Future roommate and potential feelings- a good idea?
August 26, 2018 10:04 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for a flat in a big city where it’s extremely difficult to find accommodation. I went through many castings, put a lot of effort into seeking a reasonably priced shared flat. The last casting i went to, went well, with a male flat we thought it would work great together, we had a long conversation etc.

However, after a few days i got the message, saying “Hey, as you know I really enjoyed your visit, you are a fantastic person! but I want to be honest with you: I think if you would become my flatmate I would maybe start to be interested in you in a non-flatematelike way and I know thats dangerous (and stupid) for sharing an apartment, plus I wouldnt want you to feel uncomfortable. So well, I dont know if its a good idea. What do you think? Sorry for the inconvenience!”

I am not decided really after one meeting where it could go but i would not get involved with a roommate. What would you suggest in this case? Trying to advocate the idea of “don’t develop feelings, let’s be roommates”, does this ever work?

Thanks for the help!
posted by Salicornia to Human Relations (25 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I meant potential flatmate, we would have separate rooms.
posted by Salicornia at 10:05 AM on August 26, 2018

Blegh, this kind of rubs me the wrong way. I mean, what are you supposed to say to that? I don’t think you could say “I’m not interested in a relationship, let’s be roommates” without at least a very awkward living situation. He put you in a bad spot. Unfortunately I think you should pass on this place.
posted by pintapicasso at 10:08 AM on August 26, 2018 [22 favorites]

I wouldn't move in. To me, this person's message to you reads as an 'out' for any weird, forward, creepy, or flirty behaviour they may demonstrate in the future - basically, an opportunity for them to say, "I warned you that I would develop feelings!" a few days/weeks/months from now.
posted by VioletU at 10:17 AM on August 26, 2018 [52 favorites]

I would not do this. It’s good that he’s being honest with you, and if he’s telling you that he can’t handle it, you should believe him. (And like, I got involved with and then married my flatmate, so I am not overly cautious about this stuff.)
posted by goodbyewaffles at 10:18 AM on August 26, 2018 [11 favorites]

To me, it doesn't sound like he's offering you a place in the apartment at all - he's asking you out. I definitely would not move in with him unless you're 100% sure he won't start to get weird and pissy if you bring another guy home (and I don't think you can know this).
posted by stillnocturnal at 10:19 AM on August 26, 2018 [8 favorites]

Yeah don’t move in but sure maybe date him if you also saw potential for romantic feelings.
posted by SaltySalticid at 10:22 AM on August 26, 2018 [17 favorites]

At least he was up front about it. It's always possible he was opening a door for future creepy behavior, but it seems more to me like he's saying no to being your flatmate than "yes, but." I didn't get a red-flag vibe off of this, just on the face of the response.

I wouldn't suggest inviting him to be your housemate, because that could get really awkward. But if you're interested, you could say "Hey, thanks for being honest - I agree it's not smart to be housemates in this situation, but I'd be happy to go out for coffee sometime!"
posted by invincible summer at 10:22 AM on August 26, 2018 [17 favorites]

Do not move in with a guy who just announced he wants to fuck you. Unless you also want to fuck him, that is.

This is actually very polite of him to warn you in advance about the situation. Most dudes would just surprise skeeze all over you, make it very uncomfortable for you to be at home, and then you'd end up in the same situation all over again.

"Trying to advocate the idea of “don’t develop feelings, let’s be roommates”, does this ever work? "

Longer answer: he already thinks you're cute and would bang, and if he gets to know you better, that will only make the pantsfeelings stronger.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:48 AM on August 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

I got sexually assaulted when I moved in with a housemate that I realized was becoming attracted to me while we had our housemate interview. I ignored my gut feelings and moved in anyways because I thought I couldn't find another place. That was not true, even with a tight housing market, because definitely other subleases would have opened up. I'm not saying that would happen to you, but I'm sharing my experience.
posted by yueliang at 10:56 AM on August 26, 2018 [8 favorites]

posted by JamesBay at 11:18 AM on August 26, 2018 [3 favorites]

ha ha oh god no fucking way. do not live with someone who announces that they will be thinking of you sexually in your own home unless you are in a sexual relationship with that person.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:29 AM on August 26, 2018 [20 favorites]

Wow. I’m reading this really different from the crowd. He is absolutely not offering you a spot in the flat. The right response is either, “Ok, sorry the flat won’t work out,” or “Ok, sorry the flat won’t work out. Do you want to grab a drink sometime?” If you were to respond saying you’re still interested in the flat, I suspect he’d be totally flummoxed. He doesn’t want you living there (yet)!
posted by whitewall at 11:40 AM on August 26, 2018 [68 favorites]

Yeah, he has told you, you're not going to be flatmates. The only reason you're getting this message is so that he can judge if you're into him too. There is no offer to be a flatmate available.
posted by Kalmya at 11:46 AM on August 26, 2018 [7 favorites]

Upon rereading, sure, that makes more sense that he is rejecting you based on that. But I'm answering the OP's questions, where the OP read it as considering him as a housemate, which I strongly state my answer is no.
posted by yueliang at 12:11 PM on August 26, 2018

Yeah I think it's a soft no while not wanting to "reject" you (since his intentions are the opposite), so the right reply is along the lines of "thanks for being so upfront, and yeah, that's probably not a good idea" followed by either suggesting a date or saying "I really enjoyed meeting you but don't see things going anywhere, best of luck in your roommate search!"
posted by salvia at 12:18 PM on August 26, 2018 [5 favorites]

Yeah, I agree that he is definitely not offering you the flat. The "what do you think" refers to going out with him, in my reading. The "sorry for the inconvenience" indicates that they have not offered you the flat.

On the chance he is offering it to you? No, don't move in. This is so awkward.
posted by thereader at 12:20 PM on August 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

I think it would be way more creepy if he was into you but didn't say anything, and let you move into the flat. So, yea, don't take the flat, but if you liked him too, ask him out on a date.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:27 PM on August 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

Just pretend he gave you a "no" and move on.
posted by amanda at 12:38 PM on August 26, 2018

I agree with posters above who don't think this guy is a creep. He's not inviting you to be his flatmate; he is opening the doors for a possible date. Actually, respect to this guy. He's self-reflective enough, and considerate enough, to be able to recognize his feelings AND realize they're not compatible with a safe and healthy living environment for you. If you're interested in him, you should ask him out. If not, sounds like he respects your boundaries re: that choice, too.
posted by Miss T.Horn at 12:45 PM on August 26, 2018 [38 favorites]

I found this neither creepy nor off-putting. I agree he isn't really, offering you the place although I think he's also leaving it open to a potentially awkward situation in the future. I think you should just keep looking.
posted by sm1tten at 12:47 PM on August 26, 2018

Agree with everyone else who's saying "keep looking for a place to live, but maybe go to coffee (w/o place involved) with this guy if you were feeling it too."
posted by Alterscape at 3:58 PM on August 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

He isn’t offering you the flat, he’s interviewing you for something else.
posted by Jubey at 3:58 PM on August 26, 2018 [4 favorites]

Trying to advocate the idea of “don’t develop feelings, let’s be roommates”, does this ever work?
I’m sure it has worked for somebody somewhere. Then there is "I’ve developed feelings for my flatmate, but not so much that I’m willing to risk the living situation". That one has worked for lots of people.

Still, it sounds like there is some serious potential for unhappiness here. I’d give it a miss.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:07 AM on August 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

He's interested in you, and because of that, doesn't think it would be a good idea to live with you. He could have phrased things better, something like "Unfortunately I won't be able to accept you as a flatmate because I can see myself becoming interested in you which would be dangerous, stupid and I don't want you to feel uncomfortable. However, if you'd like to get a coffee sometime, let me know."

His phrasing isn't very clear and puts the onus on you to decide whether or not you could live with someone who said they might develop feelings for you if you moved in. Instead he could've owned up to the fact that he's interested in you and therefore you shouldn't move in, and offered to get a coffee instead. Though there might be language/cultural factors which could be contributing to the indirect nature of his wording.

I'd respond with "Thanks for your honesty. I agree that living together won't be a good idea." And followed by, if you feel like it, "would you like to get a coffee sometime?" Let us know how it goes!
posted by foxjacket at 12:07 AM on August 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

Thanks for your input. To the people that suggested that this is a soft no, I might have to disagree; also because the people here known for saying things directly (not impolitely, so I did not look for the deeper meaning in his message.

He offered me the room directly. I politely refused the guy, and said I would gladly come over someday for a glass of wine or something. He said it was heartbreaking, that he is sure we could figure out a solution, but I am welcome over anytime.

Although I did not have a bad feeling about him, I figure this situation was too big of a drama even before I moved in. Thank you all for your useful input! <3
posted by Salicornia at 12:49 PM on August 28, 2018

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