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Are we Roommates or Soul Mates?

Dear Philippa,

This woman and I have known each other for six years and been living together as roommates for about a year. We have always been attracted to each other but it was only recently that we crossed that line. She said she has never had a friendship like we share and she loves me dearly. Now I want us to become a real couple, but she doesn't want to mess up our friendship. She says she might hurt me like she did her last boyfriend with her wandering ways. I want her to see us as soul mates. What should I do or not do?

�Martin, Bismarck, SD


Dear Martin,

I'm puzzled. You say that you and this lady knew each other for six years and were obviously attracted to each other, but nothing happened until you had moved in together as roommates. Based on your history, didn't you anticipate what might happen if two people with a lot of chemistry move in together to just share a space?

And, why didn't you move the relationship up from friendship and date during those six years? Without knowing any details, I will tell you what I suspect might have been going on with you and this woman.

When men and women have a close platonic friendship and some strong chemistry, someone sets the boundaries and there becomes an agreement, often unspoken, that you won't cross over that line because that could spoil the friendship. Based on what you told me, it sounds like this woman was the one to set that boundary. Am I right?

So, you the great guy buddy continued to be a marvelous friend to a woman you were very attracted to for all those years. And you both developed a deep intimate friendship that had the basis for a wonderful romantic relationship. Then something happened to necessitate one of you needing a roommate or a place to live. Who was the one to initiate the living together?

So I'm still guessing but this is how it could have gone. You and she move into together and the steam builds with all that chemistry you and she share on a day to day basis. The inevitable happens. You had to know it would one day under those circumstances. You sound like a romantic, sweet guy, who believes that because you both care for each other and have a close friendship that you are soul mates.

Bottom line, Martin, it sounds like you've always had a big thing for this lady. Be honest with yourself�didn't you want a romantic relationship with her for years? But you were afraid to lose her so you played by her rules and kept things strictly friendship. And I suspect that when you moved into together you secretly saw this as a way to get across that line so you could have the kind of relationship you really wanted.

Your friend, however, sees things differently. She is realistic and honest about her needs. Although she values and loves you, she tells you that she likes to play the field. She may be like many of us who don't believe that we can have all the intimacy of a close friendship and also have strong romantic and sexual chemistry with the same person. I used to believe that you had your exciting romantic and physical relationships and then you had your friends�but they were mutually exclusive. It took me a long time to figure out how wrong that thinking was and thankfully I met and married a very attractive man who is my best friend.

But you can't make this woman see the light, so as to speak. She is who she is. You've spent years adoring someone who can't or won't give you what you want. Don't waste your life pursuing the unattainable. A great guy like you deserves better. Get a new apartment on your own. Take time away from this lady while you heal and get perspective. If she is your friend she will understand. Some day not too far from now you will find a fabulous woman with whom you have all the intimacy and chemistry you seek and she'll have desire to share it all with just you.




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