Lifestyle

Love Letters

In an almost-relationship with a roommate

Meredith is looking for questions! Submit yours here.

Q. I’ve been sleeping with my roommate/friend of three years for about a year now. For the past four months, we have been trying to work toward a relationship.

Lately, he keeps saying something is off, which I’m confused about because he says I’m the person he’s always wanted, and that I’m amazing, beautiful, and that he wants to be with me.

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About three years ago he was cheated on, and that ruined him in a lot of ways. He told me a few weeks ago that he wasn’t over that betrayal — that he was over her, but not what happened. Everyone around us assumes we’re an official couple. I just don’t understand why he’s not capable; if I’m everything he wants, what could be the problem?

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He did ask me about my life goals recently, and I told him that because I have an autoimmune disease, I haven’t wanted kids — but that he makes me want them. Could that have scared him? I was also thinking that because we started as friends-with-benefits/roommates, we never got the chance to date casually.

He doesn’t want to hurt me, but I’m just confused because he does seem to want to be with me. But whatever is holding him back is making it hard for him to actually commit. I just don’t know what to do, and I don’t want to give up. I think if we give up now, we will never know what we could have been. At least if I get hurt later, I’ll know we tried everything.

I’m just lost about what to do and how to figure this out.

Hurting Now

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A. This might be a huge, expensive hassle, but the best thing you can do is move out of your home. You are not helping the relationship (or yourself) by remaining his roommate. If you continue to hook up and you both decide that you’re all in, the living situation will mess with your pace. If he decides to end things for good, you’ll be stuck sleeping near an ex.

Really, it would be great if you could go on a date with this guy and then go home on your own. It would help to know whether he’d make an effort if you weren’t down the hall.

You should also be clear about what you know you want right now. You do want to date. You do want to find out whether you’re compatible as more than friends. But you don’t know for sure that you want kids — and you have no idea whether you’d want them with him. You’re imagining some new possibilities, but that’s the kind of thing you should discuss with other friends right now. At this point, there’s no reason to raise the stakes.

Meredith

READERS RESPOND:

So he’s decided to cling to this as an excuse not to LOVE AGAIN, there is nothing you can do about someone who chooses to be unhappy so move out and move on.

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THE_BRIDE

Who said he’s unhappy?

REAL-DEAL

Thank you for saying this, BRIDE! Being cheated on does not ruin people! It just gives them something to say when they don’t want to commit. ASH

No wonder people don’t know what to do in relationships. Instead of getting to know each other first, they are already living together and having sex. But the emotional connection is missing.

LEGALLYLIZ2017

Like many letter writers, you don’t mention a single thing about him that you like, so start asking yourself whether you really want to be in a relationship so badly that it doesn’t matter whether you like the other person.

AULDYIN

The reason you started having sex with this guy is the same reason why you decided to try to have an actual relationship with this guy. It is also the reason why you want to pursue the relationship even when he says he isn’t ready for one, and the same reason why you won’t stop sleeping with him: Convenience.

CRUCIFIEDZEOFF

You’re not supposed to have to “work toward” a relationship for over four months with someone you’ve been [sleeping with] for years.

MCDIMMERSON.

Move out, find new roommates.

MSENIGMA

Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to meredith.goldstein@globe.com.