Should You Date Your Roommate?
The obvious answer to the question-title is no: you may party with her, allow her to cry on your shoulder, even have a one-night stand with her, but never, ever have sex with a girl you’re renting an apartment with. This rule seems so self-evident that it need hardly be stated.
But rules are for chumps. You should not allow a mere lease agreement to stand between you and the girl you want. Indeed, I find it hard to believe that beautiful people who share a living space will not become sexually and romantically attracted to one another.
The idea that men and women can live together as housemates without getting involved is supposed to be a sign of how far our society has advanced; it is believed to be an indication that people of different genders can sustain a Three’s Company type arrangement without one person falling for the other.
While I applaud the ideal behind this sentiment the latter hardly ever occurs in fact. I do not say that every individual will date at least one other individual in the house before it’s all over; but I think it perfectly natural that in any given group of roommates at least one couple will be formed.
So, yes, you should date your roommate—if she has a thing for you and you for her. But you should establish guidelines (not fixed rules) to prevent it from becoming a shambles.
Here are a few of them.
The worst move you can make is to keep your romance a secret. There really is no reason to. Your fellow roomies probably already know that the two of you have the hots for each other. It is not easy to hide a thing like that in general, and nearly impossible to keep it from people you live with.
Try to get everyone together at the same time, and tell them as a couple.
As a courtesy, most people who have roommates do not scream the walls down when they are having sex. If this is the practice in your house, then you and your roomie girlfriend should hold to it.
You should also keep the kissing, tonguing, and sandwiching to a minimum when you are in the common area—living room, dining room, etc. One of you should buy a television so you can do all the stuff that couples do when they watch movies together.
One of the great things about a roomie girlfriend is that you only have to go home to have a night in with her. And you probably don’t need to travel that far to enjoy the bars, restaurants, and clubs that you both enjoy.
This can be smothering, so you should have nights apart. Designate at least one night a week in which you meet friends who are not your roommates at a place where you know she will not be.
The obvious risk of dating your roommate is that it might end in a messy break-up. Even if you part ways amicably, living in the same house with your ex is an uncomfortable situation. The moment that you decide to date your roommate you should also start looking for another place to stay if it all goes tits up.
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About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.