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Dear Rocky Love: Navigating roommate lust
Jackson Hole, Wyoming – Dear Rocky Love
I’ve developed an attraction to my same-sex roommate and he doesn’t seem to realize this. I’ve tried to give him signs and let him know, but he is either too oblivious or he doesn’t want to come to terms with his own sexuality. Should I just come forward and be blunt with him, or do I need to figure out another living situation? It’s driving me crazy!
– Yours truly, Anonymous
This sounds like a tough situation. There are a couple of things going on here that make for complicated romance. Sexuality aside, there’s the issue of what to do when one is attracted to his or her roommate, and it’s not clear that it’s mutual. Then there’s the question about what role, if any, to play in bringing someone else out of the proverbial closet. And ultimately, it is important to decide if you can live with all the ambiguity and tension here.
I think the best way to think about your situation is as if sexuality were not the main issue. Millions of roommates across the world have experienced attraction to another and have had to figure out what, if anything, to do about it. It’s unclear from your letter whether you think your roommate also is attracted to you. I’m guessing you wouldn’t be jonesing so badly if you didn’t think it was mutual. Then again, we don’t know his feelings for certain.
Since this is apparently driving you “crazy,” I suggest you talk to your roommate about your feelings. If you weren’t on the brink of moving out, I might tell you to just sit back and enjoy the attraction for what it is and not worry about outcomes. However, it sounds like you’re pretty hot and bothered, so it’s time to risk losing face in the hopes of gaining romance.
When you tell him your feelings, one of three things is likely going to happen: 1) He’s going to leap into your arms and thank you for broaching the subject; 2) He’s going to have a homophobic reaction and freak out; 3) He’s going to maturely tell you he really likes you but doesn’t feel the same way.
You need to be ready for whatever his response might be. If he says he isn’t interested, don’t try to browbeat him into admitting he is attracted to you. No matter how fine-tuned your gaydar is, everyone is unique and there’s a chance he isn’t gay. Or he may not be ready to come out. You need to respect him for who he is and where he is.
If he is interested in getting involved, I highly recommend you talk about finding a different living situation so that you can live separately. Living together right off the bat is a lot of pressure to put on a new relationship. To give yourselves the best chance of success, it’s ideal to have your own spaces – mentally and physically – to retreat to for grounding when the flames of romance get crazy. Be brave. Good luck!
– XO, Rocky Love
Dear Rocky Love is an advice column on dating, sex and relationships in the Tetons.
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