How 'bout door #2?
June 28, 2006 4:27 PM   Subscribe

Dating-filter: She answered an add I posted looking for a roommate. I showed her the place, sincerely and with an open-mind...

Thing is, I have a pretty clear idea of what I want out of a roommate, and over the course of the meeting it became obvious that she ain't it. I also have a pretty clear idea of what I want out of a date (at least), to say nothing of a girlfriend - and I'm not saying she's it, but I'd certainly like the opportunity to meet under other circumstances. So can I call her to tell her that a) she didn't get the apartment but b) can I buy her a drink? Or is my tact-deficiency acting up again?
posted by fingers_of_fire to Human Relations (46 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I think if someone did that to me, I would be really (a) pissed off, or (b) skeeved out.
posted by tastybrains at 4:32 PM on June 28, 2006


You start out the "relationship" by rejecting her and you think that that will make you look attractive enough to date?

Dude.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 4:35 PM on June 28, 2006


Yo, not clear to me how much she liked the apartment to begin with - in fact, she herself said "I don't know if this would really work out for me..."

But, like I said, I'm tact-deficient, which is why I come to y'all, great and wise mefites.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 4:37 PM on June 28, 2006


Sometimes it is not to be.
posted by mendel at 4:37 PM on June 28, 2006


Maybe this is naive of me, but isn't the end goal of dating to find a room-mate (ie via marriage or cohabitation)?
posted by TochterAusElysium at 4:39 PM on June 28, 2006


Yeah, gross - what are you going to say, "Just from the our brief meeting I could tell immediately I could never ever tolerating living with you - but I wouldn't mind getting to 'know you' better - interested?"?
posted by delladlux at 4:39 PM on June 28, 2006


Forget whether or not you were attracted to her, do you think she was attracted to you? If you think so, then it might be worth giving her a call. I'm trying to put myself in her shoes, and while I think it could be creepy I can see how it might also work, so why not?

Make sure you mention you didn't place the ad to meet girls, just that you decided to go with another person for whatever reason (but it better be a good one, or you will sound skeevy/dumb), but you also thought she was really interesting and someone you'd like to get a drink with, and that you hope she's not offended by your asking. Good luck!
posted by lia at 4:42 PM on June 28, 2006


It'll only hurt your pride at the most to give her a call and say you feel uncomfortable offering her the place because you're attracted to her and wouldn't want that vibe hanging over a shared living space. There's a good chance she may be pissed off or skeeved out, but you won't know until you try. And you can feel it out from there...

I don't know why everyone else is being so difficult.
posted by drpynchon at 4:42 PM on June 28, 2006


Go for it, man. What do you have to lose?
posted by mr_roboto at 4:43 PM on June 28, 2006


Nope - we are both at home during the day - she as a freelance writer, me as a freelance musician. I distinguish between good friends and good roommates. Right now, what I want out of a roommate is someone who works 9-5 - seeing as I am usually out of the house from the late afternoon through the evening, we can co-habitate without being in each other's space too much.

I suspect that all that changes when emotions and intimacy enter the picture. I of course could be dreadfully wrong, though.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 4:43 PM on June 28, 2006


I suggest a little white lie in this situation. Say you found a friend of a friend or a cousin or something whom you owed a favor and so he moved in. Sorry! But, hey, you were really cool, we should hang out sometime.

Then, later, if it goes well, you can tell her the truth. If it doesn't, she's none the wiser.

I am a girl and I have approved this message.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:46 PM on June 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


I agree with drpynchon... let her know you're attracted to her, so you don't think it would be the wisest course to live with her.

I know I'd be a bit weirded out if my flatmate developed feelings for me whilst living together. She'll probably appreciate your honesty. She might reciprocate.

I probably wouldn't be weirded out if this happened to me, but I guess it depends on the circumstances and the guy.
posted by jonathanstrange at 4:47 PM on June 28, 2006


Well, I suppose it might depend on why she's not "right" as a roommate -- does she keep hours that are likely to disrupt yours? Have a pet that you're allergic to? Those are legitimate reasons not to share an apartment with someone that wouldn't preclude them being someone worth dating. But if it's just "I think you'd be annoying to be with all the time, but I'd like to get in your pants for an evening now and then," then yeah, it's skeevy.
posted by scody at 4:47 PM on June 28, 2006


This is all vague.

What are you looking for in a roomate? How did you she not fit the bill?

So what bout her makes you think she would make a good date?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:47 PM on June 28, 2006


feh, the OP's response didn't appear on preview.
posted by scody at 4:48 PM on June 28, 2006


scody/Brandon Blatcher - addressed in my follow-up post - legitimate (and, I think, mutually recognized) reasons why we're not meant to be as roommates...
posted by fingers_of_fire at 4:49 PM on June 28, 2006


Your reason for her not being ideal roommate material is more clear now after your comment, and makes total sense. Your post made it seemed as though you were rejecting her based on personality. I'd be honest and tell her your reasons. I'm sure anyone who works from home needs the space. Better to be up front in case it does develope into something more.
posted by delladlux at 4:52 PM on June 28, 2006


I would be SEVERELY skeeved out if someone said they wouldn't want to live with me because they were attracted to me -- that would just put all sorts of overly intimate images in my head and make any subsequent date REALLY awkward. It would make me think they were imagining having sex with me while I was looking at the apartment, and while they very well may have been, I certainly wouldn't want to know that.

I would, however, probably not have a problem with being asked out by a guy whose apartment I had looked at. And I would take lia's approach, word for word. (And I wouldn't lie about finding a relative or friend. I don't think dates starting on a basis of lies, especially if it's a lie you're going to have to maintain for any length of time, are really a great idea.)
posted by occhiblu at 4:56 PM on June 28, 2006


Leave it a couple of weeks so that she will have found somewhere else and the whole rommate-thing will be in the past and she won't care, then call her.
posted by cillit bang at 5:03 PM on June 28, 2006


Maybe this is naive of me, but isn't the end goal of dating to find a room-mate (ie via marriage or cohabitation)?

The purpose of dating often is to find a long-term roommate, but it's not clear that the best way to develop a relationship with that potential roommate is to live with her from the get-go, even if things were to work out. And if things didn't work out, or things didn't happen at all, and you end up living with the object of your unreciprocated affection, that's obviously bad too. So ironically, the person who you might want to live with might not be the person you want to live with, at least right away. I don't think it's that unreasonable of a situation to be in, though fingers_of_fire might have made it easier on himself by providing more details in the initial post.

I think lia has the best answer: Consider whether the feeling seemed at all mutual, make it clear that you are aware of the possible creepiness, and just be considerate

TPS--you really think white lies are the way to go? I feel like on the date one of the first questions might be, "So, how's the new roommate working out?" which would either lead to some more awkward lying or an admission of falsehood before she has had any chance to develop positive feelings for him. Plus, I think I've seen a lot of romantic comedies where white lies at the beginning of a relationship lead to trouble. But I guess the lovers always reconciled at the end.
posted by epugachev at 5:05 PM on June 28, 2006


That has happened to me. I was skeeved out, but that was also because I wasn't interested. Had I been, that would have been a whole different story...
posted by sweetkid at 5:11 PM on June 28, 2006


I guess everybody's different, but I think as a matter of general practice, being up front about your attraction when you ask someone out will at the very least save you from a lifetime of struggle in the so-called friend-zone, and at best win you points for sincerity and confidence. Frankly I don't know how someone can delude themselves with the notion that people ask eachother out romantically for reasons other than attraction. And being attracted to someone doesn't necessarily mean you want to rip their clothes off and have your way with them. I promise you, if the feeling was remotely mutual, as sweetkid notes, it won't work against you.

But as with everything, being tact-deficient can hurt you. So if all else fails, push the boyish grin and guitar.
posted by drpynchon at 5:19 PM on June 28, 2006


I think you could simply go with the truth: "I'm home all day, too, so I don't think we're necessarily a good fit for roommates. I really liked meeting you, though -- maybe we could have dinner sometime?"
posted by anildash at 5:21 PM on June 28, 2006


Man, askme really has a way of over-complicating things!

Go with what lia or anildash said.
posted by vacapinta at 5:31 PM on June 28, 2006


You could try scaring her off from wanting to live with you by telling her about all of your bad habits, and then ask her out. It could work.
posted by rob paxon at 5:31 PM on June 28, 2006


I think you could simply go with the truth: "I'm home all day, too, so I don't think we're necessarily a good fit for roommates. I really liked meeting you, though -- maybe we could have dinner sometime?"

This sounds good to me. And might I suggest that you make it clear in the ad that you don't want someone who would be home during the day?
posted by languagehat at 5:34 PM on June 28, 2006


hmmm...I don't think that she's going to take this well.
posted by bim at 5:36 PM on June 28, 2006


drpynchon, I think what I'm reacting to is the fact that she had been to his home. If he just met her on the street, or knew her from a club or something, and told her that he found her attractive and wanted to date her, I'd agree totally with you.

But there's something weirdly intimate about being in someone's home, and unfortunately women still sometimes have to be concerned for their safety when going into men's homes alone. It can be a bit of a leap of faith in assuming the guy's not going to rape you / murder you / tie you up in the basement and force you to listen to disco music for hours. I'm not saying that she spent the entire roommate interview thinking, "I hope he doesn't rape me," because she probably didn't, but his telling her that he was thinking that she was too attractive to live with, implying that he'd somehow be unable to control himself around her if the were sharing a home, puts a weird and slightly creepy light on the interaction they already had.
posted by occhiblu at 5:36 PM on June 28, 2006


languagehat - I was clear about what I was looking for in my ad. People respond anyway.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 5:40 PM on June 28, 2006


I think you could simply go with the truth: "I'm home all day, too, so I don't think we're necessarily a good fit for roommates. I really liked meeting you, though -- maybe we could have dinner sometime?"

Definitely.
posted by birdie birdington at 5:42 PM on June 28, 2006


Of course. Duh.
posted by rinkjustice at 5:46 PM on June 28, 2006


Send her info for one of your shows, and maybe she will turn up there.
posted by sweetkid at 5:59 PM on June 28, 2006


I nth anildash's suggestion. Except for the 'dinner' part. That makes it sound so old-fashioned. Drinks, maybe, or 'hang out sometime.' I can't say 'you want to have dinner sometime?' to anyone with a straight face, but YMMV.

on preview: sweetkid's suggestion is actually pretty good too.
posted by bingo at 6:01 PM on June 28, 2006


True story:

My friend (queer woman) lives in the Boston area. Had personals profile up somewhere. Got a ping from a woman and didn't pursue it for whatever reason.

Months later my friend decides she needs a roomie. Places a CL ad and gets a response. Replies to said response only to get a "Gee, this is kind of funny, but I responded to your personal ad months ago and you never replied. Can I still see your place?"

My friend is kind of weirded out by the idea of living with someone who finds her attractive, but goes with it. Knows immediately upon meeting this woman that she can't be roomies with her - she's too cute.

A week later the woman calls my friend and asks her out. They've been dating, *very* happily, for almost six months. This weekend the woman is moving in.
posted by FlamingBore at 6:27 PM on June 28, 2006


16 months ago I placed a craigslist ad for a roommate, vetted four candidates, accepted one, and within two months we were dating. The relationship as a couple and as roommates ended after about a year. Many of the things I liked about her as a roommate were what led to us dating. She was easygoing, loving to my three pets, intelligent, etc. It started out as roommates having beer and then going to a bar and developed from that. The breakup was not a good one, but not horrible either, just your run-of-the-mill now that we know each other better, we're not a good couple breakup.

I'm going to recommend a strategy, and recommend against you following it, because it has a high probability of failure, but a high payoff if it works. First, stall for time. Tell her that you have narrowed the candidate list down and she's still in the running. Maybe she'll balk because she's already found a place or needs one now, and if so that's fine. Invite her out for a beer. Tell her you're also taking the other candidates out for a beer, you want to know if there's an ability to get along. After all, if you're going to share a space with someone, you should be able to have a beer comfortably with them. You might find out during the ostensibly-feeling-out-process albeit under a false pretense that she's not right for you. Then fine and move on.

If you're still keen on her, and want to take a gamble, give her the space. Be prepared to live with her as no more than platonic roommates. Also be prepared to not be happy as a roommate because that's what your first instinct has told you. And DO NOT let on you have a crush. Endeavor to be a good roommate and good friend, every now and then cook extra and invite her to join you for dinner, and wash her dishes occasionally when she leaves them in the sink. DO NOT go through her stuff or sniff her panties when you come across her laundry. Act like a gentleman for a bit, hope she doesn't meet another guy, and maybe after a couple months your relationship can bloom.

Again...I don't recommend following this.
posted by vito90 at 6:55 PM on June 28, 2006


Nope - we are both at home during the day - she as a freelance writer, me as a freelance musician. I distinguish between good friends and good roommates. Right now, what I want out of a roommate is someone who works 9-5

Oh, that actually makes sense. Hell, it makes SO MUCH sense, that she'll probably understand as a freelance writer and if she's interested at all, be willing to go for coffee. Go for it and explain your reasons about not wanting a roomate just yet.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:04 PM on June 28, 2006


Sounds like something you've just got to try to see what happens, and under the circumstances it's worth a shot.

Good luck.
posted by The Monkey at 9:16 PM on June 28, 2006


I suggest a little white lie in this situation. Say you found a friend of a friend or a cousin or something whom you owed a favor and so he moved in. Sorry! But, hey, you were really cool, we should hang out sometime.

Then, later, if it goes well, you can tell her the truth. If it doesn't, she's none the wiser.

I am a girl and I have approved this message.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:46 PM PST on June 28 [+fave] [!]


I am a girl, and I agree with TPS!
posted by theantikitty at 9:39 PM on June 28, 2006


If the relationship works out, won't she become your roommate anyway?
posted by jewzilla at 9:59 PM on June 28, 2006


I think you could simply go with the truth: "I'm home all day, too, so I don't think we're necessarily a good fit for roommates. I really liked meeting you, though -- maybe we could have dinner sometime?"
repeated because it's a great idea. I'm also anti-white-lie. Starting off a relationship with a falsehood seems like a bad idea.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 10:43 PM on June 28, 2006


It could go like this "Hi, I'm the guy that showed you the room. I think we both had our doubts about you taking the room"

She'll probably agree. Then say "It was nice to meet you though. Fancy a coffee"

I don't see why she'd be 'skeeved out'. If she is, fuck it you don't have to see each other again.
posted by lunkfish at 2:07 AM on June 29, 2006


Anil for the win.
posted by klangklangston at 7:38 AM on June 29, 2006


Make it two calls. The first to tell her that because you are working on music from 9 to 5 you would probably distract her from working on writing and decided to go with someone else as your roommate. Then, call back and say, you know, I liked your creative spirit and maybe we could get together sometime.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:03 AM on June 29, 2006


The anildash solution is simple & straightforward. Go with it.

I am a girl woman, and I have approved this message.
posted by raedyn at 9:16 AM on June 29, 2006


A friend of mine met his wife this way (he was the one apartment-hunting).
posted by matildaben at 1:07 PM on June 29, 2006


Nope. Won't happen. You can't tell somebody that they aren't good enough to live with and then expect that same person to date you.
posted by peglam at 4:14 AM on June 30, 2006


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