Agony Aunt: How Do I Tell My Friend I Don’t Want To Live With Her

It’s that time of the year again. You know, in between deciding whether to spend another year in halls or staying with a group of friends or maybe strangers. Having heard many horror stories about how living with friends can be like, you decide you want to live with strangers. But how do you tell your friend that? Your other friends won’t mind, but you know your best friend will take it personally. I have some words of advice that could be of help.


First of all, ask yourself why you don’t want to live with your friends. Is it only because of the bad things you’ve heard about living with them? You need to remember that everyone is different and just because someone had a bad experience with friends does not mean that you will. When you also remember that bad news tends to travel faster than good news, it will help you put things into perspective. If, after mulling it over you still don’t want to move in with your friend that’s fine and the following tips can help you break the news to her.

Sleepovers won’t be the same.

Just think, if you live with your friend you may be tempted not to go out as much together as you both live together. Let her know that you want that excitement to still be there when you both see each other. Besides, sleepovers may lose their fun if you live together compared to living apart and being excited at the prospect of sleeping at each other’s respective homes. It’s also worth adding that you don’t want your friendship to get lost in the mundane day to day activities of washing up, laundry and saying, ‘It’s your turn to take out the bin’. When you do sleepovers, you won’t have to worry about that, and you can focus on the things that matter, such as having fun.

You value your friendship.

You can let her know that you value your friendship so much that you don’t want to risk it going wrong by living together. Explain to her that the benefits of living with strangers include not having any expectations, and it can be a case of nothing gained or nothing lost. If you live with each other, there may be spoken or unspoken expectations that can affect your friendship. Because let’s face it when living with friends goes wrong, it can be detrimental and when it goes well, it goes well- there is rarely an in-between. You should also let her know that whether you live together or not, you care for her and hope that she understands and accepts your choice. Be open to hearing her points too, and a compromise could even be reached where you try it out for six months, and if it doesn’t work at least, you tried. After all, friendship is based on trust, understanding and fun. If you really are both good friends, you should both at least be able to respect the other person’s opinion even if you do not necessarily agree with them.

Opeyemi Adeyemo