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to ask advice on creepy flatmate?

(127 Posts)
GettingAntsy Tue 30-Jun-20 18:32:15

I have been living with a flatmate since September. We didn’t know each other beforehand, we met through a flatshare website. Generally it’s worked well - we get along and have a similar lifestyle.

The problem is her view of our relationship is VERY different to mine. In my opinion we are flatmates who get along. In her opinion we are best friends forever. She can be INCREDIBLY clingy. Before lockdown started, I thought I was going to have to move away for work for several months. I told her I would sublet my room, but reassured her I would let her vet the new occupant and would only sublet to someone she was comfortable with. Then a couple of days later I learnt I didn’t have to move away for work after all. When I told her, she was so relieved and said that she had cried for hours, literally hours, when she thought I’d be moving away. Her boyfriend confirmed that, he said he’s never seen her so upset.

This has been getting worse recently. A few days ago I mentioned another girl I previously lived with, and this prompted an hour-long discussion of “Do you like her more than me? Is she more fun than me? Is she a better cook than me?” She asked me to list everyone I’ve lived with since I left home aged 18 and tell her whether I liked them more than her. This was all done in a jokey tone...but still, she was asking about it for an hour.

She frequently makes comments about how she wants to live with me forever, or marry me off to one of her friends so I stay in her life forever. She frequently asks “Do you really like me?” and “You won’t leave me, will you?” Again, in a jokey tone, but still.

At this point I should say I recognise that she probably has some emotional problems. A close friend of hers died suddenly a few years ago and I suspect that’s made her unable to stand the thought of any other relationship being severed. I do like her, I feel sorry for her, and I want to avoid upsetting her.

Nonetheless, as you can probably tell, this is REALLY creeping me out. We've known each other for less than 10 months! Ironically, if she stopped demanding constant reassurance of my affection, I would feel a lot more affectionate towards her!

So this is the problem: recently an old uni friend of mine has suggested we move in together (in the same city) in late Aug/early Sep, and I jumped at the chance. How on earth do I tell this girl that I am, indeed, “leaving” her? I’m worried she’s going to have a genuine meltdown and I’m going to have to deal with crying/passive aggression/even more clinginess. Should I tell her ASAP to give her some warning, or leave it till the last minute to delay the fallout? How do I break it to her as gently as possible? How do I “manage expectations” about how often we’re going to see each other after I move out?

OP’s posts: |
Andwoooshtheyweregone Tue 30-Jun-20 18:38:15

I’d just tell her, treat her like an adult and hope that she acts in the same way. Is she the lead tenant?

GettingAntsy Tue 30-Jun-20 18:41:24

We have separate contracts, so neither of us is the lead tenant. I desperately hope so too, but after learning she cried for hours at the prospect of me just subletting for a few months...

OP’s posts: |
BonnyWeeOne Tue 30-Jun-20 18:47:38

You need to rip the bandaid off, and soon! Aug will be here before you know it and I guess she'd have to list the flatshare and go through the rigmarole of finding a new victim tenant? It'd be a bit shitty if you left her in the lurch ... but at the same time leaving it as late as possible so you don't have two full months of snotty crying to endure .... tough one! 😬

Cuddling57 Tue 30-Jun-20 18:50:35

This sounds awful!
Do you have somewhere you could go (parents?) in between if it gets too much?

GettingAntsy Tue 30-Jun-20 18:52:53

Thankfully it will be the landlady, not my flatmate, who handles the process of finding a new tenant. I know the "big" thing to do is to give her as much notice as possible, but I'm genuinely scared of how she'll react.

OP’s posts: |
TorkTorkBam Tue 30-Jun-20 18:54:00

If she cries she cries.

Act like you are flatmates not lovers and it will be fine.

You need to model the appropriate behaviour. Do not play along with her fantasy by doing this like a break up. Just act like a normal flatmate moving out.

BlueJava Tue 30-Jun-20 18:56:16

Oh dear that sounds like a nightmare could develop! I guess there are a couple of options (1) just tell her outright "By the way, I've decided to move because it's closer to uni/work/whatever" which is a way to soften the blow or if you think there will be a full meltdown (2) tell her boyfriend at the very last minute and let him handle it. Do not under any circumstance tell her where you have gone to, your phone number or any SM contacts.

GettingAntsy Tue 30-Jun-20 18:56:57

I like the idea of "modelling appropriate behaviour". That's a useful way to think of it, thank-you.

OP’s posts: |
SociallyDistantPenguin Tue 30-Jun-20 18:59:36

I wouldn't tell her. It's probably a bit unkind, but for the sake of your own mental health I'd leave it for a while yet... not until MUCH nearer the time.
She was that upset about you leaving temporarily, what will she be like at the news you're leaving forever?

billy1966 Tue 30-Jun-20 19:00:06

Tell her asap to give her time to find someone.

I get that it's creepy.
A sudden death like that of a good friend is a shocker. Poor woman probably needs grief counselling.

Stress to her the positives of your share.
Stress also the longevity of the friend that you are going to share with.

Obviously things will change when you move out and you are NOT responsible for her, but you can let her down gently.

Emphasis your busyness when you move on.
Wishing you well.
You sound very thoughtful, but it's ok to want to move on.
It is stressful to feel responsible for someone else's happiness.flowers

GettingAntsy Tue 30-Jun-20 19:00:36

@BlueJava unfortunately she already has my phone number and SM contacts from the days when I thought we would be just chilled-out friends! I really hope she'll get the message that I don't want to be her BFF without me having to block her or anything.

I will try to work up the balls to do option (1)

OP’s posts: |
Warsawa31 Tue 30-Jun-20 19:00:50

I got the creeps just reading that op. Why should she get to decide how you live your life, should you have to tiptoe around another adult in case your choices about your life upset her. It’s crazy, the landlord can sort out who will take over the room. I’d advise to let her know ASAP, but have someone to go in case she goes ballistic? Honestly just have a back up plan, maybe ask her boyfriend to be there with you guys ?

As someone who has lived in many house shares over the years I’ve never came across something like this before ! I’d probably ghost her when you leave and don’t give her the new address

OnlyFoolsnMothers Tue 30-Jun-20 19:02:42

Tell her when her bf is there so she has support (and you have a witness hmm)

BonnyWeeOne Tue 30-Jun-20 19:02:52

Ah, well that's one less guilt trip at least. I second the pp who said to try to keep it as unemotional as possible. You're just telling a flatmate you're moving on, not breaking up with a partner.
Have you told the landlady? What are the chances of them bumping into each other and letting it slip?

islandislandisland Tue 30-Jun-20 19:03:42

Have you ever seen the film Single White Female? confused

wildone84 Tue 30-Jun-20 19:06:47

I think you should leave it as late as possible to tell her, and as someone suggested, do it when her boyfriend is there.

Lifeisconfusing Tue 30-Jun-20 19:08:20

Single white female film 🎥
Was playing in my head when I read that run run run lol.

gamerchick Tue 30-Jun-20 19:08:42

Tell her in front of her bloke. He can deal with her. Good luck man.

Lifeisconfusing Tue 30-Jun-20 19:08:53

@islandislandisland grin

YouDirtyMare Tue 30-Jun-20 19:10:16

I feel desperately sorry for her but you are not her counsellor or her best friend
You cannot be responsible for her emotional state
Be friendly but firm. Do not engage in conversations where she wants you to make comparisons

WhereamI88 Tue 30-Jun-20 19:11:03

As late as possible and only when the boyfriend is there...she could make your last few months there absolute hell. Lock your room at all times!!

Mornington30 Tue 30-Jun-20 19:11:26

I'm with those who suggest when the boyfriend is there, but I would not leave it too long.

Royalbloo Tue 30-Jun-20 19:12:20

Just he honest - you adore her and she's your friend but when she says X you feel X. You'll continue being her friend, because you like her not because she makes you, but you're moving out etc...

IamtheDevilsAvocado Tue 30-Jun-20 19:13:29

I would not let it seem like you're breaking a long term love relationship!

She's obviously pretty emotionally fragile...

But you're her flatmate, not her best friend /partner... (I've moved in and out of loads of shares... A couple of peoppe have been like this... It's difficult... When they're clearly more invested than you are).

So i would model an appropriate approach to it ... Matter of factly...

Treat it if you were telling any other person, who was not a close pal... Her reaction shouldn't be your problem.... But I guess its going to be!

Perhaps get boyfriend on board...? So at least HE can be prepared to deal with the fall out.

Perhaps couch it as... I'm going it be moving away at the end of August, I'm just giving you the heads up, as I think she will be upset... I'll tell her on X date...

Alternatively, if you can cope with being a bit mean...
You could treat it as you've JUST discovered /made the decision...
You could just treat it as a message... Text her.. (not nice... But it kind of underlines the point she is NOT your BFF)... Can you do it when she is at work so around other people(if she works in group envt) ? Something like '' hi flatmate, I have exciting news (well for me) ... an old pal has just made plans including me in (if it is large city I'd tell her) a move to X. I wanted to give you as much notice as possible... So I'll be leaving towards end of summer. ( A few minites later can you text the boyf?)

Don't envy you whatever you decideconfused

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