You Don’t Know Squat If You Think You’re His Boyfriend

Leeching Onto Your Man Won’t Make Him Commit; Relationship Parasites Suck the Life Out of Innocent Men


Published: March 12, 2009

In New York City, there is a little-known “Squatter’s Law,” stating that if you consent to someone staying in your apartment for longer than 30 days, then he or she is considered a resident. What this means is that your “guest” has legal rights as a non-leased tenant. That’s right—after just 30 days, the buddy you have crashing on your couch is considered a roommate. The worst part is that in order to get rid of this “guest,” you must undergo a long and tedious formal eviction process. Pathetically enough, many men in the city are forced to undergo the same process when it comes to relationships. Just like a slacker friend living on your couch, men are employing similar methods in relationships: overstaying their welcomes and thinking if they stick around long enough, they automatically gain the right to play the role of boyfriend. If you’ve latched onto a man who doesn’t want you, be assured, you are squatting.

I have unfortunately been a key witness to a friend’s hostile takeover by a “relationship squatter” hell-bent on claiming my friend as his own. This is the case of my friend Brian and his squatter Joe. It’s been almost a year now that Joe the parasite has been latched onto Brian, slowly sucking the life out of him and prying his friends away as innocuously as ivy on a brick wall.

I’m not aware if there was ever a time when Brian actually thought of himself as being in a relationship with this leech, but he made one vital mistake that most men are guilty of: he slept with Joe.  With this deed done, Joe felt he had been given the green light, grabbed his flag and claimed Brian in the name of all things delusional and codependent. Joe, like many teenage girls, saw sex as a “connection.” Brian, like most men, saw it as just another thing to do, like a game of Parcheesi.

Brian swung the door open and invited Joe into emotional “squatting.” Joe knew he wanted Brian and would stick around as long as it would take to claim his man. The first thing Joe had to do was secure time with the object of his infatuation.  Joe would steal Brian’s coat-check slip so that he couldn’t leave the bar without him. Joe also made it a habit of “accidentally” forgetting his keys at Brian’s before a night out, so he’d have to go back with Brian and spend the night if it got too late. It was around this time that we, as Brian’s friends, had had enough of this emotional “squatter.” We may have eventually intervened, but like any desperado, Joe would be the source of his own undoing.

A night out ended in drama worthy of a Telemundo novella after Joe started some dramatics with Brian’s friend Ian. Who thought being called a “smelly prostitute” would send someone into a tizzy worthy of “Fatal Attraction?” That’s exactly what happened after Brian refused to defend Joe. A hysterical Joe jumped up from his booth, flipped everyone “the bird,” started faking a panic/asthma attack, ran outside and started shaking like he was having a seizure. I wish I had been prepared with my camera, because it would have been the best YouTube video ever. And the ridiculous display didn’t end there: Joe then wrapped himself around an awning pole and shook like a stripper in heat. The only thing that could have made this entire scene better is if it were choreographed to Mary J. Blige’s “I’m Going Down.” In the end, Brian took Joe back to his apartment and the “squatting” resumed. Unfortunately (for everyone involved) at this point, both parties were in too deep. It was too late. Joe had been emotionally “squatting” on Brian long enough to become an illegitimate boyfriend.

Ultimately, both parties are responsible for letting this situation get out of control. Brian should have let Joe know early on that he wasn’t looking for a boyfriend. Joe should have seen the “relationship” for the one-sided infatuation it really was. Joe desperately needs to learn the definition of self-worth and start respecting himself. Brian is just as guilty for letting the situation spiral out of control by not being direct and honest. Squatter’s law shouldn’t apply to people, and waiting until last call at the bar won’t ultimately guarantee your delusion of a relationship will eventually become reality. If you or anyone you know is squatting in a relationship, it’s time to play Madonna’s “Hung Up” and find someone who will genuinely care for you.