The Student Room Group

Fell out with my flatmates, and now my housing for next year is at risk

I'm a first-year university student, just over halfway through the year. I sorted out housing for the second year early on into the first term, and have decided to live with 4 of my flatmates, who I was very close with. Me and my flat really got on in the first term, and I feel like I was generally a nice person to be around, running to get things from the shop for people and giving out advice when people needed it.

I then started dating one of my other flatmates, and when I returned from Christmas, she decided to call it off. I struggled with this massively, as seeing her day-to-day happy was really difficult for me, and she seemed unfazed by it all. I recently have felt a lot of anxiety in my life, and this was really triggering it. I told my ex and one of the other girls in the flat that I was struggling with the break-up and the situation around it and that it was affecting my mental health. They just said that I should go and speak to a professional, and kind of just disregarded the whole thing.

We then both went on separate nights out, and both came back to our flat. My ex then decided to make a sarcastic remark about a comment I had made about her ignoring me to my face to one of my friends within the flat, which had clearly gotten back to her. I then decided to leave the kitchen where this conversation was happening as this seemed like the best decision, but before I got into my room, I could hear her saying some rather nasty things about me, such as ‘He’s such a ******* baby, I don’t get why he’s taking it so badly, etc’. Due to my intoxicated state/fragile mental health, I went back into the kitchen and essentially had a mental breakdown, where I shouted to her in front of a few of my flatmates, saying things like 'You've ruined my life, you're making me depressed', etc. This was not the correct way to go about it, and I take full responsibility for this, even if it was due to the fragile state of my mental health or due to the alcohol. I think I was just trying to get my voice heard, and I really really didn’t want to inflict any damage, which has clearly happened anyway.

After having a conversation with my best mate in my flat, I immediately went and apologised, stating that I didn’t mean the things that I had said and I just wanted to get on with things without it being awkward. I also apologised to my flatmates for doing that in front of them. I did totally the wrong thing and I feel so bad about it.

The following morning, the flat felt abnormally quiet, and due to my anxiety, I was pacing about the flat trying to catch someone to have a conversation with. I soon realised they were all in my best mate’s room, and when I asked to come and have a chat due to me feeling lonely and stressed, I was immediately turned away. This situation made me feel horrific, to the point where I was physically shaking, struggling to breathe and crying my eyes out even within the confines of my own room, which should be my safe space. Therefore, I made the decision to remove myself from the situation, not only for me but for my flat, so I got on the first train home.

Since returning home, all but 2 of my flatmates have completely stopped speaking to me, and no one has really checked in on how I am doing. The 2 people who speak to me (one of whom is my best mate) are just sending me messages stating how wrong I am, and that I need to take more time away from university to focus on my health. I understand that there is no obligation for my flatmates to check in on how I’m doing, but given the fact that we were all friends and that I was told there were no sides to this, it feels like everyone has involved themselves and picked a side (even some who weren’t even present at the time), and now I feel very ostracised. I understand why they’ve done what they’ve done, but I had individual friendships with these people too, and they really aren’t looking at the bigger picture. I also think the fact that I confided that I was really struggling with my mental health, and yet none of them have checked in or taken this into account when forming their opinions and actions towards me. It just feels as if all the friendships I made were always fake to begin with, and I’ve begun reconsidering every little aspect of my university life.

I understand that this situation is mainly my fault, and I have taken accountability for this by apologising numerous times and removing myself from the situation. I’ve contacted student support at my university, made my lecturers aware of the reason behind my absence and contacted external help at home. I understand that there isn’t anything more I can do, and I’m worried that my living situation for next year is now at risk of falling apart. Me breaking the contract for our house next year means that all of my housemates for next year will have to find another house, and I really don’t want to cause them any inconvenience. However, I will prioritise my mental health over my friendships with these people, even if it makes me feel bad. I have not returned back to university at the time of writing this, but I have to go back around a week after I left as my course is very practical, and I need to be there to do it. However, I feel that everyone will ignore me, which will make my mental health even worse.

What should I do in this situation? I would love to try and re-bond these friendships and live with these people next year, but not if it will feel awkward. Is it even a case of moving out of my first year flat now? I would rather not have to go through the awkward stage of living with people I’ve never met again, and I do think that I can operate independently in my current living situation, but it will be difficult. I am more worried of the situation going forward though.

TL;DR: I had a mental breakdown as a result of a breakup I had with one of my flatmates. I had made my flatmates aware of my struggle with mental health. Most of my flat will now no longer speak to me, and I had to come home as it was making me too anxious. I’ve owned up for what I did, removed myself from the situation, and I’m just worried nothing will change. Now I’m worried that when I return, my friends within the flat (especially those who I’m supposed to be living with next year) don’t like me and I’m wondering what to do with the situation.

Thanks for any advice or help you can give me!
Reply 1
Original post by billyevans
I'm a first-year university student, just over halfway through the year. I sorted out housing for the second year early on into the first term, and have decided to live with 4 of my flatmates, who I was very close with. Me and my flat really got on in the first term, and I feel like I was generally a nice person to be around, running to get things from the shop for people and giving out advice when people needed it.

I then started dating one of my other flatmates, and when I returned from Christmas, she decided to call it off. I struggled with this massively, as seeing her day-to-day happy was really difficult for me, and she seemed unfazed by it all. I recently have felt a lot of anxiety in my life, and this was really triggering it. I told my ex and one of the other girls in the flat that I was struggling with the break-up and the situation around it and that it was affecting my mental health. They just said that I should go and speak to a professional, and kind of just disregarded the whole thing.

We then both went on separate nights out, and both came back to our flat. My ex then decided to make a sarcastic remark about a comment I had made about her ignoring me to my face to one of my friends within the flat, which had clearly gotten back to her. I then decided to leave the kitchen where this conversation was happening as this seemed like the best decision, but before I got into my room, I could hear her saying some rather nasty things about me, such as ‘He’s such a ******* baby, I don’t get why he’s taking it so badly, etc’. Due to my intoxicated state/fragile mental health, I went back into the kitchen and essentially had a mental breakdown, where I shouted to her in front of a few of my flatmates, saying things like 'You've ruined my life, you're making me depressed', etc. This was not the correct way to go about it, and I take full responsibility for this, even if it was due to the fragile state of my mental health or due to the alcohol. I think I was just trying to get my voice heard, and I really really didn’t want to inflict any damage, which has clearly happened anyway.

After having a conversation with my best mate in my flat, I immediately went and apologised, stating that I didn’t mean the things that I had said and I just wanted to get on with things without it being awkward. I also apologised to my flatmates for doing that in front of them. I did totally the wrong thing and I feel so bad about it.

The following morning, the flat felt abnormally quiet, and due to my anxiety, I was pacing about the flat trying to catch someone to have a conversation with. I soon realised they were all in my best mate’s room, and when I asked to come and have a chat due to me feeling lonely and stressed, I was immediately turned away. This situation made me feel horrific, to the point where I was physically shaking, struggling to breathe and crying my eyes out even within the confines of my own room, which should be my safe space. Therefore, I made the decision to remove myself from the situation, not only for me but for my flat, so I got on the first train home.

Since returning home, all but 2 of my flatmates have completely stopped speaking to me, and no one has really checked in on how I am doing. The 2 people who speak to me (one of whom is my best mate) are just sending me messages stating how wrong I am, and that I need to take more time away from university to focus on my health. I understand that there is no obligation for my flatmates to check in on how I’m doing, but given the fact that we were all friends and that I was told there were no sides to this, it feels like everyone has involved themselves and picked a side (even some who weren’t even present at the time), and now I feel very ostracised. I understand why they’ve done what they’ve done, but I had individual friendships with these people too, and they really aren’t looking at the bigger picture. I also think the fact that I confided that I was really struggling with my mental health, and yet none of them have checked in or taken this into account when forming their opinions and actions towards me. It just feels as if all the friendships I made were always fake to begin with, and I’ve begun reconsidering every little aspect of my university life.

I understand that this situation is mainly my fault, and I have taken accountability for this by apologising numerous times and removing myself from the situation. I’ve contacted student support at my university, made my lecturers aware of the reason behind my absence and contacted external help at home. I understand that there isn’t anything more I can do, and I’m worried that my living situation for next year is now at risk of falling apart. Me breaking the contract for our house next year means that all of my housemates for next year will have to find another house, and I really don’t want to cause them any inconvenience. However, I will prioritise my mental health over my friendships with these people, even if it makes me feel bad. I have not returned back to university at the time of writing this, but I have to go back around a week after I left as my course is very practical, and I need to be there to do it. However, I feel that everyone will ignore me, which will make my mental health even worse.

What should I do in this situation? I would love to try and re-bond these friendships and live with these people next year, but not if it will feel awkward. Is it even a case of moving out of my first year flat now? I would rather not have to go through the awkward stage of living with people I’ve never met again, and I do think that I can operate independently in my current living situation, but it will be difficult. I am more worried of the situation going forward though.

TL;DR: I had a mental breakdown as a result of a breakup I had with one of my flatmates. I had made my flatmates aware of my struggle with mental health. Most of my flat will now no longer speak to me, and I had to come home as it was making me too anxious. I’ve owned up for what I did, removed myself from the situation, and I’m just worried nothing will change. Now I’m worried that when I return, my friends within the flat (especially those who I’m supposed to be living with next year) don’t like me and I’m wondering what to do with the situation.

Thanks for any advice or help you can give me!

fyi deciding not to move into a place you signed the contract for doesn't absolve you of the responsibility to pay rent

you can either ask your future flatmates to find someone to replace you, ask the landlord to accept the change, and assist them in the search - but until you do you're still on the hook for rent + deposit - or you can try and patch it up

you've already accepted responsibility. they've apparently decided not to accept wrongness. whatever; i don't care who's at fault. do you want to patch it up and move in with them? if so now would be the time to apologise and try having normal conversations again. is that too much? given your current situation it may not be tenable, idk, but what other option is there?
This is likely going to sound a bit harsh but is intended to be constructive, but your flatmates are likely absolutely sick of the drama and tension and don't want to be involved despite not having much choice.

This is a huge part of why it's generally accepted you do not date your housemates, as it pretty much either ends in a messy unrecoverable public breakup like this or with the couple forcing the others out, and as a result a lot of people don't have a huge amount of sympathy when it goes wrong and the atmosphere of the place is ruined. Like the dating a housemate thing, I fear you might also have been a bit naive assuming that gossip only flows one way and that people aren't essentially picking sides or making judgments, especially when your ex is apparently over things and you're the one that's having public meltdowns.

When you've been a bit manic and needy the next day that has honesty prob been the exact opposite of how they felt about you at that moment, they were prob a bit sick of it and it would have been a good time to keep your head down and give everyone a bit of cool down time rather than try to force it.
Reply 3
Original post by HoldThisL
fyi deciding not to move into a place you signed the contract for doesn't absolve you of the responsibility to pay rent

you can either ask your future flatmates to find someone to replace you, ask the landlord to accept the change, and assist them in the search - but until you do you're still on the hook for rent + deposit - or you can try and patch it up

you've already accepted responsibility. they've apparently decided not to accept wrongness. whatever; i don't care who's at fault. do you want to patch it up and move in with them? if so now would be the time to apologise and try having normal conversations again. is that too much? given your current situation it may not be tenable, idk, but what other option is there?

Thanks for your reply!

I'm going to try my hardest to solve things, as we did really get on well. It might not be tenable but I'll give it my best shot. I won't be super clingy but I'll try and just make some nice conversation and hopefully, it improves from there. I think a lot of what I said is worst-case scenario, and in reality, I'm sure it won't be as bad as I think it is. I just need them to open their eyes and see the situation from a bigger picture. I can't make them do that though, and it might not work, so we'll just see what happens.
Reply 4
Original post by StriderHort
This is likely going to sound a bit harsh but is intended to be constructive, but your flatmates are likely absolutely sick of the drama and tension and don't want to be involved despite not having much choice.

This is a huge part of why it's generally accepted you do not date your housemates, as it pretty much either ends in a messy unrecoverable public breakup like this or with the couple forcing the others out, and as a result a lot of people don't have a huge amount of sympathy when it goes wrong and the atmosphere of the place is ruined. Like the dating a housemate thing, I fear you might also have been a bit naive assuming that gossip only flows one way and that people aren't essentially picking sides or making judgments, especially when your ex is apparently over things and you're the one that's having public meltdowns.

When you've been a bit manic and needy the next day that has honesty prob been the exact opposite of how they felt about you at that moment, they were prob a bit sick of it and it would have been a good time to keep your head down and give everyone a bit of cool down time rather than try to force it.

Thanks for your response!

I agree with them being sick to death of it, as I am too! On your point about how gossip doesn't flow one way, that is true, but I think that my presence not being there means that the general vibe around it will be rather one-sided. Of course, I don't know that this is the case. I plan to go back, show them that I am sorry and it was a freak reaction, and just make small, positive conversation. I'm hoping that will work and if it doesn't, then I'll find alternative ways around this issue.
Original post by billyevans
I'm a first-year university student, just over halfway through the year. I sorted out housing for the second year early on into the first term, and have decided to live with 4 of my flatmates, who I was very close with. Me and my flat really got on in the first term, and I feel like I was generally a nice person to be around, running to get things from the shop for people and giving out advice when people needed it.

I then started dating one of my other flatmates, and when I returned from Christmas, she decided to call it off. I struggled with this massively, as seeing her day-to-day happy was really difficult for me, and she seemed unfazed by it all. I recently have felt a lot of anxiety in my life, and this was really triggering it. I told my ex and one of the other girls in the flat that I was struggling with the break-up and the situation around it and that it was affecting my mental health. They just said that I should go and speak to a professional, and kind of just disregarded the whole thing.

We then both went on separate nights out, and both came back to our flat. My ex then decided to make a sarcastic remark about a comment I had made about her ignoring me to my face to one of my friends within the flat, which had clearly gotten back to her. I then decided to leave the kitchen where this conversation was happening as this seemed like the best decision, but before I got into my room, I could hear her saying some rather nasty things about me, such as ‘He’s such a ******* baby, I don’t get why he’s taking it so badly, etc’. Due to my intoxicated state/fragile mental health, I went back into the kitchen and essentially had a mental breakdown, where I shouted to her in front of a few of my flatmates, saying things like 'You've ruined my life, you're making me depressed', etc. This was not the correct way to go about it, and I take full responsibility for this, even if it was due to the fragile state of my mental health or due to the alcohol. I think I was just trying to get my voice heard, and I really really didn’t want to inflict any damage, which has clearly happened anyway.

After having a conversation with my best mate in my flat, I immediately went and apologised, stating that I didn’t mean the things that I had said and I just wanted to get on with things without it being awkward. I also apologised to my flatmates for doing that in front of them. I did totally the wrong thing and I feel so bad about it.

The following morning, the flat felt abnormally quiet, and due to my anxiety, I was pacing about the flat trying to catch someone to have a conversation with. I soon realised they were all in my best mate’s room, and when I asked to come and have a chat due to me feeling lonely and stressed, I was immediately turned away. This situation made me feel horrific, to the point where I was physically shaking, struggling to breathe and crying my eyes out even within the confines of my own room, which should be my safe space. Therefore, I made the decision to remove myself from the situation, not only for me but for my flat, so I got on the first train home.

Since returning home, all but 2 of my flatmates have completely stopped speaking to me, and no one has really checked in on how I am doing. The 2 people who speak to me (one of whom is my best mate) are just sending me messages stating how wrong I am, and that I need to take more time away from university to focus on my health. I understand that there is no obligation for my flatmates to check in on how I’m doing, but given the fact that we were all friends and that I was told there were no sides to this, it feels like everyone has involved themselves and picked a side (even some who weren’t even present at the time), and now I feel very ostracised. I understand why they’ve done what they’ve done, but I had individual friendships with these people too, and they really aren’t looking at the bigger picture. I also think the fact that I confided that I was really struggling with my mental health, and yet none of them have checked in or taken this into account when forming their opinions and actions towards me. It just feels as if all the friendships I made were always fake to begin with, and I’ve begun reconsidering every little aspect of my university life.

I understand that this situation is mainly my fault, and I have taken accountability for this by apologising numerous times and removing myself from the situation. I’ve contacted student support at my university, made my lecturers aware of the reason behind my absence and contacted external help at home. I understand that there isn’t anything more I can do, and I’m worried that my living situation for next year is now at risk of falling apart. Me breaking the contract for our house next year means that all of my housemates for next year will have to find another house, and I really don’t want to cause them any inconvenience. However, I will prioritise my mental health over my friendships with these people, even if it makes me feel bad. I have not returned back to university at the time of writing this, but I have to go back around a week after I left as my course is very practical, and I need to be there to do it. However, I feel that everyone will ignore me, which will make my mental health even worse.

What should I do in this situation? I would love to try and re-bond these friendships and live with these people next year, but not if it will feel awkward. Is it even a case of moving out of my first year flat now? I would rather not have to go through the awkward stage of living with people I’ve never met again, and I do think that I can operate independently in my current living situation, but it will be difficult. I am more worried of the situation going forward though.

TL;DR: I had a mental breakdown as a result of a breakup I had with one of my flatmates. I had made my flatmates aware of my struggle with mental health. Most of my flat will now no longer speak to me, and I had to come home as it was making me too anxious. I’ve owned up for what I did, removed myself from the situation, and I’m just worried nothing will change. Now I’m worried that when I return, my friends within the flat (especially those who I’m supposed to be living with next year) don’t like me and I’m wondering what to do with the situation.

Thanks for any advice or help you can give me!

Hi there,
This certainly sounds like a difficult situation and I would highly recommend reaching out to your university wellbeing services or personal tutor for support (if you haven't already).

As other posters have noted, if you have signed a tenancy agreement then you will still remain liable for the rent. I would recommend (if you are unable to reconcile with your flatmates), reaching out to your estate agent/accommodation provider that you booked your second year house through and let them know that you're looking to find a replacement tenant. It is good, however difficult, to let your flatmates know this as well. To do this, it is worth posting on social media, forums like TSR or sites like Spare Room. Keep your estate agent/accommodation provider informed as they will need to process any tenancy takeover on their side.

Hope this helps.

-Nicky

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