I’ve shared a flat with my friend Jake for the past year and we’ve always
got on really well. But recently he got a new girlfriend and since then
everything’s been a bit weird.
Jake and I used to watch TV in the evenings, order in a pizza and have a
laugh. Now she comes round, cooks them romantic dinners so I go and hide in
my bedroom rather than be the gooseberry watching TV while they hold hands
and feed each other.
The walls of the flat are quite thin and I can hear everything that goes on
in his room which is really embarrassing.
Our bathroom cupboard is now full of her toiletries for the nights she
stays over, and she’s there more and more but doesn’t contribute to any of
I just feel like they don’t have any consideration for me and Jake’s so
wrapped up in their relationship he’s forgotten about our friendship. I also
hate feeling so awkward in my own flat.
I know I sound like a bitter singleton but I’m worried I’m going to end up
arguing with Jake and lose a friend and have to move out.
What should I do? Claire, 25, Harlow
There are two problems here you need to deal with. Your friendship with Jake
and his flatmate etiquette (or rather the lack of it!)
It’s clear your friendship with Jake has taken a back seat since his new
girlfriend arrived on the scene. That must be very hurtful for you, because
it sounds like you were great friends before. But you’re not the first
person who’s been shoved to one side when their mate finds a new bed mate.
Jake is not being a good friend to you and you need to explain that to him.
Girlfriends will come and go, but friends are forever, and he needs to
realise this. Sit down with him, explain you’re feeling pushed out of his
life, and suggest you two make time for each other. Maybe you could both set
aside one night a week to go out and do something, or just stay in and chill
with each other. He can’t just expect you to have your friendship put on
hold indefinitely, he has to invest some effort into it and value you as a
The next thing to be dealt with is his appalling flatmate etiquette.
Friendship aside, when you live with someone there are certain rules that
have to be followed and making that person feel uncomfortable in their own
home is definitely not one of them! I can totally understand why you feel
like a gooseberry in your own flat and that is not acceptable. Jake may be
so wrapped up in lust that he’s not even aware of how rude he’s being.
Explain how you feel, that it’s your home too and how unfair it is for him
to dominate the living spaces. If he wants romantic dinners and snogging
over dessert he’ll have to do it on a night you’re out, or in a restaurant.
And if his girlfriend is practically living there then you need to put it to
him that she should be contributing to the bills, it’s your flat, not a love