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Used in Union Lake

  • Posted on October 25, 2015 at 10:00 am


Dear Christine,

How do I tell my best friend she needs to move out of my house?  She moved in about a year ago when she ran into some financial trouble. She said at the time that she would be out in 3 months tops.  She has no job and doesn’t seem interested in finding one.  She’s always working on some get rich quick scheme that she swears will pay off.   For a while I believed in her but now I’m thinking of her as a freeloader and I don’t want to feel that way about her.  I’m afraid that if I give her a deadline or ask her to move out that it will ruin our friendship and I really love her and don’t want to hurt her of be mean.   I’m a wimp and a pushover but I want my house back. 

Thanks, Used in Union Lake


Dear Used,
I’m not sure there’s much of a friendship left after she’s ignored your agreement and whatever hints you’ve been dropping for so long.  There are consequences for not meeting expectations in friendship, housing and jobs.  In college I learned it’s best not to be roommates with my best friend, as being in each other’s space, putting up with each other’s patterns and habits can destroy an otherwise wonderful friendship.  Anytime you give to a friend, it’s wise to set boundaries before they move in or receive a loan from you.  As Robert Frost said:  “Good fences make good neighbors.”

It’s time to have a direct conversation.  Tell her your expectations:  set a new timeline that feels reasonable and fair to both of you.  If she’s been getting her mail at your address and established residency, this could go all the way to an eviction, dragging the process out 6 months.  Hopefully, there’s enough friendship left for her to honor the deadline without having to involve the courts.  If she agrees to your demands but takes no initiative to get a job, save money, pay rent or look for another place, then be ready to back up your agreement with the eviction.

Good luck to you both.

Christine C. Cantrell, PhD