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Moving in together and disagree on houseguests. Help!

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Question - (19 January 2017) 15 Answers - (Newest, 3 February 2017)
A female United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

My boyfriend and I are both 26 and moving in together for the first time. We’re doing it for the right reasons and discussed everything we could think of before making the decision together. Currently we spend most of our time together at his place, and share some expenses, so it’s not a drastic change.

The only major disagreement we have is on houseguests. We’re both extroverted and share the same large group of friends. He’s very social, talkative, and naturally leads the group’s tone whenever we hang out. He would probably host every weekend if he could. I’m somewhere in between but prefer observing than contributing. I’m also very private and do not want any houseguests, at all.

To illustrate our differences, when we visit his family, he just waltzes into their home unannounced, whereas I text my family first to make sure they are ok to see people (he knows this). Our new place is going to be a one-bedroom apartment (small) and five minutes away from several of his family members, the latter of which is a huge reason why I’m set on a no houseguests rule.

Long story short, he quickly agreed to no houseguests at all (he’s always known my preference so no surprise to him really) EXCEPT he wants his best friend who lives in another state, to stay with us about 10 days a year, once a year. I replied absolutely not. I dislike houseguests let alone overnight houseguests. I explained to him that overnight guests make me uncomfortable. I don’t want to interact with them or accommodate them, and want to enjoy my privacy and comfort. Frankly they make me tired!

I asked him why he MUST have his best friend stay with us (instead of a hotel or elsewhere) and other than “tradition” and “I don’t want to make it weird” there’s really no reason other than he wants him to. He even asked “are you going to pay for his hotel?” to which I replied no, it’s not my business. (Money is not the issue here but his best friend has more than enough for a nice hotel stay). I think it’s also fair to mention that his best friend is exceptionally talkative and talks down to his very quiet and unhappy girlfriend. That’s something I don’t feel like witnessing in my home.

When he asked me “what are you going to do when y our family/friends show up unexpectedly?” I said, “They won’t because I already mentioned our no-guests agreement.” I can tell my boyfriend thinks I’m doing a lot of work just to prevent his best friend from visiting. But I’m not doing any work at all and I’m rejecting ALL guests (including my own friends/family).

We ended up compromising that his best friend can hang out in our home while I’m at work but leave before I come home. Other than him, no other houseguests. We can’t really think of any other compromise. I also don’t want to be selfish because they’ve been close friends and he only gets to see him a few times a year. What are your thoughts? Is this fair enough?

View related questions: at work, best friend, text

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland +, writes (3 February 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntHonestly to me it sounds like you are very controlling and you need to work on your issues.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom +, writes (20 January 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntYou seemed so unreasonable, saying no houseguests ever, but you've now agreed on every 2-3 weeks provided it's pre-planned? Where was the issue, OP? You're welcome to post for help, but you seem to have handled it better with him than with us ;)

I'm glad you're not as opposite as you made out in your post :P

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 January 2017):

OP here

I'm not imprisoning my boyfriend. He goes out whoever he pleases as do i. We also share a large group of friends and go out with them constantly. I join when I want to and don't when I don't want to. Our lifestyle is fulfilling with many loved ones and even at his current place he doesn't have houseguests. I just wanted to included these details for a more complete picture

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 January 2017):

If you want to move-in with anyone, you had better learn to compromise. You can't be inflexible about house-guests. What's so totally wrong with his buddy spending a few days once a year? Doesn't your bedroom have a door?

If you're totally against house-guests and the possibility of unannounced family-visits; why are you moving in with this guy at all? You may as well keep things as they are in order to keep the peace.

I'm also a very private-person. My present boyfriend is a business-man; and he sometimes spends weeks at my place. He likes my decor and the way my house is setup; which is conducive to meetings and/or formal entertaining. He has a nice place too, but likes they way I make his guests and potential clients feel at home. So we've compromised. I've made some very interesting friends and contacts as a result. My previous mate was a lawyer. We often had cocktail parties and invited his law partners for dinner. Again, I went against the grain; but it ended-up being to my own benefit. We get tickets to cool events, invited to A-list and kick-ass parties; and we even have access to a beach-house. Courtesy of a friend of his that I didn't even like when we first met! Turns-out to be an outstanding person! Never would have known that if I had shut him out.

Red-flags should go-up when anyone wants to shut you off from family and friends. If you want to live like a hermit or a captain's widow, you're better-off living alone. Your mind and soul needs the stimulation of visitors. Friends and family deserve the warmth of sharing, celebrating, and socializing within your home.

Hospitality keeps your friends and family closer. It strengthens your bonds with the people you love, and fortifies trust. Compromise would also benefit you; if you have any remote plans of marrying this guy someday. You also need allies, people who quickly come to your aid when in a crisis! If you don't open your doors to them; they won't open theirs to you.

I disagree with your boyfriend on people just showing up unannounced. That is an encroachment on your privacy, invasive, and impolite. People do tend to show-up at the most inconvenient or inopportune times. I understand you as far as that goes. But sometimes it happens, no big deal!

You can't live in your own little bubble, and shut everyone out. Imprisoning him in his own home. Seeing no one day-in and day-out, but you? He'll feel isolated and smothered. Eventually he will become distant and resentful. He will just go out more, leaving you home alone!

You cannot cage an extroverted outgoing-personality. They don't take to clinginess or being pent-up very well. Not at all!

Closing-off a guy like your boyfriend from socializing; is tantamount to imposing a jail-sentence, or placing him in an isolation cell.

The truth behind it all, is you want him all to yourself. If he adamantly resists that notion; then it's safe to say you're incompatible as a couple. If this all results in arguments, your relationship is in trouble.

Living together is not just about what makes you happy and comfortable.

He has to be happy too, or he can always find himself someone more compromising.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 January 2017):

OP here and thank you everyone for your feedback

I actually initiated another conversation with my boyfriend before I read your responses. I told him I'm ok with visitors max every 2-3 weeks provided we discuss beforehand. I would like to prepare the home before they come over. And yes I'm truly ok with it. He agreed but says it's actually not necessary but I said ok but the option is there

I don't agree with below statement saying his family has the right to visit whenever they want. No, they have the right to visit if they are invited. Same for my family. And we both agree on no overnight guests. His best friend can hang out in our home that week but we agree it's not necessary to stay over. His hotel will be nearby anyway

Thank you all

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland +, writes (20 January 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntWow I am surprised you still have a boyfriend. This is one off the most selfish things I have heard in a relationship. Honestly you want to isolate him when at home? Why? His family should be able to visit whenever they want. Sure the odd time if you are busy then that is fair enough but honestly you are being very controlling and it is a horrible way to treat another human being. I don't think you are designed to ever life with anyone in your life if that is how you try and control people.

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (20 January 2017):

N91 agony auntWho are you to decide what friends your boyfriend invites over to a house he will part own?

'I don't want to be selfish' - Well it's far too late for that. What are you expecting these house guests to do? Burn the house to the ground? Vandalise it?

You social boyfriend has to suffer because you're more of introvert. How very kind of you. Fair enough maybe 10 days straight is a little much, but not allowing him any friends to visit ever is absolutely ludicrous.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom +, writes (20 January 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntIt's actually very controlling and borderline abusive (to your partner) to expect them to isolate themselves when at home. You're expecting it to all be your way within your *shared* home.

Having no unplanned guests is totally reasonable, as is putting a once a month (or once every 2 - 3 months) limit to hosting more than two friends for a few hours (without letting them stay overnight). Saying you want some weeks without people visiting your home is also fair, provided he's allowed to have a couple of friends over during other weeks.

Sit down and lay out a middle ground together. For example, "I would like Sundays to ourselves with no visitors. Part of Saturdays are free for a couple of our friends, provided we know a few days beforehand. We can only bring home friends during the week if we've asked the other at least 2 hours in advance. No overnight guests without agreeing weeks beforehand and no guest can stay more than 3 nights."

When coming up with terms, don't say "you can only" or "your friends", as he'll feel singled out. Use "we", "our", etc.

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States +, writes (20 January 2017):

So_Very_Confused agony auntPersonally I think you are being totally unreasonable and unfair. Human beings are not solitary creatures. IF you don't want people in your home then continue to live alone and set your own rules.

WE do not live in a bubble. Interaction is a very important part of life.

I can understand a "rule" that prohibits casually dropping by without a prior warning/plan but to me "NO HOUSE GUESTS" means no overnight guests. NOT wanting anyone ever in your home seems excessive.

In addition if he is asking if his friend can sleep at your home for 10 days in a row... that does seem excessive unless he lives 3000 miles away and only visits once a year.

WHEN I go to visit my son out of state i stay with him. HE and his wife hate that I only stay for 3 nights at a time but I know that "guests like fish stink after 3 days"

Personally my belief is this...if you can afford a larger place with a guest room etc... get it. For me, part of enjoying my home is sharing it with my family and friends.

Assume that you will have people in your home at planned times. Work with him on finding a middle ground where you don't have to visit with them when they are in the home.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy +, writes (20 January 2017):

CindyCares agony auntWhat I think is that your bf must be crazily in love with you to subject himself to your vexarory, oppressive rules !but that perhaps he won't stay crazily in love for long, once he realizes that , living with you by your rules, he gets less freedom and decision-,making power than if he lived in jail or in a friars' convent.

Living together is about compromise, but what compromise is it if you get all you want 100% of the times and he gets 0% ? That's not compromise, it's dictatorship.

You need to meet each other half way and this can only be done by accepting that it may entail stretching your limits and getting occasionally out of your comfort zone.

You should be able , and willing, to find a reasonable middle course where you don't have your house turned into a frat house, and he does not have to live in his house ( because it is his house too ! ) never having around anybody ( but you ) as if he were on house arrests .

Have you never thought that, same as having visitors makes you uncomfortable and tired , never having visitors makes someone with his sociable nature, uncomfortable too, bored and depressed ? Why what makes you happy is necessarily more important of what makes him happy ?

So no, your rules are not fair ar all - they are overbearing and " all about me ".

Btw , if people make you tired, you are not an extrovert; you are an introvert who is adept at social situations and handles them ok, of needs be. Different story. Handling is not the same as enjoying. Extroverts get refreshed and reenergized from frequent interaction with people.

As a matter of fact , if you two are so widely different in your socialization wants and needs, that , living together, may cause much bigger problems than you think, somewhere down the line.

Then again, your bf seems a good sport, and excellent at being flexible , and at curbing his " life of the party " instincts, in order to get along with you. I don't see why you could not and should not make some adjustments yourself , and tolerate some ( not much :) discomfort, in order to let him live in a way that 's more suitable to his tastes and nature.

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A female reader, jls022 United Kingdom +, writes (20 January 2017):

I'll be brutally honest, I'd have a real problem living with someone that refused to accommodate any houseguests EVER. When I first saw the title of your question, I assumed he was prone to inviting people back to stay on the couch after nights out or something. But to say you don't want anyone coming over at any time, apart from one person who must leave before you get home, to me is far too inflexible.

You know it's his home too right? Why is what you want more important than what he wants? In my experience, rules as rigid as yours always cause problems because they are not realistic. What happens the day his friend's cab doesn't arrive before you get back? What if (as most friends do) they get distracted chatting and lose track of time and he's still there when you get home? What if your boyfriend's sister/brother/friend gets locked out and needs a place to stay? Or needs a shoulder to cry on? Or wants to see the ornament they bought you as a housewarming present in situ? What about birthdays/holidays - are his family allowed to come over then?

Honestly, I'm an introvert and I understand the need for alone time, plus my home is my sanctuary too, but there's such a thing as taking it to extremes and in my view that's what you are doing. I think if you enforce this rule to such an extent, you'll make him miserable and his friends and family will see your behaviour as controlling and isolating.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (20 January 2017):

Honeypie agony auntI can't stand house guest. But with 3 teenage daughters, we have them every to every other weekend in one form or another. And many of out friends are out of state so again, they stay at our house or hotel and in summer we set up the pop-up for guests which helps.

I think you two NEED to find a compromise, while I get that you don't like house guests, you NEED to realize it's NOT just what YOU want (no house guests at all) or NOT just what he wants (house guests a lot).

And renting an apartment with a spare room is actually not a bad idea, the spare room can be used for SO many things other than people sleeping over. It also gives YOU and your BF a place so you can have a little space for yourselves if need me. Let's say one of you is really ill and the other has to work, it's kind of nice being able to NOT have to sleep on the couch, but having a spare room.

Whatever you two sort out, DO it before moving in together.

And I have to say if you are SUCH a private person, and he is so NOT - how does that work when it comes to dinners? hanging out?

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A female reader, YouWish United States +, writes (20 January 2017):

YouWish agony auntBefore I start, I want you to know that I'm saying what I'm saying out of a kindred view. I am a private person in real life as well, and I'm not fond of houseguests either. My husband does like to have them, though not to the degree of your boyfriend. His parents would bust in unannounced all the time, and I would prefer to schedule a dinner out rather than here, but we compromised, and so they come over, but it's preplanned.

That being said -

It's not fair of you. The apartment belongs to both of you, so the end result must be a compromise between the two of you. He has every right to have houseguests, and you have every right not to CONSTANTLY have houseguests.

That is what living together is. He wants to share his life, share where he lives, and bring them into his home. You are very private. But if you want unfettered privacy, you can't live with anyone else. Otherwise, you must take their feelings into account and have a happy medium.

My husband has a friend similar to your boyfriend's friend. I can barely suffer the guy, but he was my husband's friend before I met him, and they are still friends today. He's had overnight visits here (not as often as he used to), and I take off because I'd rather not suffer through his behavior. But I love my husband, and whatever he sees in this guy, I respect it.

You'll make a lot more compromises when you live with someone. Housekeeping, habits, chores, houseguests, bills, hobbies, sex, even states of undress are up for consideration. You see people at their worst when you live with them, in their underwear, unshowered, making comments that they'd never make in polite company.

This will be a test of yours and his communication skills and negotiation skills, but it would be wrong of you to insist on a "My way or the highway" approach to cohabitation.

Sometimes the answer is a creative one rather than a battle of wills. How can he get what he wants and so do you? I agree with you that 10 days is REALLY long, especially in a one-bedroom apartment. Does your apt complex offer a "guest suite"? Does a family member of his who lives 5 minutes away have a spare bedroom you can set him up in? Your boyfriend must also compromise, or you both aren't compatible for living together.

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A female reader, chigirl Norway +, writes (20 January 2017):

chigirl agony auntI don't get why you and him insist on living together in a small one bedroom/studio apartment. Get an apartment with an extra bedroom for guests, and problem solved. If you can't afford that, then do not move in together. Abort and cancel all plans. I mean it!

This will be his home too and you have no right to tell him no house guests. He's been more than accommodating when not allowing ANY house guests at all from his family, who will live so close, but now not even friends are allowed over?

You and him should not be living together in such a small space. It WILL lead to disaster.

And you are not extroverted. If you don't like people around you at home, you are introverted more so than most. Im an introvert, I've even been extreme to the point where I didn't have any friends at all and disliked people. I am not that extreme any longer, but even I love to have close friends and family over, even for sleepovers. As long as it's not permanent and I get my days of rest after they leave, it's all good. But what I always need is a place of my own. Like my own little corner, isolated, that I can hide in and be by myself. This is also one reason why I think you are introverted, because I think if you had such a room to yourself, or corner of the house that is a bit secluded, you'd feel much more at easy by having house guests. Because then you could always go hide in your own place and do your own thing. Whereas now you'd have to be a part of it and have all your plans changed if family and friends suddenly stop by. And it doesn't suit the introverted you. You get tired by it all.

You and your boyfriend CAN NOT live together in such a small apartment. You WILL end up resenting one another, he is already resenting your (very) strict rules of no house guests, and you are already annoyed by him because you don't understand his need to have family and friends visit him. You are locking him up in a cage, so he is not happy at all. He will end up leaving you over this. And you will end up leaving him if he brings home guests. So this can not work, Im telling you.

You and him NEED to rent a bigger apartment, one with a spare bedroom. This spare bedroom would preferably be YOUR private room to do studies, read books, sit on a computer etc, so that you can go hide in it whenever he gets company. And also be very clear, when HE has guests, just because you happen to live with him, does not mean they are automatically also your guests. They are still his guests and his concern and for him to entertain, not you. As long as you get your private space where you can go hide, and he takes full responsibility for the entertainment of his guests, then this will work brilliantly. But you can not live together in such a small apartment and you can not forbid him from having house guests. It's absolutely ridiculous of you to even try, and I can 100% guarantee you that this will be the end of your relationship if you don't stop being so strict with the "no guests" rule. It's his home too, and he wants to have guests over. You don't have the right to tell him no. He will resent you for trying, and he will leave you for it. Trust me on this one. If you want to have a relationship with him, you must either ALLOW guests, or not live with him in such a small apartment...!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 January 2017):

No house guests? Not even family? You need to assess this and realise you're making a big deal over people coming over. If you're that awkward about people coming to your home then maybe speak to a doctor about possible anxiety issues. I'm someone who LOVES my own space, and I'm not one for huge parties in my home, but there is now way I'd stop my partners best friend visiting and I would make them feel welcome. We have mutual friends over for dinner at least once a month, if not more often and family are welcome. It's polite to text 5-10 mins beforehand to ask if we're in and also because I like 10 mins to whizz hoover around if needed and tidy up and the kettle would be on.

You're sharing a home, and it will be a lonely life if you never extend a welcome to friends and family. You say yourself your bf is sociable, you don't need to host friends weekly but you do need to not only consider yourself but compromise in order to ensure he is happy too.

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