How to Come to Terms with Romantic Feelings for a Roommate

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Finding a roommate can definitely help your finances and social life. Finding a roommate that you really get along with is even better.  Suddenly you have a new friend, you look forward to going home and you two are bonding over dinner or late night studying sessions. This is all well and good, but if you find yourself thinking of your roommate more than you should, or when you start feeling something that you’re not supposed to, well, things might get messy. Discovering feelings for a housemate of the opposite sex is already complicated, it’s even more so if you’re falling for a roommate of the same sex. So what should you do? Here are some ideas to mull over –

  1. Try and see if you can put a stop to it. There’s a very good chance that it’s all transference. Let’s face it, there are instances when we feeling happy or content because of the arrival of a particular person in our life. Maybe this person has introduced you to new experiences or maybe he or she has helped you out with something. The good feelings we sometimes have over an experience is transferred to how we look at someone. So maybe this crush you have for your roommate is just a simple transference. If it is, then it’s easy to get over it. If not, then you have to do some more thinking.
  2. Start making your feelings known, subtly. If you believe that you do have genuine feelings for your roommate, then start by carefully showing your interest. You can flirt, as long as it’s not annoyingly obvious. The idea here is to slowly make your roommate aware that you find him or her attractive, sweet, sexy or cute. If you don’t want to freak your roommate out, I suggest doing some subtle flirting with his or her friends that are of the same gender as well. That way, you’re not focused to obviously on your roommate.
  3. Don’t even think about confessing your feelings yet. At some point, you might feel the need to just go for it and tell your roommate how you really feel. Stop that urge. I’m not saying don’t ever confess what you feel. I’m just cautioning you that unless you can be sure he or she reciprocates or until you have some idea on how your roommate feels about you, keep your feelings a secret for now.
  4. Try to find out if your roommate reciprocates your feelings or if there’s a chance that he or she will. Since you won’t be able to keep your feelings a secret for very long, you should start some investigating. But do it subtly and lightly, maybe even humorously so things won’t get tense between you two. But if there’s some signal or clue on how he or she feels, then by all means pursue it. For example, if your roommate mentions his or her dissatisfaction with relationships or dating in general, joke about being given a chance to change his or her mind. Even if you say it lightly or make it out as a joke, watch for your roommate’s reaction. This will give you an idea of how open or willing he or she is to the idea.
  5. Have frank, heart-to-heart talks, but don’t confess your feelings yet. Try to get to know each other by having intimate conversations. Sharing your experiences, your thoughts and feelings to each other can help you figure out what makes your roommate tick and help clue you in on your roommate’s feelings.
  6. Time to bust a move, but maybe not literally yet. Be mindful of the dangers if you do make a move and your feelings are not reciprocated. For instance, if you decide to go for it and kiss your roommate, there’s no going back after that. If it goes south, you’ll both experience some awkwardness and it might be difficult to go back to being good platonic friends. However, if you’re quite confident that he or she reciprocates the feelings, or is at least amenable to trying things out, then a light confession at this point might be OK. Choose the scenario that you think would be ideal to bust your move. Maybe during a late night chat while you’re bonding over drinks and chips. For instance, if the topic of relationships come up again, and you have previously done some research and know through hints your roommate has dropped that he or she might just be interested, then go ahead and ask him or her to go out with you and see where things lead. Look into your roommate’s eyes when you make your pseudo confession and let him or her see that you’re sincere. Of course, there are at least three scenarios that will result from this. One, your roommate might think you’re just joking and if you state that you’re serious, he or she might say they’re straight (if you're both of the same sex) or that he or she’s not interested. Next scenario is your roommate might be confused or wary and ask for more time (which you should give) and the last scenario would be your roommate throwing their arms around you and giving you a kiss. While the last scenario is the most desired one, make sure you’re prepared for however your roommate would react to your move.
  7. Be ready and willing to accept a purely platonic relationship. This is why you should think long and hard before confessing your feelings to your roommate. If your confession ends with a rejection, you should be ready to accept that decision. Be amiable and accepting of your roommate’s decision. You should also assure your roommate that even though you’ve had feelings for him or her, it will not get in the way of your friendship (and you better mean it too.) However, it’s inevitable that you might encounter some rough patches so you might need to put some distance between you and your roommate for a time in order for you to really get your head wrapped around what you were hoping would happen and what the real score is. But don’t put too much distance between you and roommate as this might adversely affect your relationship. Remember that you have assured your roommate that you would remain friends, so no matter how weird you might feel, just act like nothing has changed. Trying to get over someone is definitely hard, but taking it one day at a time will make things a little easier, and soon your friendship will return to how it was before.
  8. Give your roommate the time he or she asks for. It’s a big possibility that your roommate might be so surprised by your confession and will be confused as to how to proceed. They might even ask for time to think things through. It’s best to give your roommate that time and space. Consider this, it might be a pretty big step for him or her, especially if you’re of the same gender and this will be the first time they will be in that type of relationship. Be patient and sympathetic while your roommate thinks about having a relationship with you. But bear in mind that if you’re the first same sex partner your roommate will have, it can be a long and complicated process. So be patient and brace yourself for obstacles and disappointments.
  9. Live it up if your roommate reciprocates your feelings. Congratulations are in order if the last scenario happens and your roommate agrees to go out with you. You’ve hit the mother lode for finding a good friend and someone that you can live with and love every day.
 


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