Ten months ago I went through a horrible break up, that was a drain on me emotionally and financially. While everything was falling apart I moved in with a friend of a co-worker who was renting a room. We hit it off as friends and eventually became physical. (Stupid, I know!). I developed feelings for him, and after telling him how I felt he said that he couldn’t see a long-term relationship together because I don’t ever want children.
Each time we’d have this conversation (about twice over six months), we would step back from the physical contact and just remain friends and roommates. I dated a handful of times but without fail we would fall back into the same routine. Around New Years we had the conversation again but this time I realized I really had to move on as it wasn’t healthy. We still continued living together and remained close but on a friendship level only. We had a conversation about how we would each feel if the other started dating seriously and set boundaries to make sure we were both comfortable with the living situation. A few times where alcohol was involved we would sleep together but we no longer slept in the same bed, or kissed and hugged when leaving or coming home.
A few months ago I met a great guy who has potential. I was upfront with my roommate and gave him warning one weekend when the new guy would be staying over. He seemed fine with it and was extremely nice to my new guy. Right after the new guy left, my roommate confessed his love for me and asked me if we could attempt a real relationship with each other. He said that after seeing me with this guy he realized he had been fighting his feelings for me and wasn’t sure at this point if he even wanted children so that initial problem was no longer an issue.
I’m so confused because I feel like his emotional switch is due to jealousy not necessarily wanting to be with me. I have a fear once the feelings of jealousy go away he will change his mind about wanting to be with me or worse, we’ll attempt the relationship and down the road he’ll realize he does want children and it will be heart-breaking! I have expressed these fears to him and he said he’s willing to wait while I figure it out. I don’t know if I should give this a chance or just MOA and work on building a solid relationship with the new guy. Any perspective at this point will be a huge help because it’s eating me up inside. — Worth the Risk?
Well, first thing’s first: you’ve got to move out of your apartment. Regardless of whether you decide to date your roommate, date the new guy, or just take a break from dating altogether, your living situation needs to change. Clearly, the two of you can’t be just roommates. You can’t even be just roommates and friends. Every time you’ve tried that, you’ve ended up back in bed together, and even if you both woke up tomorrow and decided you’re perfect for one another and want to give a relationship a real shot, you’d want at least a little emotional distance that living apart would provide if for no other reason — but there are plenty of other reasons — than to keep a little mystery as you continue getting to know one another.
But, let’s be honest here: you aren’t going to wake up tomorrow and decide you’re perfect for one another. Even if we took this new guy completely out of the picture — and for clarity’s sake, I think we should — a relationship with your roommate has disaster written all over it. All this time, all these chances you’ve given each other, and it’s only when he sees you with someone else he realizes he has feelings for you? Lame! And come on: how’s he gonna change his mind about wanting kids over the course of six months? That’s the part that would really scare me. If he changed his mind this quickly now, who’s to say he won’t change it back again in another six months — especially since he hasn’t really changed it at all, but has simply decided he “isn’t sure” what he wants. Oh, how convenient!
Here’s what I’d say to that: “Well, when you decide with absolute certainty you don’t want kids, then we’ll talk, because I know what I want and I know what I don’t want and love is risky enough without putting my heart on the line for someone who just ‘isn’t sure.'” And then move out and live your life. If that means dating this new guy and seeing where things go with him, great. If it means dating around a little and not committing to anyone just yet, that’s fine too. If it means taking a break from the dating scene and focusing on yourself, go for it. But what I would not advise is waiting around for your roommate to make up his mind once and for all. He’s kept you on the line long enough and it’s time you hopped off and moved on already. There are plenty men of men out there who do know what they want, that’s there no point in putting your faith in one who doesn’t. MOA, sister. It’s time.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.