The Socialite: When Shacking Up Goes Wrong

First and foremost, I’d like to wish you a prosperous and

productive Black History Month. I know that had to be weird to read. But

really, we can wish each other a Happy Holiday, so an entire month should


A month in which we have an extra day to celebrate thanks to

the Leap Year; Happy Birthday to all the Leap Year babies out there. And a

month in which Black History is being made right before our very eyes; Barack Obama

for President (Yes, we can).

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been contacted in every way

possible about The Socialite. Some people raved, while others expressed their boldface

objections to my theories. Whether good or bad, I’ve welcomed them all.

While reading through close to 200 comments, I came across a

question that a quite a few people wanted answered:

Now that I moved my boyfriend/girlfriend into my home, how the hell do

I get them out?

So you’re looking to take evasive action? First you must

admit that you’ve made one of the biggest mistakes of your life before I move


Ok, now that we have your admittance on record, we can talk.

A man’s home is his castle and a woman’s home is her

lifestyle center. Your Number One objective should be maintaining the rules and

regulations for your personal domain. You must exhibit a wealth of discipline

at all times.

You must also be stern enough to stand your ground; express

your concerns, be upfront and outright, and most importantly have strength

enough to say, “No.” The first time that you flinch in the execution of

enforcing your rules, you are opening the door to a landslide of concerns.

Most people make the mistake of allowing their significant

other to, “lay roots,” by either leaving personal items behind, sleeping over

one too many nights in a row, or falling for the “convenience trap.”

Let’s dive into this turn of events.

Personal items are never left behind due to a loss in

memory. At the very least, it’s a subconscious act. Women leave items like

underwear, make-up… and the silent assassin, strands of hair. Men leave items

like watches, shades, and possibly paraphernalia, ya’ dig?

I suggest a quick sweep of your home before your guest

exits. There’s nothing wrong with asking if they have everything. Also, don’t

be afraid to bag up what you do find to either bring to them or what I’ve

actually done in the past, mail to them.

It’s human nature to become comfortable in your surrounds,

even if those surroundings aren’t yours. A weekend together could easily turn

into five days if you’re not careful. Any more than a two day stay will allow

for your guest to acquire personal space, by either shifting your closet around

or emptying a drawer to place their items away.

Once again, there’s nothing wrong with asking if they have

everything when exiting. You may receive an answer along the lines of, “Well I

thought I’d just leave something here for when I come back.” At this moment,

you can step up and let them know that you’re not comfortable with their items

being left behind. If not, it will only be a matter of time before your guest

has their own closet or drawer space in your home.

I suggest the One-Day Bag Stay (ODBS). Think of it this way,

if you go out on a date [see The Socialite: You Free Tonight?] Friday night, the odds are that you’ll get back home

fairly late. A one-day bag is self-explanatory; your guest has one outfit for

Saturday and on Sunday, they can either put on what they wore on Friday, or go

home. Either way, they’re going home.

And finally, the “convenience trap.” After successfully making

the first two mistakes, the convenience trap seals the deal. Since you’re

practically living together, small talk takes a turn towards the possibility of

making your living arrangements official. You begin to think about how much

money you could save if you had someone taking on half the bills, and viola,

you’re a live-in couple.

The lease is under your name and states that the apartment

should only house one adult, so by moving your significant other in with you,

the lease is in jeopardy of being broken; but who cares about that formality?

Ok, so the first month has gone by, you go over the numbers

and find that you both pocketed $500. We’re going to Disney World! Well not so

fast. Instead of investing your savings, you decide to buy the new iPhone, accruing

another bill for services. You receive a phone call from your roomy that

they’ve just been in a car accident. Your roomy is fine, but their car is

totaled; not to mention that their trunk is full of items from a shopping spree

which tanked their $500 to $24.

Without transportation, it only took your roomy two weeks to

lose their job, leaving you as the sole provider until they get work. Not to

mention that your roomy has maxed out credit cards and no money saved in the


For the first month, your roomy is in your home watching

court shows, ESPN and/or soap opera’s all day; eating the food that you’ve

bought and taking three showers a day. You’re utility bill, once $55 a month is

now $120 a month, because they must have the heat up to 85 degrees. Two weeks

of food once cost you $150 every two weeks; now it costs $270. You didn’t

factor in that they don’t eat the same foods you do.

One month out of work turns into three months, and now

you’re losing financially, emotionally and possibly losing your mind. Guess

what? This is when your roomy reminds you that you’re still in a relationship

with them by complaining that you’re not taking them out as much anymore or

buying them gifts. How grateful is that?

So how do you get them out of your home? You have to

construct a backbone. You have to finally open up your mouth and stop the

bleeding. Yes, it will be hard to wean your guest off their dependence in you.

You will feel sorry for them. If you’d like, you can give them a certain amount

of time before they must be out of your home.

The choice is yours. My choice is prevention. The Legend of

Legends, James

Brown (rest his soul) sang it

best, “You don’t start none, there won’t

be none