Moving him out is harder than moving him in

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – September 10, 2021

by Columnist Tom Blake

Senior cohabitation: moving in is easier than moving out 

Last week, we wrote about Jeanne, who was in a quandary because the man living with her for three years is a hoarder and treats her poorly. She wants him to move out. They met on OurTime in 2015.

Champs responded: Liping wrote: “I have been told before I criticize someone, I need to clean my room first. I will clean our rooms first tomorrow morning.” 

S. emailed: “Jeanne says they have no agreement, yet he says she can’t kick him out. He can say anything he likes, but unless there’s a signed lease (not rental agreement), she can most certainly kick him out. “When the eviction suspension due to Covid is lifted, that is. Give him a three-day notice to quit and thus start the eviction process. This is assuming he holds no legal interest in the property.” 

Cheryl, “What we don’t know are the contents of her partner’s boxes. Someone in their 70s has spent a lifetime putting together a well-stocked house. “Is he really a hoarder or did he just make a bad decision moving where there’s no room for his stuff? The bigger issue seems to be a volatile relationship where neither are happy but neither seems willing to leave.” 

Shelley, “So she met the hoarder in 2015, and let him move in with her in 2018. He’s quick to get angry. I think she can kick him out immediately. Life is too short for this nonsense.” And then I heard about another unpleasant cohabitation situation.

This one from Beth (not her true name) 70, who wrote:

“Sixteen months ago, I started dating an older gentleman (79). We met on at the beginning of Covid 19. We missed the dating process because of Covid shutdowns. 

“We walked often, and I cooked for us and cooked for him before I went home. We face-timed every night we weren’t together. He’d call eight times a day asking when I would come to his house. He asked me to marry him early on, but I said no. 

“He wanted me to move in, but I said no. He started to fail physically, losing his balance and falling occasionally. I started going to doctor appointments with him. I went from girlfriend to caregiver in a few short months. I was cooking and cleaning with no days off for three months while staying at his house. 

“He was very demanding of my time. He had brain surgery. I had to shower him. I started pushing back and told him when he got well, I was returning to my home. He asked me to stay another month. 

“One day while he was on the phone, I packed and left. I felt guilty for leaving but knew no time would be a good time to leave. I am so burned out and I’ve decided to just enjoy my life.” 

Tom’s comment: Back to Jeanne’s situation. This week, she sent an update: “Our couple’s counselor said today that we have senior irreconcilable differences. A week ago, I realized I could go no further trying to make it work and I asked him to leave.

 “This relationship should never have been a move-in-with-me situation and the counselor pointed out to me that this was my biggest mistake, letting him move in with me.

“We had not known each other for enough time to live together. Seeing each other once a week, and sometimes only for part of a weekend didn’t give us enough time to get to really know each other and see all sides of each other. 

“Because we were older did not mean we – especially me – were wiser! “
Three years wasn’t long enough to know each other? Really? 

Tom’s eight lessons learned from these two situations 

Before cohabitating: 

1 – Heed red flag warnings 

2 – Trust your instincts 

3 – Get to know the person well (for Jeanne, three years wasn’t long enough) 

4 – Don’t rush your decision 

5 – Be objective. No rose-colored glasses 

6 – Sign a written exit plan before the move, in case it doesn’t work out 

7 – Don’t do it in order to just save money 

8 – Remember, moving in is easy; moving out is difficult. I’m reminded of the Broadway musical that Greta, her daughter, Tammi, and I saw in NYC in 2005, called “Movin’ Out,” on the night before I was interviewed by Diane Sawyer on “Good Morning America.”

Movin’ Out

Above, see Greta and me with Diane and that cover of the Playbill Magazine from the musical, which featured the music of Billy Joel, including the song, “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s song),” which was on Joel’s 1971 “The Stranger” album

Link to Billy Joel singing “Movin’ Out”

Author: Tom Blake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published five books. His primary topic is finding love after 50 and beyond, sometimes far beyond, for people 80 and older as well. He also blogs about travel at

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