My Boyfriend Shares An Apartment With His Ex But Says It’s Platonic. Should I Be Worried?

My boyfriend is sharing an apartment with ex but says its platonic

I came upon your site after searching for dating advice while feeling sad at work. I met a guy online and we hit it off really well. On our second date we spent 8 hours together just walking and have seen him consistently 2 or even 3 times a week for about 6 weeks.

The problem is I started wondering why he didn’t invite me to his apartment, which he owns and isn’t far from my place. I asked him about this and it finally came out that he is living with his ex-girlfriend. Basically, she is living there rent free and has been for 10+ months, so she can save enough to move out (we live in NYC). When I asked him when is she moving out, he just said, “maybe the end of the year”, which is still 4 months away. He said that he feels bad for her because he knows what it’s like to be on your own and how scary that is. Plus she was instrumental in him buying the apartment (going to open houses when he could not, etc.) and so he feels like he should help her out.

I saw the apartment – they sleep in separate rooms. However, her stuff is everywhere, as I imagined. Also, he has not told her about me and does not want me there when she is there.

He claims that they do not have feelings for each other and hardly see each other since he works long daytime hours and she works nights.

Should I continue dating him under the circumstances? I really like him. But….eek.


Once upon a time, I had a client break up with her boyfriend because, among other things, he lent $25,000 to a girlfriend who never paid him back. My client took this as a sign that he had terrible financial judgment. I took it as a sign that he was generous and trusting. Kind of funny how two people can look at the same situation and see completely different things. (By the way, they got back together and are now married with a kid. I love my job.)

Anyway, this feels like one of those situations. You meet a guy who has been nothing but consistent and kind for the past two months. He’s acting like a boyfriend. He owns his own place in NYC. He no longer wants to date his ex, but given her financial circumstances, he feels bad throwing her out on the street.

Who knows, maybe you’ll one day be the beneficiary of this gentleman’s extraordinary patience and generosity.

Again, from where I sit, this sounds like a sweet, generous, sensitive guy. He’s treating his ex the way I would hope you’d treat your best friend. Now I can’t vouch for the ex-girlfriend. I don’t know how motivated she is to move out when she’s living rent-free. But I do know that the question I would have about the guy you’re seeing isn’t about whether he’s up to anything fishy, but simply whether he has the balls to give his ex a deadline for getting her act together and moving out.

I get it: it’s certainly inconvenient — for both you and him — to have her in his space, but, if your relationship is strong, this arrangement won’t last forever. So, Amy, would you rather give him an ultimatum to kick her out in the next 30 days, or continue to enjoy this relationship for the next four months, with him sleeping at your place? The answer seems pretty obvious to me.

And who knows, maybe you’ll one day be the beneficiary of this gentleman’s extraordinary patience and generosity. That should be something for you to think about, instead of stewing in your own juices that this guy is sacrificing for someone he cares about but is no longer dating.

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  1. 101

    It’s a difficult situation to be in and understand. I have been dating the same guy for 9 years now, I was never introduced to his family and friends because his ex continues to rent a bedroom in the house for $100 a month. And it hasn’t changed since 2011. Sometimes taking the back seat and hoping for things to change can take a toll over a good relationship. Because he becomes comfortable having a girlfriend that he visits at her place. At the end of the day, he goes home where he sees his eye candy. When do you walk away?

  2. 102

    I came accross this blog at 5am, wide awake – worried about my situation almost similar to the poster, mine I think is far worse! I’ve been with my boyfriend for 9 months and no one knows about me, not one soul on his side of the family. His ex is still living in his home but not sharing common space. She has her own space other than shared laundry. Although house is decent size, both could hear when one sneezes. So, for the 10 months we have known each other, we communicated really well, like what most ideal relationships are. Only catch, he can’t speak inside, he has to either go out in his garage or stay in his running vehicle for 2 hours to keep him warm. We live an hour away and he call the shots when to come by for 2 or 3 hour visit. Since May, he had visited once a week average. It was okay at first but everything now is getting old for me. We close to our 1st year anniversary and he had set no deadlines when to kick her out. To give you a better picture why he’s terrified to do so, this is his excuse.
    They were common-law for 8 years, off and on for 4 times. He dated briefly and asked this girl to move in 4 weeks in because he had another property where he stayed when ex and him broke up and parents knee about her and his neighborhood and friends (I’m including this short term relationship because she’s one of my insecurities and I think you all could imagine why). That didn’t last long, I’d say 2 weeks she was kicked out because she was very controlling. My bf decided to go back to his other home and rented the 2nd home where he had a short term fling moved in. He however wanted her out but cops were called because of wrongful accusations. In short, my ex was kicked out of his own home for few days maybe couple of weeks. He returned after ex changed her statement and confessed he made it all up.
    A year and a half in, they still are sharing one roof and work together seasonal. Now, my bf is terrified to kick her out again. Afraid she will call the cops on him again. He said October 2020 she will move put based on assumptions. Nov 30th, I had enough and broke it off. But I regretted as I love him so much and I thought we had a great relationships going here. Just few days ago, my brain is telling me, I’m not his priority. Im not as good of a person as the fling. I’m not a worthy enough to be introduced to the most important people in his life which are his patents and 2 teenagers who wanted nothing but his happiness by stepping up and get his ex out of his life.
    He visits me 2 or 3 hours a week and have never stayed the night and like I said, it’s getting old. Not enough for me now that we’re approaching to our anniversary. We haven’t been seen publicly bec ex might know and she might get pissy and retaliate. . I’d like yo make it clear, they are 100% done. So my questions, do I hang on indefinitely after investing 9 months? Or leave? He’s not perfect but with his other flaw plus his situation, is it worthwhile? Am I just a weekend bang type of gf? He truly cares and loves me and spends so much time talking but almost zero affection bec of our very rare meet ups. I don’t know what to do. I can’t tell my friends about my situation bec he’s very private and I’m a little embarrassed and disappointed of myself as well.

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