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Roommate Fantasies

Dear Philippa:

This wasn't supposed to happen. After almost of year sharing a place with this great guy I find myself attracted to him. I feel awkward when I'm near him, especially when he's in his bathrobe. We used to pal around and tell each other everything. Now I'm scared to tell him how I feel because of what it could do to our living arrangement and our friendship. Help!

�Valerie, Boulder, CO


Dear Valerie,

When two people live as intimately as you are doing, with all the emotional intimacy of a real couple, it isn't surprising that feelings can cross over into the romantic realm. So don't feel embarrassed or guilty.

The issue, however, is how Mr. Bathrobe feels about you. Is he seeing anyone seriously? You didn't mention if either of you are actively dating; which makes me wonder how long it has been since you were attracted to and involved with anyone. Have you ever noticed that you start having X-rated dreams about the people you work with when your date nights are with Lean Cuisine and a video?

All right, let's say you are not lonely, and he isn't dating anyone in particular. The coast is clear, what do you do now? You could tell him exactly how you feel. Maybe he will grab hold of you in delight and you will live happy ever after. This is a long shot because you'd have noticed some clues by now if this was true. More than likely you would embarrass or scare the hell out of him and end up looking for a new place to stay.

The safer approach would be to wait until you're having one of those intimate chats late at night. Then you tell him how much you appreciate how well you two get on together and that you have been meeting nothing but duds lately. Ask him why you can't find a guy out there like him. He'll be flattered and may then share with you how he feels about the subject.

This is when you have to be quiet and wait for him to say it straight out or give you a clue about how he's feeling. If he smiles and ruffles your hair and gets up off the couch to get a drink or something, don't plan any wedding shower. If however, he stays physically close to you, showing he isn't uncomfortable, keep listening. He may confess that he wishes things were different. After all, you both get on so well, but right now he's not ready for anything serious. He may also worry about what would happen if things didn't work out after the two of you got together.

Valerie, you can test the waters, but I suspect it's time to back off and use your fantasies where they will do you the most good, on a man who is available and ready for a relationship. You can find someone with the same attributes you like in your roommate and develop an equally intimate relationship where you'll know you're wanted and the attraction is mutual.


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