Q: I been in my new apartment for a few months. I've always thought that my roommate was cute, but on my birthday, he bought some beers and we had a very nice time, we cooked together, and had fun. At the end of the day we were sitting on the couch just talking, and he got very close to me, and I liked it. I really wanted to kiss him, but the problem is that I'm a gay man and he is a straight man. The other problem is that he has a long-term girlfriend, but he has canceled dates with her on occasion in order to spend time with me.
I feel happy when I'm with him and I'm just really confused about what to do. Should I tell him how I feel? I don't want to lose him in any way as a roommate or as a friend, nor do I want to cause problems between him and his girlfriend. Help!
– D.D., South Buffalo
A: Unfortunately, he is not single, and that is the ultimate deal breaker in this situation. Regardless of whether he may be having curious feelings toward you, he is in what I assume to be a committed relationship. Because of this, you should keep your feelings to yourself. It will be beneficial for you to spend time away from the apartment and keep busy. Get together with friends or family and don't spend too much time alone with your roommate. It can only lead to more confusion at this time.
If he eventually ends the relationship with his girlfriend and you're getting vibes that he might be interested in you, go for it. However, keep in mind that you will be risking the friendship and could potentially have to deal with an awkward living situation if he rejects you. Also, you don't ever want to be someone's “experiment,” so be sure that he is genuine in his feelings before pursuing it further.
Stop using him
Q: About a year ago I was in a bad situation and was almost homeless. I met a man who put me up and started giving me money. He is older and he's nice, but we are not very much alike. I am more New Age and he is very old school. We have a sexual relationship, but I can't force myself to love him; at the same time, I don't want to hurt him. I'm 40 and he is 59. I want to meet someone and fall in love the normal way. He is definitely not the one for me, but I also don't have a place to live now or a job, so I'm stuck and feel trapped. Any advice?
– T.L., Clarence
A: Bottom line, you're using him. This is an unhealthy situation and he appears to be more like a “sugar daddy” than anything else. He enjoys your companionship and he clearly has feelings for you, but you know deep down that you're only in it for the roof over your head and the money he dishes out. It's pretty clear that you'd be long gone if you had the financial means to support yourself.
Find somewhere else to stay. If you can't find a family member or a friend to help you out, talk to a local women's shelter or a therapist. Some counselors offer payment plans on a sliding scale based on income. It's also time for you to look for a job and get your life back on track.
Patti Novak welcomes your relationship questions. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and please include your initials and hometown.