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“I’m in Love with my Roommate”

I am a 36-year-old guy who is sharing a two bedroom, two bath townhouse with a female roommate, Shelly, who is 43. She and I have been single pretty much the whole time, and we spend a lot of time together. We’ve gotten to be close friends, and we know each other very well. About six months after we moved in together, I started to get sexual feelings for her, and I knew I had a problem when her ex-husband stayed over one night when he was in town. I was jealous, and I began to not only lust for her, but love her, too.

I have not brought this up to her, mostly because I am almost positive, through comments she makes and her body language, that she has zero interest in me other than just being roommates. Lately, we hardly talk as she is starting to date a guy now. He is in his mid-forties, as is most of the guys she dates and is interested in.

I should not love her the way I do, but I can’t help it. I am going through anxiety issues with her being around, and it has made a quite uncomfortable living situation. However, she pays rent on time, is responsible, and is a pretty mellow person who doesn’t really have people over often (although if she hits it off with a man, that could change). She’s everything I’d ever want in a roommate — except I love her, and it’s tearing me apart inside. Sometimes I can hardly eat.

What do you think I should do? I am on the lease solely, and she isn’t. I am thinking since this is my fault I probably should just move, and leave the place to her and transfer the lease. All the furniture is hers, but the place is mine. She has never done anything wrong other than simply not be interested in me and not really be interested (as of late) to even being around me. But I do trust her and I can’t afford to live alone. I know that I should probably just be honest and tell her, but I am afraid of what it would do to my self-esteem because I am 99% sure she does not share the same feelings. — In Love with Roomie


If your feelings for your roommate have made your living situation uncomfortable — and if you’re feeling it, trust that she’s feeling it, too — and you’re so worked up over it you’ve lost your appetite, obviously you have to do something. Things are only going to get worse, and pretending everything is fine won’t work. So, you have a couple of choices: you can tell your roommate about your feelings and discuss with her the best way to proceed; you can kick her out with a made-up explanation or no explanation at all; or you can move out yourself — again with a made-up explanation or no explanation at all — and transfer the lease to her name.

My advice, as awkward and painful as it may be, it to go with the former suggestion: confess your feelings and discuss together the best way to proceed. If your living situation has gotten uncomfortable and your roommate is no longer hanging out with you like she used to, there’s a good chance she suspects something is up. Clearing the air may not help your ego — especially if the feelings are not returned — but releasing the secret will do wonders for your anxiety. I’d just be careful that when you do confess your feelings, you keep it vague and definitely avoid any sexual language, which would be really creepy and uncomfortable for your roommate. For example, don’t tell her you’ve been “lusting” after her. Telling her you’ve developed feelings for her will be enough. She can fill in the blanks. And let her know that while you don’t expect anything from her in return, your feelings have made it uncomfortable and awkward for you to continue living together.

From there, you’ll have to decide who will be moving out. And, yes, one of you will have to move. Even if your feelings are reciprocated, or she doesn’t immediately rebuff you, starting a relationship or even trying to casually date will be incredibly difficult when you two live together. And if your feelings aren’t shared, or you try dating and it doesn’t work out, things will only be that much more painful and awkward if you share an address. So, one of you has to move out. Who that someone is will be entirely up to you.

With your name on the lease, you have the final say. If it were me, I’d stay put — unless you have reason to believe a relationship could be possible, in which case you might want to be a gentleman about it and let her have the apartment (just be prepared that it may not work out and you’ll have lost the girl and your home). Just because you’ve developed feelings for your roommate shouldn’t mean you have to find a new place to live. And your roommate, being foolish enough to move into an apartment without signing a lease, has to realize that this is a consequence of that action. Living together was never going to be a forever thing anyway. At some point one or both of you was going to move on. You and your feelings are just making the decision for her — and perhaps a little sooner that she may have preferred. But you know what? She’s a big girl and she can deal with it. And I’m sure, she’d given the option of staying in an apartment where her roommate regularly fantasizes about banging her, or moving to a new place, she’d probably choose the latter anyway.

You’ll need to decide together what a fair time-frame is for her to find a new apartment and move out (I’d say 1-2 months), and if you really want to be kind, you could offer to help her move or (help) pay her moving expenses. And then you’ll need to find a new roommate for yourself. I’d recommend you put feelers out for a male roommate next time, or a lesbian. Or a very unattractive woman. Maybe someone with an extra limb or hair growing out of mole on her face — something like that.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

avatar Callifax May 31, 2011, 7:34 am

I think, unfortunately, you have to move, either way. I do agree that you should talk with her about your feelings – because hey, you only live once and you never know – but no matter the outcome, it’s time to stop living in the same environment. If she’s truly not interested in you, you can’t go on torturing yourself by living in the same space and watching her date other men. And if she IS interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with you, it’s still time to find a new place. New relationships are complicated enough as it is, without also being roommates, and any potential future that you might have could be compromised by sharing the same space too soon.

So to summarize: Find a new place to live, tell her of your feelings, life is too dang short.

avatar Jess May 31, 2011, 7:40 am

personally I think moving all the furniture is a way bigger pain than transferring the lease, so I would say she should stay. Unless he loves the place, and doesn’t think he’ll be able to find another townhouse he likes just as much.

avatar spaceboy761 May 31, 2011, 10:06 am

Totally agree here. Transferring the lease is definitely the path of least resistance. It also doesn’t reek of “You don’t love me back so I’m kicking you out”.

avatar _jsw_ May 31, 2011, 11:03 am

Agreed as well. The LW would be forced to get (or move back in out of storage) all the furniture anyway, so it’s not really as though moving would be much more of a hassle than making his place livable again.

In fact, it might be an ideal time to find a better location to live, or a furnished place, or in some other way fix what he might see as issues with where he lives now (if there are any). Also – and I don’t in any way mean this sarcastically – it might be a good time to consider living alone. It would make this type of problem impossible, and if it is financially feasible, I’d recommend it.

avatar Addie Pray May 31, 2011, 11:16 am

Agreed, if you end up not living together, definitely transfer the lease to her and let her stay. If there’s any chance she may like you back , I think forcing her out with all her furniture is going to work against you. LW, I hope you go with Wendy’s first option, because maybe she’ll like you back and there will be fireworks and no one will have to move out and you’ll live happily ever after! And you can even thank Dear Wendy during your wedding toast. My fingers and toes are crossed for you. Good luck!

avatar AnitaBath May 31, 2011, 12:34 pm

I agree as well. I’m in college so I’ve had to move the past couple years, and I’m moving out of an apartment in a few months. When he mentioned one of them moving and that all the furniture was hers, I just put myself into her shoes and thought, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Worst nightmare. Hate moving. Hate hate hate hate.

avatar scattol May 31, 2011, 7:53 am

For all we know the new boyfriend is move-in material so she might well be glad to move out to move in with the new boyfriend. So I doubt that he has to move, or that it even makes sense that he moves.

fast eddie fast eddie May 31, 2011, 8:12 am

I was in that situation except I owned the house. For sure talk to her about your feelings so that everyone’s on the same page. If your assumption that she’s not into you is correct then there’s two ways to resolve it. You could find another love interest or one of you needs to move out. Do your best to be rational and make it as easy for both of you to continue your lives as free of excess baggage as possible. It’s not the end of the world and you’ll get over it in time. If you’re the one to move out it might help you move on being removed from the scene and out of sight.

avatar cdobbs May 31, 2011, 8:38 am

you poor guy, unrequited love is the worst feeling in the world and I can’t imagine having to see the object of your desires every day, so close (especially if other men are coming into the picture).
you could confess your feelings to her (hey you only live once and you never know what could happen).
in the end it might be best to not live together anymore, that way you can get over her in piece and move on to the opportunity of meeting someone even better!
it gets better! keep your chin up!

avatar Christina May 31, 2011, 9:29 am

It may not be that easy to transfer the lease If you decide to go that way. You might check into that. I would think a new person would mean a new credit check, deposit etc. or the landlord might have someone else on a waiting list.

avatar SpaceySteph May 31, 2011, 10:31 am

Agree. In some cases, they will treat it like you are breaking your lease and charge you all kinds of fees (releasing fee, cleaning fee, early termination fee, sometimes even the full lease term worth of rent). I tried to turn my lease over to a friend (I wanted to move out a month early, she wanted to move in a month early) and they wanted to charge me $3,000 to do that.
I have said it on here before, if you are renting from a big corporation or just a jerk, they will use any alteration in the lease agreement to take you for as much money as they can.
And whether she likes you back or not, it is not worth losing thousands of dollars that it might cost to let her keep the apartment.

avatar Teresa May 31, 2011, 6:30 pm

I work for a property management company. Things vary, depending on the landlord and the state laws, but with us, if a tenant wants to transfer the lease, the new leasee does have to fill out an application, pay an application fee, we run credit, etc. If the person who wants to take over the lease does not qualify then we will not transfer the lease, and if the old tenant still wants to vacate they will have to pay the consequences laid out in the lease for breaking it. for sure though – if you break the lease, the landlord has a legal obligation to actively seek a new tenant and the person breaking the lease can only be held liable for rent up until a new tenant moves in. It is illegal – in every state I’m sure – to collect double rent. But either way – yes, breaking or transferring a lease isn’t always easy. Sometimes moving furniture is easier than all of the red tape.

avatar SpaceySteph May 31, 2011, 9:18 pm

One of the things they wanted to do is make me pay back all “incentives.” Basically, to sign a 12 month lease it costs less per month than it would month to month (was about $200 less per month). So to break the lease a month early, I was expected to pay back that $2200 for the $200 discount for the first 11 months. Then there was the fee to have to find a new tenant (even though I had already done that) and the fee to have to prepare the apartment a whopping month early for the new person to move in.
I know its all set forth in the lease that way, but it is still a pretty slimy practice. Especially in college towns, like that apartment was, they take advantage of the fact that students don’t have alot of credit to limit their options and enforce ridiculous terms, and really can take you to the cleaners if you let them.
Please, LW, be careful. There is ALOT of money to be taken.

avatar SGMcG May 31, 2011, 9:35 am

I hate to question your feelings in this situation LW, but are you sure you are in love with her? Maybe seeing your roommate hook-up with her ex-husband triggered some needs that you wanted for yourself. It may be that you were just lonely and looking for love and attention and your roommate is the most logical choice to turn to since she is already there. Have you tried going on a few dates with different people to see if your feelings for your roommate diminish? If you haven’t, perhaps you could do that before you talk to her. Who knows – by making yourself desirable to other women, it could start to make her desirable to you.

avatar spaceboy761 May 31, 2011, 10:20 am

“The best way to get over someone is to get under someone”- Blanche DuBois of The Golden Girls

avatar TMSC May 31, 2011, 10:31 am

NIce. Blanch DuBois was in A Streetcar Named Desire wasn’t she? Blanch from the Golden Girls was Devereaux, or her maiden name, Hollingsworth…

avatar TMSC May 31, 2011, 10:31 am

I meant, nice quote!

avatar spaceboy761 May 31, 2011, 11:14 am

My illiteracy screws me again…

avatar _jsw_ May 31, 2011, 11:16 am

Hey man, take it where you can get it.

avatar Addie Pray May 31, 2011, 11:45 am

And don’t forget Friends: You’re “over me”? When were you under me?

avatar Ray May 31, 2011, 10:02 pm

Thank you to all those who commented. It was interesting to get everyone’s perspective. Trust me, it sucks to be in this position but to get so many excellent opinions really helps.

Probably none more so than this one. I am not unattractive, and have not really had much trouble getting women in the past. For at least half of my adult life I’ve had girlfriend relationships. It’s just been a couple years and what I need to do is get out and start getting dates. I am not that old!

If, after a few weeks, things haven’t changed, then I will simply give her the option of staying, if transferring the lease is even an option. If it is, and it can be transferred to her without any repercussions on my end, I will move and just get a fresh start. True, it’s a cool place, but I can find another one for a similar price I’m sure.

The best way to fall out of love is to fall in love with someone else. Hopefully that happens.

avatar Christina May 31, 2011, 11:04 pm

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Now that you’ve had the thought to go out and look again, I’m sure you’ll be finding other girls who catch your eye and would enjoy going out on a date with you. Have fun with it!

avatar SGMcG June 1, 2011, 1:17 am

Nice to meet you Ray! I am so glad you read my comment and I am honored you valued it so highly. I’m glad you didn’t think I was disregarding your feelings. I was hoping you would interpret what I wrote as an opportunity to evaluate your feelings for your roommate and make an introspective analysis on your own life. I just wanted to interject some things based on the two comments you wrote (Again, thank you for sharing!):

– You mention that it’s been a few years since you dated, yet you’re going to go from not dating at all to going back into the scene in only a month? You didn’t develop your potential feelings with your roommate overnight, and similarly, it may take some time to get into the swing of dating potentials again. You don’t have to immediately rush into dating formalities – just try to have fun getting to know new people.

– If you decide to tell your roommate the truth about how you feel, please avoid words like “lust” or “love”. Those are heavy emotions and may scare her. You’ve taken an empowering position by choosing to be scant in details, but don’t be too limiting so that she’s totally clueless about how you may feel.

– If you do reveal your feelings and you know for a fact that they’re not reciprocated, take some time to process what would be the next step in your scenario. If you could accept a platonic relationship with her then perhaps nothing would need to drastically change. Your anxieties may be difficult now, but they may be easier to cope with now that all feelings are out in the open.

Good luck to you Ray – please keep us updated with what happens.

avatar Christina May 31, 2011, 10:11 am

On another note, as a woman, it would be really frustrating to lose my current home because my male roommate that I get along with well and have never shown any interest in, suddenly develops sexual feelings for me and feels he has to tell me. It’s annoying enough in the workplace or even the grocery store for a guy to express his attraction to you out of nowhere. It can be intimidating and creepy. I’ve had to leave a job once because it didn’t matter what promotion I was working toward, one guy started it and then other guys started talking and I wasn’t taken seriously.
You are right to assume that she has no interest in you that way. If you can’t redirect your energy somewhere else then you should make this move as easy on her as possible and get a male roommate next time. Don’t tell her you have feelings for her. It will likely make her mad that that is the reason she has to find a new home.

avatar SpaceySteph May 31, 2011, 10:37 am

Eh. I think moving in with a person of the opposite gender (or… someone who’s sexual orientation is for someone of your gender, I guess) you are taking the risk no matter who you are in the arrangement that a romantic relationship could cause friction and ultimately lead to someone moving out.
In this case the female roommate took the same risk as the male roommate in moving into the situation, and I don’t think she has a right to be angry that a man she chose to live with developed feelings for her. It happens sometimes.
She could just as easily have fallen for him and decided to move out because she couldn’t watch him date other girls. Its not like men are the only ones capable of wanting someone who doesn’t want them back.

avatar DramaQueen224 May 31, 2011, 12:57 pm

I agree that she has no interest in this guy. Sorry, dude. Men have lots of great qualities, but giving and receiving signals from the women they like isn’t one of them. If a guy likes a girl, she almost always suspects it. I’d bet good money that she’s fully aware of your feelings and has been trying to give off the friend vibe hard core. (I once had a guy friend ask me what I thought it’d be like if we went out. I told him I thought it would be really weird. He preceded to ask me out anyway). I’d probably approach the conversation about moving out vaguely and avoid the whole I’m in love with you thing unless she specifically asks.

avatar HmC May 31, 2011, 4:11 pm

I agree that it can occasionally be “intimidation and creepy” when a guy you don’t like expresses feelings for you. But give guys a break. It can’t be easy having to constantly be the initiator, and girls aren’t always open books with whether they reciprocate feelings.

avatar HmC May 31, 2011, 4:11 pm

intimidation = intimidating

avatar Christina May 31, 2011, 11:12 pm

While I was considering what her perspective was I didn’t think of that viewpoint…she did enter into the same arrangement as he did with the possibility of falling for him.

avatar ArtsyGirl May 31, 2011, 10:45 am

LW, it sounds to me like your roomie was providing the emotional support of a partner minus the sexy fun times. She was your bestie and you got to spend lots of time together since neither of you were in a relationship.

Then her ex came back and you suddenly realized that the relationship you had together was not a real one, but a poor illusion. Was it easier to seek out a relationship with her because of convenience? You really didn’t need to put yourself out there because she provided a lot of the perks of a relationship.

I think I would look back on your feelings for her when she first moved in – be honest with yourself. Was she a cool person that you got along with or was she your secret crush that you hoped would morph into more (ala rom coms the world over)?

No matter what the answer is, I think a long talk would be in order. Even if she falls into your arms telling you that she had been hiding her feelings all along (not likely) you will have to address your living situation. More likely than not, it is time to part ways and see if your feelings fade when you are in such close proximity to her.

Public Pearl Public Pearl May 31, 2011, 11:03 am

I’d get out of the house more, shoot some hoops or hit some golf balls or whatever you like to do, channel your attentions and energies into something else. Maybe you’ll find the feelings pass, or even meet someone else. Sharing close quarters can kind of amplify crushes/attractions sometimes. Although if spending less time together doesn’t bring your feelings back down to friendship/roommate levels, then it may be time to follow the “someone has to move” advice.

avatar Addie Pray May 31, 2011, 11:43 am

Your comment made me wonder how long LW has been having these feelings for his roommate. The letter is silent on that tidbit. If it’s been a few days, definitely take Public Pearl’s advice: get out, channel your attentions elsewhere, and maybe the feelings for your roommate will pass. But if it’s been months and months, then stop living together. I’m not sure what the magic number is, but if it’s only been a few days / weeks of these loving feelings, maybe give it some more time before you break up the otherwise perfect roommating situation.

avatar _jsw_ May 31, 2011, 11:09 am

I would like to suggest that another option might be to spend more time on this site. Comparing the LW’s roommate to the women here might cause him to realize that he can do far better.

I reserve the right to completely revoke this comment if it turns out that the LW’s roommate is a Dear Wendy reader. In that case, this would be sort of like those “the call is coming from inside your house” campfire ghost stories.

avatar SGMcG May 31, 2011, 11:12 am

The other problem with comparing the LW’s rommate with the DW female readers is that, like her, they may not be available and already regularly dating someone else. :D

avatar _jsw_ May 31, 2011, 11:15 am

Obviously, but at least they won’t be bothered by being loved from afar (I say this because none of you seem bothered by the obvious infatuation that spaceboy and I have with you all).

avatar Addie Pray May 31, 2011, 11:41 am

And by “you all” you mean me, Addie, right?

avatar _jsw_ May 31, 2011, 11:48 am

You see right through me.

avatar MissD May 31, 2011, 8:01 pm

Oh, don’t worry. The infatuation is mutual.

avatar BoomChakaLaka May 31, 2011, 12:39 pm

I think you need to take a good, hard look at yourself and who you are before you go confessing your love to your roommate. If you think this will actually negatively affect your anxiety, I would probably just move out and try to get over her. But if you must know how she feels, irrespective of the final result, then by all means, do go and confess your feelings for her. I’m of the latter camp. I’ve never kept a crush inside. and have been through a lot a of heartache because of it. But at the same time, I was never torn up inside too long with unrequited love because I usually found out where that person stood with me pretty quickly.

You say that you are pretty confident that she has zero interest in you. In that case, I do recommend you move out. Not because it might be the physically easiest thing to (but maybe not legally?), but because I think staying in the same environment where you fell in love with her won’t be healthy at all. Move out and start over somewhere else. A bachelor pad perhaps? Or maybe if you prefer living with girls, living with someone else. Have you tried living on your own, but maybe somewhere cheaper? There are so many options out there, and you do not have to stay in your current apartment.

Good luck! I can’t wait to hear the update from this.

avatar AKchic May 31, 2011, 1:38 pm

*cough* Uh, yeah, sorry, I wouldn’t be moving out if my name was on the lease. I don’t care how much furniture the other person brings to the table. Why? Because transferring names on a lease can be a pain. There is a reason she isn’t on a lease already. What happens if they agree to HIM moving out and it turns out her credit is terrible and she CAN’T be put on the lease on her own? Will he continue to sub-let to her? I wouldn’t. It’s too risky.

She may have furniture to move out, but c’mon, she moved it in there, and even if she were leaving because she was getting married and moving away, she’d have to move all that furniture out anyways. With today’s market, unless he is guaranteed to find a better place at a better price, he shouldn’t be leaving. If he owned the home, we wouldn’t be telling him “leave her the home because the burden of moving furniture is too great!”. We’d be telling him to help her find a new place to live.

avatar kate May 31, 2011, 1:41 pm

I agree. Plus like someone else mentioned, “transferring” a lease is not necessarily easy. It’s his place, he should ask her to move.

avatar WatersEdge May 31, 2011, 2:34 pm

I hate to disagree with y’all, but I don’t think he should kick her out just yet. Set a reasonable end date, like a year from when she moved in, and tell her that’s when her “lease” will be up.

I don’t think she should have to move just to save you the emotional discomfort of unrequited affection. You got yourself into this mess and you should get yourself out of it. I don’t think you should kick her out just because you have feelings for her. Take a little control of the situation. Spend time without her. Get out of the house more, spend more time in your bedroom. Distance yourself from her. Date other people. Stop focusing on your roommate. Find things to be happy about and get involved in them. No more “woe is me”. I know these feelings hurt, but there are far worse emotional states a person could be in. Buck up.

I don’t think you should have to move either. Your name is on the lease and it would be a huge headache to get it transferred to her, and it’s not a sure thing that she can even take over the lease.

I’m sorry to say it, but I think you have to tough it out. I can’t imagine asking someone to leave my place in 1-2 months all because I have feelings for them that I can’t live with. I’d be so embarrassed as I watched them pack their things and scrape together the money to move all their furniture, or to even write them a check to help with movers, because I had developed feelings. I don’t think it’s fair to do that to her when she did nothing wrong.

avatar justpeachy May 31, 2011, 3:37 pm

I agree with you on most fronts. I think he needs to get out in the real world, start casually dating, and see if he can get over this girl before asking her to move out. But I do think that after a period of a month or two, if his feelings haven’t changed, he needs to sit the girl down, tell her that the roommate situation isn’t working for him anymore, and that she has, say, two months to find a new place to live. The girl left herself vulnerable to this by not getting her name added to the lease and, as long as he gives fair amount of notice, no one can really hold it against him.

avatar HmC May 31, 2011, 4:16 pm

My old roommate, who I loved living with, moved out three months ago to live with her brand new boyfriend. It really sucked having to replace her within the two months notice she gave me. I was so busy anyway and it was a lot of trouble. And I hadn’t even done anything wrong! But I’m a big girl, and as Wendy said, so is LW’s roommate. Life happens. Sometimes it’s annoying, unfair, inconvenient, or all three. It’s his place, a couple months is plenty of time to find a new place, and she knew this arrangement wasn’t permanent. She’ll live.

avatar spaceboy761 May 31, 2011, 2:37 pm

Three word solution to everything: Mail Order Bride

avatar Elle May 31, 2011, 2:44 pm

Is there a Mail Order Groom? Where do I sign up?

avatar _jsw_ May 31, 2011, 2:47 pm

I’m sure there must be such a service, but be sure to check the shipping rates, and avoid those grooms that push for express delivery. You really don’t want a man who tries to convince you that it’s best that he come quickly.

avatar Elle May 31, 2011, 3:26 pm

Oh, boy! _jsw_, quickly may not be fast enough :)
Do they usually speak English? It’s ok if he speaks Italian, French or German. Other languages, I’m pretty stumped haha. We might resort to sign language :)

avatar _jsw_ May 31, 2011, 3:30 pm

You seem to be forgetting you’d both be speaking the language of love. Right? ;-)

avatar spaceboy761 May 31, 2011, 3:34 pm

It worked in Pocahontas.

avatar Elle May 31, 2011, 2:37 pm

Wow, I disagree with most of the people here… Not unusual, I might add :)

LW, you don’t have to tell her you have feelings for her. She knows already. I’m younger than her, but I’m pretty good at picking up signs of guys liking me. She sees you acting like a sick puppy when she’s dating other guys. Trust me, she knows. The way she acts towards you is her signal to you that she doesn’t want to give you any hope, or maybe to discourage you from even trying.

The fact that you guys spent so much time together and that you became close over time leads me to believe that she likes you too. Why would anyone spend time with a person they don’t like, right?

So my feeling is that she might have a hang-up over the age difference – you mention that she dates mostly guys around her age. This ‘insight’ comes from personal experience. A 26 year old guy was interested in me. I was 31 at the time. The 5 year difference seemed unsurmountable to me. He took some time to convince me that age doesn’t really matter, and gradually deconstructed all my arguments as to why we shouldn’t date. I guess the only thing that worked in his favor was that I was open to discussion. And he is a really nice guy. (We dated for a couple of months, and them he moved away for grad school, and we mutually agreed to stop contacting each other.)

If you didn’t do it yet, I’d suggest you get her opinion on how she feels about dating younger guys. She may tell you that she finds them immature. Or that she has a lot more baggage than them, and it wouldn’t be fair to the younger guy. Or that she’s afraid that her friends/family/acquaintances might think she’s a cougar. (These were my hangups :) ). I won’t make your life easier for you by telling you how you should respond to each of these arguments. Also, she could come up with other stuff that I’m unaware of, based on her previous life experiences.

For this first conversation, I wouldn’t go as far as confessing feelings or pushing for a relationship, but merely suggest she opens up to the possibility of dating younger guys… maybe you? Don’t put any pressure on her. Don’t act like a sick puppy – that’s such a turn-off, especially for a mature woman. You’d probably have to talk to her several times. Give her time to think about it, to get used to the idea. It’s going to take time, but if you really want the girl, you should be ok with waiting. (To give you some hope, it worked for the 26-year old that ended up dating me!)

Good luck, LW, and if it doesn’t work out, suck it up, take her cue and start dating other women.

I personally don’t think that either of you need to suffer financially because you fell for her. If she was a co-worker, would you quit your job? Probably not… I know it will be hard to get over her while she lives in the same house with you. It doesn’t seem that she’s creating a hostile living situation, and you have the maturity not to retaliate in any way if she decides not to date you. I have a feeling though that she’ll want to move out if she won’t want to date you.

Kristina Kristina May 31, 2011, 3:45 pm

So glad I read this. I considered moving in with an ex of mine (very short-lived, and we actually are great, platonic friends now) but now I’m glad I decided not to.

Also, about the moving part. Yes, moving is a huge pain. I’ve lived in 8 places in 20 years, so I know how annoying and frustrating it is. But transferring a lease isn’t always easy and I feel like he would just have more right to stay. Either way, one of them has to leave, especially now that she has shown interest in someone else.

avatar spanishdoll May 31, 2011, 7:49 pm

I think it’s odd that the LW wants to be the one to move out, considering that it’s his lease. It almost sounds like he wants to give the apartment to her as an apology…but I don’t see why he has to apologize. He hasn’t done anything wrong by falling in love with her. He hasn’t done anything illegal or creepy or controlling. The situation just simply isn’t working anymore and, as the lease-signer, he has every right to give a few months’ notice for her to move.

I’m not sure if he’s hoping she’ll see him as a gentleman for giving her the apartment, but I think it might just come across as pathetic, like he’s skulking away in shame for having *gasp* legitimate romantic feelings for his female roommate. I can’t imagine that situation playing out well for him.

He just really needs to be honest with her, and not treat the situation so tragically. These things happen, and as Wendy said, she’s a big girl!

avatar Ray May 31, 2011, 10:14 pm

Thanks again for all the replies and recommendations.

The one I am going to take is what I replied to on SGMcg’s post. Thank you Wendy for posting this and for sharing your suggestions. I’m going to give it another month, try and get out a little more and get a few dates going, and see if that helps. I am not an undesirable person, and I just need to go out and start initiating more conversations, this never used to be a problem in my twenties, anyway. But for the last few years I just don’t do that any longer, and subsequently it has probably attributed to this weird attraction with my roommate because I am not in a relationship with other women lately. That needs to change at some point, and why not try and make it happen now?

I’d say by July, if nothing has changed, I will terminate the living agreement and be very vague with what I tell her. It will be the truth, but very little in detail. I have a feeling I’ll end up keeping the place because there is no way she can afford it alone, and the landlord won’t like the idea of her scrambling to get a roommate either. But if all this can be done, I’d move and get a fresh start hopefully.

Thank you again.

avatar delilahgem June 3, 2011, 10:37 am

oh man I know this pain all too well.
I met my boyfriend of nearly two years this way and let me tell you, it is probably best to move out before you start dating if you do at all. We apparently do things backwards and starting something before we moved out, it got weird, so we HAD to move and then started dating after living separately. It was the absolute worst pain emotionally still living together after it not working out.