Q. Dear Cynthia, I have a terrible problem. I live with two roommates and I've started to have romantic feelings for one of them. I don't think he knows, but my other roommate may be starting to figure it out. I don't know if he feels the same way about me. He has a girlfriend. What should I do?
Shouldn't Be Loving the One I'm Living With
A. First of all, I want to say DO NOT LOVE THE ONE YOU ARE LIVING WITH. While I sympathize with the fact that we cannot choose who we love or lust after, this is a situation that is destined to blow up in your face if you don't nip it in the bud immediately.
Here are some reasons that crushing on your roommate is a mistake:
1) It can lead to an awkward situation wherein you are made vulnerable and your unrequited feelings can lead to a combustible relationship between you and your roommate. If living with him and all the bad that comes with co-habitating has not discouraged your from liking him, then continuing to live with him will probably only intensify your feelings.
Also, you will probably feel depressed, unhappy and emotionally screwed up if you are forced to be around someone you like or love or lust for, but cannot have these desires fulfilled.
And, inevitably your feelings will betray you in word or action. In fact, things you stop doing or saying can speak louder than anything in your normal behavior.
These things have a way of being brought into the light and in this situation, disclosure is most likely BAD.
2) Your crush/roommate is in a relationship and doing anything to try to break them up or create an infidelity is wrong. You may not intend to do any of this, but our feelings can have a distinct way of betraying us and spurring us on to uncharacteristically unusual behavior.
3) It's very likely that your feelings are temporary and will pass. However, you need to seek out a different living situation if at all possible. If you are no longer living with your crush, then it will most likely fade into nonexistence.
If moving out is not possible, then you should do everything in your power to dissolve your crush. Try not to spend too much time around him and try think of him in a familial sense. When you live with someone your relationship can somewhat replicate your childhood home life. Try to think of him as a brother and resist fantasizing about him.
In conclusion, if you cannot overcome your feelings for your roommate, then you must find an alternative living situation. And, if you have a deep, relentless feeling that there is something between the two of you, you are better off living separately. Then, who knows? Maybe one day you will both be single. If you are ever both single and these feelings still exist and you are willing to risk whatever friendship you still have with him, then and ONLY then should you consider coming clean with him about your feelings.
However, that is an "if" and "only" scenario. For now, move on and try to make the best of your situation. Good luck!!