I recently hooked up with my best friend and roommate. We had been flirting for a long time, but we also have an extremely close friendship.
She’s the most important person in my life and we do everything together.
I'm really attracted to her but I don’t feel ready at all for this sort of commitment. Since we're living together, it's almost like marriage!
I'm only 20 and I have very little/no experience in relationships. My conundrum is this: I want her to stay in my life forever.
However, I feel like this is a passing attraction and I do want to date other people.
Yet I absolutely do not want to hurt her by eventually breaking up and ending our friendship.
So what do I do? We're still flirting a lot and almost made out again last night… I'm trying to stay friendly but cut out the flirting.
Roomies or Romance?
It’s a tough thing to convey – how much you care about someone but don’t want a relationship – so tread carefully as you carry this message to her.
And deal with it fast, before your hook-ups become a habit that ends with anger and blame. You can no longer claim “innocence” once you keep taking part in sex.
Start the conversation with how much you value her friendship and don’t want to risk it.
Be clear that you care about her too much to play fast and loose with her feelings.
Be honest that you think that, as roommates, making out can end up harming your friendship long-term.
A common result from starting casual intimacy while sharing space, is for one of you to feel forced to move out, and for the close connection between you to come apart.
Maybe over time and with more life experience, while also staying friends, you’ll both want to try a serious relationship together. That could be great.
But not now, and not just because you’re roommates.
Reader’s Commentary “When it comes to relationship advice, I have trouble with the "Therapy fixes all" perspective.
“Have you ever tried to access a therapist or other types of counselling? It’s often more onerous than the problems people are hoping to resolve.
“Couples’ counselling can be expensive. Not everyone has the time or the resources for it.
“Also, a successful therapeutic experience relies on the "relationship" you establish with the therapist along with their technical expertise.
“The variance among them in quality and cost is deep and wide.
“Counselling also requires that both parties seeking help are good candidates for counselling, including having a certain level of self awareness and reasonable communication skills.
“It’s not that the suggestion to seek counselling isn’t good advice - it does work on occasion - its just not the "silver bullet" advice columnists appear to think it is.
“More often than not, people know the answers to the questions they’re asking; they’re simply seeking validation or motivation. Those situations don't always require or benefit from the involvement of a therapist.”
Absolutely right! Not all relationships will benefit from therapy:
Not the one where one partner refuses to go (though the other might find out why he/she is sticking around).
Not the relationship where neither wants to compromise. Nor where one must always “win” or else closes down, manipulates, withholds sex, blames, etc.
(A therapist isn’t a magician and can’t “make” a person willing to change or try something new).
So some relationships fail, despite therapy. But some couples find it’s worth a try.
FEEDBACK Regarding the new mother who feels overwhelmed by the grandparents’ insistence on long and frequent visits (March 30):
Reader – “New parents need time, that’s true. But grandparents are eager to connect with the young one in their family.
“They’re eager to take responsibility for some time periods, as a way of giving relief to the young parents, too.
“The couple may even use that time to complete some chore, or have time out together as a couple, when their parents are around for a few hours.
“The young couple along with the baby may need their parent’s help in the following years.
“So a happy connection between the generations, in the child’s earlier years, helps this process go easily.
“The grandparents’ feelings also have to be considered. Any subtle suggestion of keeping grandparents away will be hard on them.”
Experienced Grandma with Close-knit Family
Ellie – Lucky you and your family!
Tip of the day:
Casual sex between roommates, is often a step towards needing to move.