I’m a 25-year-old woman who spends an exorbitant amount of hours daydreaming about this 28-year-old guy I met nine months ago. We’re both musicians, and both tired of the games men and women play. He tells me I’m an absolute catch, and leans in when we talk in the hall like he’s trying to get closer. He has said he’s timid with girls he likes, plus I told him, “When I really like a guy, I tell him so.” Oops. I later backpedaled, explaining that I wait till the last possible moment. I’m just aching to reveal my feelings, but have only made hints while we’ve both been drunk, and I don’t think they’ve registered. Oh, yeah, did I mention he’s my roommate? What if he isn’t interested? What if I lose a tenant and a friend? How can I broach the topic of taking our friendship to the next level without scaring him away?
—Mooning for my Roomie
Just get in bed with the guy and see if he complains. Say something only vaguely explanatory. Like “I saw a bug.” Or “I had a bad dream.” Or “Whoops! There was a lot of fog in the hallway, and I guess I got lost on the way back from the bathroom.”
The worst thing you could do is lay your feelings out like a big, dead carp. Guys normally aren’t huge fans of the old “Can we talk about the relationship?” They’re particularly icked out by hearing it from a woman they have yet to even feel up. Plus, if you spell out interest that isn’t reciprocated — “I’ve spent nine months festering with lust for you!” — there’s no taking it back. An unreciprocated move, on the other hand, can be pretended away: You were drunk. You don’t know what came over you. Maybe it was the fog!
You can spend the next nine months following the guy around the apartment with a little curl of drool hanging from your mouth — or decide it’s worth it to you to risk losing a tenant and a friend. Actually, if he is into you, you should lose a tenant, since it’s ill-advised to move in together before the first date. As for losing a friend, OK, not super-fun, but surely there are more where this one came from. Finally, let’s say he doesn’t share your feelings. Maybe you can stay roomies and friends — if you can accept, without going all weird, that he’s never going to ask if you, uh, wanna see his etchings. In fact, like one half of some old married couple, you may eventually become convinced your head will explode if you have to ask him one more time to pick his etchings up off the living room floor.