can move so she can give her landlord notice. I'm extremely torn because it'd be wonderful to have my own space (finally!) and 100% control of my environment, but the lack of accessible laundry and having to buy everything myself is giving me pause. I'm very fortunate, though, that the current lease I'm on has no penalty if I terminate early, so I pretty much can leave anytime. I'm also torn for signing for another year (if I decide on the friend's apartment), because I'm thinking of going back to California, where my family is, but I don't want to leave my job, and the deaf social community in DC. It's just too expensive here for me, so I really feel in between a rock and a hard place. I know I can't expect my living situation to be perfect or to meet all of my needs, but I used to pay only $550 a month and now it's $1000+ and it's still not good. My job is fun so far, but it really does not pay well and standard for DC. The time pressure of my friend needing to know ASAP isn't helping.

Thanks for listening. I'm kicking myself for doing this. I really thought I'd be happier at my new place, but apparently not. I just am so lost what to do and where to go in life. Stay where I am, try to talk somehow with my roommate, without seeming like a jerk... move to the new apartment, finally have my 100% own space, keep searching for other apartments with a roommate (but anxiety risks?), or just pack up and go back west, rediscover myself? Any thoughts, as always, would be appreciated.
posted by dubious_dude to Home & Garden (29 answers total)
if you're already paying 1200+utilities, and the place you might move to is 1075+utilities, you can easily use that extra 125 a month to buy some more clothes and uber to the laundromat every two weeks. also, if you need furniture, check freecycle/craigslist.

living by yourself will mean everything is how you like it. i would imagine that would help with your anxiety more than anything else.
posted by koroshiya at 11:24 AM on February 8, 2018 [18 favorites]

My friend recently told me that she was leaving her old apartment, which is much closer to where I work, and it'd be all mine, for $1075+utilities a month (currently, I pay $1200+utilities). Big con of the apartment? No laundry, which is almost a deal-breaker for me as I don't have a car and the closest laundromat is about 15-20 minutes away. Ubering/lyfting once a week to the laundromat would be expensive. It's also big and unfurnished, and I don't have much to my name right now other than my clothes and other miscellaneous items, and a few cookingware items. I can't exactly afford a bed, couch, etc.

- Costs less, closer to work
- No roommate
- Better to have a big empty apartment free and clean of roommate grunge, than a furnished apartment covered in your current roommate's terminal grunge
- Your anxiety will go WAY down
- You can focus on dealing with the root cause of your parcopresis in private, so that you can ease in to coming to terms with it when others are around
- The $125 a month you save on rent (not sure how much more the utilities will be for you once you're paying them alone) can be put toward a wash and fold laundry DELIVERY service. DC has them.

Do it. You will be so much happier and you will find a way to make it work with the laundry. If anything, see if a friend can help you out on the laundry thing, if the delivery/wash and fold won't work out (though I think it's worth trying).
posted by nightrecordings at 11:25 AM on February 8, 2018 [19 favorites]

I think that, for your own mental health, you should probably move. You may not need to buy tons of new furniture - presumably you're not sleeping in the same bed as your roommate now, so is there any reason your current sleeping situation would not work for the new place? You can buy a cheap air mattress at Target or Walmart, or a cot and mattress off Craigslist very cheaply. An uber to a laundromat 15 minutes away will cost you about $10 or less.

Asking for a roll of toilet paper or eating a bit of butter in the absence of other invasive behavior is totally normal. However, the dirty dishes, trash etc, is inconsiderate and it really does feel like you should move. Whether it's home to California or to the new place is up to you ultimately (staying in DC seems like the better option), but, yes, move.
posted by Everydayville at 11:29 AM on February 8, 2018

Also, if a friend can get you down to the IKEA in Woodbridge, you can pick up a cheap mattress to put on the floor pending a bedframe/box spring in the future. I survived on an IKEA mattress in college for 4 years and I was fine.

DC Craigslist is also a great place to find good quality second hand cookware.

Again, you can do this. I have personally felt that kind of "ugh my roommate" anxiety and was soooo much happier on my own, with barely any possessions/having to rough it like I was practically camping despite being in an apartment. I am rooting for you!
posted by nightrecordings at 11:30 AM on February 8, 2018

Move. You're not suited to living with other people.

However, considering the problems you've had with roommates/landlords in the past, I'd really make sure that your friend handing her apartment over comes with a genuine lease agreement.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 11:35 AM on February 8, 2018 [9 favorites]

Not trying to threadsit but a thought... I did look at Craigslist, and maybe it's the current roommate himself, something about his vibe, that's throwing me off? If I was able to find a roommate at a nicer place for almost the same price but with laundry included, would you recommend it?

Obviously, you can't decide for me - am not asking for that - but I'm still trying to figure out if my anxiety would be the same with ANYONE, or if it's something about him.

And it wasn't a little butter. It was almost the full stick. Again, probably petty, but not a good harbinger.
posted by dubious_dude at 11:36 AM on February 8, 2018

I've read all your questions over the years about your living arrangements. You should take that apartment and live by yourself. You aren't going to be happy living with other people, ever. And I get it - I hate roommates too, and worked full time when I was in college to avoid having to have them. It was worth it, and the inconveniences you're using as an excuse not to make a move will be worth it too. The laundry will be a pain but you can buy furniture a little at a time and set it up just the way you like it. Take the place. Live by yourself, and be happy.
posted by something something at 11:43 AM on February 8, 2018 [38 favorites]

If I was able to find a roommate at a nicer place for almost the same price but with laundry included, would you recommend it?

No. As fluttering hellfire mentioned above, and the many people that replied to your past questions about your situation, you're not suited to living with other people. Now, you can either move to this place and have a little inconvenience re the laundry, or hang about until another 1-bed place turns up. But you do need a place of your own.

With respect to the rent remember you were paying $550 for a hole in a shitty apartment with lousy housemates, and with the possibility of the federal government barging in at any moment. I would have thought that the increase in rent for the new place (while significant, but probably in line with the area) is more than worth your peace of mind. Plus, if you're less anxious about your home-life the more you can concentrate at work and maybe offset the rent increase with promotions and pay increases in the future.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 11:47 AM on February 8, 2018

Even if you did attempt to find a new roommate, there's no guarantee that things won't go awry, just as it did with your current roommate who appeared to be satisfactory in the beginning.

So what's more important - laundry or peace of mind? From your question history, it does look like your anxiety would exist in any situation.
posted by Everydayville at 11:47 AM on February 8, 2018

Why is this even a question. Move. Move now.

Not having a roommate is glorious. Paying less to not have a roommate you specifically despise and dread is a no-brainer, even if it means living with Craig's list furniture and kitchen supplies for a while. Laundromats are slightly annoying, but nowhere near everything else you've mentioned. The only possible reason to stay is that you actually enjoy the drama and would miss it if it went away.
posted by eotvos at 11:51 AM on February 8, 2018 [11 favorites]

You have a long history of anxiety and roommate drama. Living alone is far and away the best situation for you. As people have pointed out, the savings in rent will more than cover transport to a laundromat. You might also look and see if it would be possible to pay for a washer/dryer to be installed in the rental unit and perhaps you could save toward that.
posted by TwoStride at 12:05 PM on February 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm another person who has read every single one of your questions about your various living situations, and I think you should take the apartment without another moment's hesitation.

Wasn't there a question on Ask just a few days ago about portable washers? That could be a solution to your laundry problem. And even if it isn't, you will have more than enough money left over for an Uber ride to a laundromat once a week.

Call your friend right now.
posted by anderjen at 12:05 PM on February 8, 2018 [6 favorites]

Another option is to apply for an apartment for $900, including my own laundry, at a new luxury apartment complex - same one I asked about last year. However, reading its Google Reviews makes me feel really unsure, because there's plenty of poor reviews about their leasing process, bugs, unexpected high water bills for the whole building to the tune of $500, and I did apply last year but was declined because they said my income was too high, which was not true - their process was very scattered, and long.
posted by dubious_dude at 12:05 PM on February 8, 2018

I would move.

My brother and his wife had a little washing machine with a hose that connected to the bathroom or kitchen sink spigot when they lived in a tiny apartment, and it worked great for most of their routine laundry. Then they hung stuff to dry, and took unusual pieces that needed a bigger washing machine to the laundromat infrequently. Maybe that's an option for you!
posted by spindrifter at 12:07 PM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Chiming in to say that I, too, remember your past roommate/anxiety posts and you are a person who really needs to live alone. The laundry thing is really not the barrier you think it is. There are workarounds for that, and you don't need to furnish the entire apartment immediately. All you need is a bed, and you can get one of those fairly easily.

Move. Be alone. You'll be so much happier.

Also, please look into therapy for your general anxiety.
posted by cooker girl at 12:08 PM on February 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

which was not true - their process was very scattered, and long.

So it's not really another option. Stop second-guessing a really good offer you have at hand.
posted by TwoStride at 12:09 PM on February 8, 2018 [16 favorites]

Dude. Like everyone else has said, take your friend’s apartment. If you live in a city, not having a laundry in the building is not a big deal; you send the laundry out. Right now the worst thing you can do is hem and haw about whether to move and lose the opportunity. Move.
posted by holborne at 12:35 PM on February 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

I think you need to live by yourself. I would not recommend a different roomate situation because your complete aversion to even potential conflict means you literally need to walk into the perfect roommate situation, and that doesn't exist.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:57 PM on February 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

Your friend has already lived in this place, so you have a personal endorsement, not just anon reviews. Take it. Your anxieties around living with others in non-ideal situations have been an issue for awhile. Do yourself the favor of living by yourself. Tell your friend that if she wants to leave any furniture items behind, you'd welcome them (if you want). Otherwise, just furnish slowly and look at free options on CraigsList or Next Door or Freecycle.

As for laundry, when I lived in a place that didn't have a W/D on premises, I had washed a lot of things by hand and bought a big drying rack and a fan. No problem. I went to laundromat about once a month for larger things like sheets or heavy things like towels. Taking a uber/taxi every now and then or sending out laundry isn't deal-breaker the way that your worrying about bills, messiness, food "sharing", etc are.
posted by quince at 12:59 PM on February 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

Move. Call your friend immediately and say "yes, please, how do I sign the lease?"

One note: make sure that it's a legit lease transfer or new lease situation and you're not just subletting. You don't want to get to the end of your friend's lease and then have the rent go up or have the landlord expect you to move out. But if it's all good, then definitely move. I loved living alone. It was perfect for me. It sounds like it would be perfect for you. You'll figure out small laundry hacks (get a small drying rack, wash out light things like underwear by hand). Get a few more items of clothing so you can go at least two full weeks without having to do a wash. Two trips there and back to a laundry per month isn't going to be too burdensome.

Just do it.
posted by clone boulevard at 2:23 PM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Live alone! Live alone! Live alone! You’ll be so much happier.
posted by sucre at 3:56 PM on February 8, 2018


There are apps & you can send your laundry out (pick up/delivery) or you can uber, or you can buy a handwasher like this and hang clothes to dry in the bathroom.

posted by jbenben at 5:12 PM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Also, there are clothes hand washers like this, or this, or this, or this.

I can keep going. Give notice and move. Congratulations!!
posted by jbenben at 5:17 PM on February 8, 2018

Hey, I agree you'd probably like living alone. Establishing a routine and having everything 'just so' in your personal environment can really help with anxiety levels, I can personally attest.

BUT: My friend recently told me that she was leaving her old apartment... needs to know ASAP if I can move so she can give her landlord notice.

Why is she leaving?

Why put pressure on you to make this decision, if she already knows she's moving -- is this a situation where you'd be expected to take over her lease?
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:21 PM on February 8, 2018

Given that most the time when I see questions from you, it's you feeling bothered or anxious about having roommates, I would say, yes, go live alone. Maybe the new place will have hookups so you can add laundry machines, but if not, plan accordingly so you only need to do laundry every couple weeks. Maybe buy some extra pairs of underwear. I lived on an air mattress for a year and the only furniture I had was a desk and it wasn't great, but it was livable for me. You need to decide whether constantly feeling annoyed by having roommates is worth owning a couch. You've also managed to mention parcopresis in just about every question, and if you live alone you can stop worrying about that too, maybe. I know for me, I like living alone and having my own space - maybe that's the kind of person you are?
posted by AppleTurnover at 5:50 PM on February 8, 2018

I don't have a washer/dryer (or a car) and it's not so bad. I deal with it by:

1- buying extra socks and underwear so I don't have to do laundry as frequently
2-going to a laundromat where I can drop off my stuff and have them wash it- that way I don't have to spend hours there
3- bought some laundry (bar) soap to wash things in my sink

You can also check out the laundry pick-up service, budget for an uber, check out a portable washer, etc.

I used to live with roommates, and am much better suited to living alone. Living alone more than makes up for the inconvenience of not having a washer/dryer.
posted by bearette at 6:11 PM on February 8, 2018

@Iris Gambol, lease takeover, yep. It was a bit weird because I offhandedly mentioned to her that I was unhappy where I was, and she then suggested I considered her place, then a day or so later, said she needed to know ASAP. I was under the impression initially that she would be moving out and that'd be it. A bit of an unclear communication, but there you go. She sent me the application, and it reads as a proper new lease application.

I did some searching and found another low-income apartment possibility with much better reviews, nearby in the area from the other bad apartment. I'll check that out too. It's almost the same price as the apartment my friend is offering, but is brand new and includes laundry.
posted by dubious_dude at 7:45 PM on February 8, 2018

You are overthinking this. Yes there might be another apartment out there with different trade offs and different cost variables. Yes. There always is and always will be in life, ad infinitum. But you don't live in infinitum. You are currently unhappy and you have a choice that will make you happy. Just take it.

If it helps, I look at things like this from a 'total cost of ownership' perspective. Rent is cheaper but you need to pay for a laundry service? Roommate is gone but you don't have any furniture? Could be other options out there but this has been karmically given to you? They all balance out.

You can have this sewn up this afternoon and, with love, you can start to focus your energy on managing your anxiety instead.
posted by citands at 3:53 AM on February 9, 2018 [3 favorites]

There's a move in your future.
posted by BlueHorse at 11:49 AM on April 22, 2018

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