You as a 2 Week House Guest

Updated on November 05, 2012
R.H. asks from Fayetteville, AR
15 answers

How would you behave if you were to stay (not a visit type situation) with a single friend for 2 weeks (you, as a single person without family)? Behave may not be the correct word--contribute, etc. On weekends should you leave (go to Mall, zoo) in order to give her some private time or ask her to accompany you? Hotel is not as option.

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answers from Chicago on

I would pitch in with the chores, chip in for groceries, offer to cook meals, and leave the room in pristine condition.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

When I'm a guest, single or with kids, I help do a lot of cleaning. I offer to watch kids or run errands, I bring in food so we don't deplete supply, I DEFINITELY clear out and let them have space. It's always been with friends who are close enough for me to be honest and say, Hey, do you want to come, or should we just scram so you can relax?"

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Jacksonville on

More like a roommate than a guest.
I'd pick up after myself, wash dishes (or load the dishwasher) as needed, offer to prepare a few meals or buy carryout for both of you, wash my own linens and clothes (after first checking with host for a time that you won't be inconveniencing her by using the washer--either noise, or that she might be using it then)....

Definitely follow the lead of your host: Do they put used drink glasses in the sink, on the counter next to the sink, or directly into the dishwasher, when they are finished with it? Do they eat ONLY at the table, or is snacking sitting around in the living room something they do with care? Do they put their feet on the coffee table? If not, you don't either. What time do they routinely go to bed? Go to bed, too... or at least to your room and shut the door to read or something.
That sort of thing. Is that what you mean?

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

Make dinner, keep my sleeping area/room tidy, take quick showers, treat host to take out, do my own laundry, jump in to help unload the dishwasher etc., buy some groceries, ask what I could do to help our around the house, communicate with my host about when I expect to be home and which days I will be out for dinner, or staying out late. Send a thank you note after I have gone, and perhaps some photos or a small gift of appreciation.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

I would be sure to clean up after myself, contribute to buying and preparing food, maybe make her a nice dinner (and do the dishes!) It is usually a good idea to give your host some personal space, like just reading in your room for awhile or taking a walk. You can always invite her on an outing, as is "I think I will check out the zoo tomorrow, would you like to join me?", that way she can decide for herself.

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answers from Cincinnati on

Are you the hostess, or the visitor in this scenario? I always seem to make the wrong choices when it comes to the personal space aspect. Generally, I don't like to feel like I'm cramping anyone else's style, or keeping them from their normal routine. I wouldn't want anyone to feel obligated to give me their extra time or attention, since they are already helping me out with giving me a place to stay for free. I also wouldn't want someone to feel like they have to spend all their time with me, just because I'm helping them with a place to stay. For me, as a hostess, I'd like to have about 2 hours of time to myself per day to look forward to. So maybe go for a walk or run every morning or evening at the same time and for the same amount of time, so that your hostess can look forward to that time to have to herself.

Whenever I try to give people their space though, or try to be considerate of their finances (going out, etc) I think most times they are offended by it, which always confuses me. Maybe it has something to do with growing up hearing how my own parents would talk about our guests when they weren't around. I don't think my parents are normal though. To be fair, they are very arrogant, judgmental, and they never have anything nice to say about anyone. So, you should probably not take my advice, but I'll share my point of view in case it helps :p

For example, I had a friend who told me she felt like I didn't want her to come over to my house, because if she said she was tired or gave me some other reason for hesitating to stop by,I would tell her not to feel obligated to come over. I thought I was being considerate, and letting her off the hook without any hard feelings. She told me that she felt like I just didn't really want her to come over. I was thinking, "Should I be harassing you to come over? If you want to come, then come. If not, then don't come. Either way, my day will go on. It would be nice to see you, but we all have other things we have to do sometimes". She didn't take it that way though.

I have had a lifetime full of stressful experiences due to certain family members who literally harass me to visit them or go somewhere with them, even when I say that I really can't because I have other important obligations. I mean, these situations frequently blow up into full out yelling arguments, where I literally get interrogated and then accused of some kind of wrong doing simply because I have to stay home to study for an exam. So, if I try to make plans with someone and they say they have other things to do, I feel like I'm being considerate by telling them to go do it. Apparently, that's not the right thing to do though.

As far as personal space at home, I know my dad gets annoyed when he feels like he's not free to feel "at home" in his own home. He likes to lay on the couch with his feet up, wearing nothing but a pair of boxers, with his hands down his pants, while loudly passing gas that is not at all appealing to the senses. So when I'm at someone else's house for longer than a night or two, I try to go out and do my own thing so that they can feel free do whatever it is they do in the comfort of their own homes. Usually though, when I've done that, I've gotten feedback that the hosts think I'm stuck up or rude. Again, I thought I was being considerate, and I was just trying to stay out of the way.

But, I also notice that when I have tried the approach of expressing my interest in spending a lot of time with people I've stayed with, I can definitely sense a desire for the need for space after a while. It's natural, I don't get my feelings hurt by it, but that's why I try to avoid it in the first place by doing my own thing.

So, I think no matter what you do, you're going to be fine. The host is either going to be offended by how much time you spend together, or they're not. Just make sure you clean up after yourself, express genuine gratitude, help out around the house, etc.

Although, I would say that sometimes I get really uncomfortable as a hostess when my guest refuses to just relax and make themselves at home. I don't want anyone destroying my house or throwing parties and inviting strange people I don't know over or anything... but I don't want them feeling like they have to worry about every little thing either. I'm not a nazi. I can't feel at home in my own home, if my guest doesn't feel comfortable enough to relax. I have been to some homes where the man of the house is watching me like a hawk to make sure I don't drop a crumb of bread on the carpet, and then to other homes where the people living there have given me the keys to their car and assured me not to worry about wrecking it because, "it's just a car".

The answer to everything in life, is that "it depends". Everyone is different, and there is so much room for misunderstanding. Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Um... Totally depends on who Im staying with.

I have friends who come stay with me/us who fit your description. Some just sleep here. Others are 'entertained'.

I like both, although the sleepers are the EASIEST houseguests in the world!!! So easy! I just go about my life a d they pop in occasionally. Others, I have to rearrange my life around, so that takes a degree of commitment/planning.

I have friends who HATE one of the 2 options above. Either feel 'used' & ignored... Or feel 'used'/exhausted.

So before I stay with anyone, I find out what they prefer. And then do that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

If a hotel were not an option, I would not be visiting.
Everyone needs some space.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

It depends. You say not a visit type situation. so I am assuming it is more a "I am homeless for 2 weeks" type of situation? of whatever reason. If this is the case offer some rent money for the short time and help with the general picking up keeping clean of the common areas and stay out of her hair as much as she needs. I would ask her up front. Do you want to hang out or should I just stay out of the way. If your good enough friends she is letting you stay for 2 weeks then you should be able to talk to her about it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

So you're a short-term roommate? Do dishes, don't leave a mess, offer to pitch in as needed, buy groceries, ask her if she wants to come with on your outings or errands if appropriate. What she wants and needs and expects should be discussed upfront.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Yes, I would leave and go out for at least the day to let my friend have some space--especially if it wasn't to visit, I would be out daily doing things and not hanging around the house. As far as the house goes, I would be doing all the dishes, keeping the house neat and tidy and buying whatever groceries or supplies my friend would need. I would also give her a giftcard to her fav place at the end of my stay.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I am not single but DD and I are house guests in my sisters house for 4 weeks every year. I help doing the dishes, clean the house, sit her kids and contribute financially to the grocery bill while I am there.
I don't leave on purpose for the weekends, but I do regularly do stuff just me and DD alone, just because living in cramped quarters for 4 weeks gets a little much at times for everyone.
We also used to have house guests quite often, but as a host I didn't expect anything from them. Nice if they offer, but I am also not offended if they don't.
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

not enough info to give a definitive answer. what constitutes a 'not visit'? emergency homelessness? illness that needs care? uncompensated business trip?
each would change the scenario to some degree.
i would try to be sensitive to my host, and that might include either staying quietly in my room in order to give her space (i can entertain myself endlessly with books) or leaving if i wanted to and/or felt my hostess wanted me to.
of course it would be courteous to give the hostess the option of accompanying or staying home. 'i'm going to go the movies and grab dinner out this evening. can i treat you?' would be my preferred method.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

If I go visit a friend for 2 weeks I am sure not going to go off by myself to do stuff alone. If I went there to do stuff by myself it would be cheaper to do that at home.

If you go visit a friend then you entertain yourself during the time that person is at work then when they come home the 2 of you go do stuff together, same on the weekend,

Otherwise, why did you go visit this friend in the first place...?



answers from San Francisco on

I would definitely be doing all of the dishes. That's a way to help that is always appreciated! I would also try to be out of the house as much as possible to give my host some privacy. I would invite him/her to accompany me, but wouldn't really expect it.

Some people, when they live together, want to be like BFF's and do things together; others are just looking for a roommate but not necessarily a BFF.

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