THE BLOG
01/07/2011 07:17 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Deserted by housemates

QUESTION

Dear Irene,

For the past sixteen months I've lived with two very vibrant, interesting, artistic women in a lovely house in the Toronto Beaches. Two days ago they moved out and I've been crying non-stop. I knew they were leaving for three months but it didn't hit me until they left. I have a lovely new housemate, but the dynamics are different, and I feel strange and lonely in the house.

The fact is I lived alone for many years until I shared this house and I felt like I had found a little family. I can't seem to stop crying and I don't want to hurt the lovely woman who has move in here. I'm thinking of going to see a professional counselor or someone for help. What do you advise?

Best,
Cheryl

ANSWER

Dear Cheryl,

Two days is a very short time to get used to living without "family" you've been living with for more than a year. You really need to give yourself and your new housemate time to adjust to each other. You also need to ratchet down your expectations of her so you aren't disappointed; she isn't the same person as either one of the housemates to whom you became so attached but you may find that she has other qualities you'll grow to appreciate.

You haven't mentioned the circumstances that led these women to leave. Since it is likely that you played no role in their decision, it can leave you with the feeling of being dumped. Yet, assuming the decision didn't arise from any type of conflict, I hope that you can continue to maintain some type of relationship with them. Perhaps you can stay in contact by email and see them from time to time.

Many people complain about their experiences with roommates and housemates so you are very fortunate that yours was so positive. You should start feeling better soon but if you feel it would be helpful in easing your adjustment or you continue to feel depressed, you have nothing to lose (except the cost) by making an appointment to speak to a trained professional.

Hope this helps and that this new arrangement works out well for you.

Best,
Irene

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