AIBU re choosing new housemates?(17 Posts)
Background: I've been renting in a three bed house for the past year with two housemates. Initially sharing with A, and then A's friend B moved in when the third room became vacant. Before long, it felt like A and B's house as they mainly chatted to themselves, had their mutual friends over all of the time etc. Not a great atmosphere for me, the third wheel.
Fortunately, A and B have now moved out and I've been advertising for new housemates. I've had a lot of responses from friends who are house-hunting together and want to take both rooms, which I'm really not interested in as I'm trying to avoid any potential 2 against 1 situations. However, I've had several responses from people of the same nationality. I've met a few of them and they've been lovely, seem like they'd be good to live with (as much as you can tell from a short meeting anyway). I'm just a bit worried that they would be speaking their own language a lot and
bitching about me keeping to themselves, and I'd end up feeling like a third wheel again. I'm now wondering if I should only choose one of them to get a better mix in the house.
I'm aware this might sound ridiculous, but am keen to avoid a tense atmosphere similar to the one when A and B were living here. Would love to hear any sharing experiences from others. Am I being unreasonable/paranoid/racist??
Anything might happen. For instance, what if the two newcomers bond very quickly and you're the third wheel again? I think you're trying to control the future in a way that just isn't possible.
I don't think you Abu here especially as you've had a bad experience of feeling left out. On the other side of the coin I'm sure if theyre nice people they won't want to make you feel like you don't understand..I used to live abroad and had house shares where I lived with people from that country and other Brits. We did always make an effort to speak the other language- partly as we wanted to improve it but mostly because we wanted to all get on and live cohesively! So might not be so bad- who knows you might even pick up some of the language?! However, housemates are a hugely important part of your life so only go with people you feel as confident as you can be that you'll get on with 😊
If they have the same first language then they probably will use that to talk to each other. I worked in a group which involved foreign nationals in the uk of same nationality. Lovely people but I did have to ask politely quite often for them to speak English when I was part of thengroup
It's your house you've got to live with these people, so it's totally up to you. Do what you think will suit you best.
Housesharing can be tough and it seems like the majority of people who've done it have a negative story or two, so I think you are wise to choose carefully and try to spot potential pitfalls (whilst still acknowledging of course that it can be difficult to predict exactly how things will work out). That doesn't sound unreasonable at all.
With three there is always the possibility of two plus one - you can minimize the risk by not taking a pair of friends and choosing people without obvious links (it would be natural for two people with the same first language to chat in it so perhaps best avoided as you have concerns.
In your situation I'd probably try for a mix - maybe one office hours person and one health professional like a nurse who works shifts so you are all less likely to all be wanting the bathroom and kitchen at the same times.
If you live within easy reach of an airport airline staff tend to make good flatmates as they work shifts or if crew are often away overnight at times.
Personal experience of sharing says avoid estate agents and personal trainers but that's just my personal experience I'm sure some make great flatmates ;)
My advice after renting 2 rooms to a succession of lodgers. You are not employing them you are going to live with them.
When employing people you need to be totally fair and non biased.
When agreeing to live with someone you need to be totally judgemental and biased, this is your home! You need to live with people you will get in with.
If you'require worried about being the third wheel again then it''s fair enough to not pick people who you suspect may do that to you.
Have you thought about mature students? We rented mostly to mature students and one thing that was great was we knew they were only staying for a year or so so if we didn't get on so well there was a natural end in sight anyway!
Thanks for your replies.
I have some more viewings set up so will keep the advice in mind. I think it is a factor I'll consider but try not to put too much weighting on.
Re: Shift workers - I had initially ruled this out as well just based on the shared heating/electric bills being higher if people are home all of the time. Could be worth it to have more space though.
Rent one room first for a month then find another person, then you'll be more likely to find people independant of each other.
Good idea smurfit. Because having two join at the same time they'll have being new in common.
Yanbu. I'd want to avoid 2 people moving in as friends when you're the only other person. In a bigger house share it wouldn't be so much of a problem.
Are you sure that the people contacting you as a duo aren't intending to share a room rather than have a room each?
I don't think you're being U. If they have the same 'mother tong' it is likely they will speak in that at home to each other.
I found my NHS nurse flat mate was a dream, she was in her early thirties, worked FT but also pulled some agency shifts on her days off too. We got on really well and did sometimes socialise together but both liked our own space so understood. I didn't find the bills any higher tbh but a few quid for no bathroom stress and space was worth it anyway.
Choosing someone with roots elsewhere like a different part of the country so they are likely to go home some weekends is a plus too.
Mature students on one year courses are a good suggestion. They often have a life elsewhere so not around all the time, especially not weekends. Plus course work keeps them busy.
This may not be what you want if you're looking for social interaction though.
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