How to tell someone you don’t want to live with them next year

It’s that time of year again


You know who you want to live with, you know where you want to live, yet there is always that person who wants to live with you, and let’s face it, you’d rather live on the streets than live with them.

Maybe it’s because they only do their washing up once a week, their snoring can be heard three doors away, or they leave their hair on every surface. Basically, this unbearable person needs to be annihilated from your living plans. Up to this point you’ve been ignoring the pestering phone calls and messages, but you can’t avoid it forever, so now is time to break the bad news. But how?

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The brave way

Probably the worst method possible, the confrontational approach. The “I don’t want to live with you and this is why-“method. This will feel awkward and humiliating, but in the long-term it is for the best. There is a fractional chance a friendship can be salvaged because you were so mature and honest. Make sure it is done between just you and the other person, because the last thing they want is you and five other house mates ganging up on them, listing why they are the worst potential house mate. If you were feeling overly nice, you could even help this person find a house with others, but they are probably so taken aback by the confrontation, you will be able to make a hasty exit.

The blame way

In a nutshell, blame anyone and anything but yourself. Blame the people you are living with, blame the letting agencies or landlord, blame the location, simply anything and everything can be said to get you off the hook. It may be equally as hard as attempting “the brave way” but for this method to work, you unfortunately need to pretend you are heartbroken you cannot live with said person. “I wanted to live with you but-“. As long your friend is unable to meet the person or group you are blaming, then there should be no problem. This however has the highest risk of leading to future confrontation. Cardiff is a small capital and it is easy to make friends with strangers, so your friend and future flatmate could be best pals by the end of one crazy night at Flux. If you are not overly fussed about the relationship between you two, maybe this method is for the best.

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The “it’s not you, it’s me” way

It is time to turn the tables- make yourself so disgusting and unbearable to live with, your friend will soon enough be reading this article, figuring out how to get rid of you. Be the flat mate who never takes the bins out, uses the kitchen surfaces as their dressing table and bin, stays up all hours playing loud music, and has issues with personal hygiene (yes- you will not be allowed to shower for a few weeks to send this message loud and clear.) Your flatmate will be so frustrated and repulsed, they will be avoiding you like the plague within the fortnight.

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The drunk way

A fresher’s favourite, make your friend so unbelievably drunk they cannot recollect anything from the previous night. And when they are dying in bed the next day, this is the perfect opportunity to step in and remind them you agreed to not live with each other next year. You could even make it sound like they suggested it. Tie it into a believable story, perhaps after Revs, during your heart to heart crying into your cheese burgers, you realised there was a risk of ruining your amazing friendship if you lived together next year. No one would understand your awesomeness, so it needed to remain just between you two whenever you met for drinks.

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The tactical avoidance way

Whenever your friend greets you by flicking through webpages of houses they have found, change the subject. No matter what it takes, avoid housing conversations at all costs. Steer the conversation into telling him or her the latest gossip, complimenting their outfit, anything. If you make it sound you are stressed about other things, for example they fat essay deadline you have coming up, they should be a good friend and hopefully back off for a few days. Eventually the spring months will be dawning on us so housing lists will be getting shorter and shorter, and your lack of cooperation means they will have to go ahead planning without you. Shame that.

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The conversational way

A self- explanatory approach- mention your housing plans for next year mid-conversation, without making it the main topic. Hopefully your friend will be too focused on the main subject to acknowledge the fact you basically admitted you are not living with them. If they do address the housing situation, quickly explain what is going on (maybe using the “blame” or “brave” way) but the main goal here, is to return to the original conversation as smoothly as possible. Do not dwindle on the housing subject too long, or things could turn bitter.

The combat way

So if you really do not value the friendship you share with this person, then you shouldn’t really feel any regret or remorse when breaking the bad news. Even so, if you want a dramatic way of officially ending the friendship, start a fight. It does not have to be physical, but there does need to be some sort of heated debate with this person that can easily spiral into an insult competition. Your so-called friend will be so seething, “houses” will never pop up in conversation again. This way also allows brutal honesty, in no other circumstance would you admit to someone you don’t want to live with them because they smell.

The accidental way

Leave your Facebook account open on their laptop so they can access the “house mates” group chat they are not a member of, leave housing paperwork strewn around their kitchen, or invite your future house mates over for dinner. Make your friend realise through intentional “accidents” you have no desire to live with them next year. For your friend to bring up the housing subject would leave an awkward atmosphere, because you can easily retaliate by asking why were they being so nosey and looking through your things. The idea of this way is to leave so many hints in front of the person you do not want to live with, it is too much of an uncomfortable topic for them to bring up without getting emotional or sounding like a stalker.

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Hopefully one of these ideas will do the trick, and as a result you will have the house of your dreams and forever live in harmony (as harmonious as Cathays can be anyway.) Fingers crossed you will have achieved this without breaking too many hearts, and friendships with those involved can be eventually restored. If you had not had to deal with this scenario however, you should be worried, because right now your friendship group are probably sat around the kitchen table, discussing how to tell you they do not want to live with you next year.