Trying to determine whether your roommate is feeling you is going to be awkward, but if you must.
You move into a new place and discover that one of your roommates is a hottie: It sounds like the setup to an adult movie, but it can happen in real life. Like hooking up with a coworker , acting on your attraction to a roommate might be ill-advised, all things considered, but horniness tends to supersede intellect. So if you find yourself unable to stop fantasizing about what it would be like to date your roomie-and how much money you’d save if you moved into a one-bedroom-here are some tips on how not ChnLove to inadvertently destroy your home life in the process.
Assess if your roommate feels the same
As with any other situation where you’re into someone, you first need to figure out if they’re into you in return. This could be a little harder than you’re used to, because your roommate might be more keenly aware (or afraid) of all the ways a possible hookup could go wrong. Even if they do like you, they may not show it.
That does not mean you should push the issue or delude yourself into thinking that if they’re not flirting with you, they’re just repressing their true feelings. Be smart, and take baby steps. Invite them to hang out outside of your home. This will give you a sense of if they’re interested in you as a friend, not just a roommate, and will give you a chance to see if you have more in common than an address. If they decline, don’t push the subject. No always means no, but it’s especially nasty to make someone feel harassed and uncomfortable in their own home.
For this how-to, we turned to two people with firsthand knowledge of how a roommate hookup affects a whole household: A Brooklyn man named Patrick who entered into a relationship with his roommate, Sam, and has been dating her for three and a half years; and a woman named Caitlyn, who was the third housemate of the budding couple before Patrick and Sam moved into their own place. Patrick described being worried that taking action on his attraction would be inappropriate, given that the woman he was developing feelings for lived in the same apartment he did.
“I had an inkling that I would like her as more than a friend before I moved in, but feared acknowledging it because we were roommates,” he said, explaining that the two first met on Twitter, where he eventually replied to a post she made about seeking a third roommate. “I was very shy in the beginning, but we grew more comfortable with each other over time.”
Talk it out with third parties
Caitlyn told Lifehacker she was friends with both of her roommates back when they were all just roommates. The three of them hung out a lot, but Caitlyn was closer to Sam. When Sam started telling Caitlyn she was into Patrick, Caitlyn immediately tried to talk her out of acting on her feelings.
“I thought it was just a crush for a while! My roommate would kind of jokingly-I thought-mention crushing on Patrick. I was always like, ‘Ok, but you know nothing can happen, right?’ And she always said, ‘Yes, yes, of course,’ but her comments got more and more intense to me. Still, I didn’t think it would actually happen until one morning she was knocking on my door saying, ‘We hooked up last night.’”
Yeah, Caitlyn kind of got this one wrong, considering the couple has been going strong for years now. But at the time, she had no way to know that they’d be compatible and not blow up the positive atmosphere of the three friends’ shared home by fighting or breaking up. It was important that she got to make that point before the couple hooked up: Always give any other housemates a heads-up, if you can, and take their advice seriously. A third party usually has insights you don’t, especially if they’re close to the situation. Who knows, maybe they’ll have noticed that you and the hot roommate have a lot in common. They might even encourage you! But you have to give them that chance. It’s only fair.