Think yours is the house-share from hell? What about living with your ex, or your man and your mum, like these Company readers?
YOU, YOUR EX AND HIS MATE
Claire Cannon, 31, from Newcastle, is a childminder. She lives with her exboyfriend, Jon Lindsay, 32, an advertising planner, and their flatmate, Paul Williams, 30, who works in business development management. The trio live in a three-bedroomed flat in west London.
“I met Jon in a club ten years ago, when we both lived in Newcastle.
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We started going out in the summer of 2000, after Jon graduated. When he moved to London, I stayed in Newcastle, but I moved down six months later, although we lived separately. To be honest, when I moved to London, our relationship was beginning to fizzle out, even though neither of us admitted it. I know it sounds strange, but we thought moving in together might help save the relationship, but, as a bit of a safety measure, we got Paul to move in, too.
Jon and I had always had fun together, but moving in made everything too serious. He was working so hard and I spent a lot of time in the spare room. We didn't have a big fall-out, but about three months after moving in together, we decided to end our relationship.
I thought about moving out But the contract on the flat meant we would have had to find someone else to move in, and Jon and Paul didn't want to live with a stranger, so Jon moved into the smaller room and I kept our bedroom. I don’t think any of us expected to still be here, two years down the line.
It was hard being in each others’ faces all the time. Jon and I went from sharing a bed to feeling awkward when we bumped into each other on the way to the bathroom. If I felt down, I’d want a cuddle from Jon, but I had to tell myself I couldn’t do that any more. Luckily, the difficult stage only lasted a couple of months and then we slipped into being friends.
The first time I brought a new boyfriend home, Jon was really quiet. He found it a bit weird. Then, Jon started seeing somebody and when I met her, I must admit, I felt twinges of jealousy, too. He’s been going out with someone else for about seven months now and it was much better this time round – I didn’t feel jealous at all. I'm single, but when
I meet guys, I don't normally mention the fact that I still live with my ex-boyfriend!
I’ve never been tempted to get back with Jon, I don't fancy him any more. I obviously still look at him and think he’s handsome, and I really like him. But not enough for me to want to jump back into bed with him -not even when I’ve got my beer goggles on!
Our friends do think it’s a bit weird that we’re still living together. They can’t believe we’re not sleeping together. To us, it’s cut and dried, but to everyone else, it seems like a really difficult situation.”
“For the first couple of months after we split up, it was strange – we were still sharing a bathroom and kitchen, but not a bed. When other couples split up, they have a period to sort their heads out, but Claire and I couldn’t do that. When Claire brought a new guy home, half of me felt weird and the other half was pleased she’d met someone. I told my current girlfriend, Sue, that I lived with my ex right from the start, so she’s fine about it. Claire and I are friends, and the three of us get on well as flatmates, so why change it?”
“I wasn’t worried about living with a couple -and because they shared a bedroom, it gave us a spare room to put all our junk in! Luckily, when Claire and Jon split up, it was quite amicable – there were no big rows. I think they were conscious of not putting me in the middle. I was always there if either of them needed to talk to me, and I’d go out with each of them separately for drinks if they needed to sound off. There weren't any big screaming matches and I wasn't asked to take sides. Although I live with a couple who've split up, this is the best flatshare I've had in London and it’s the seventh one I’ve lived in