This is my first year in college, and many people are already signing leases to live in off-campus apartments next year. A friend asked me if I wanted to live with her and a couple of guy friends, and surprisingly my parents agreed to the arrangement. The problem? I have a major crush on one of the guys - I'll call him Jack.
Even though we hang out sometimes, I feel like he's okay with rooming with me only because he thinks of me as strictly a friend, and now that boundary will be set in stone. And even if by some small chance something did happen between us, I know things could get awkward really fast. However, I know Jack would be a good roommate because he is very smart, motivated, and a genuinely nice person. I think we would all have a lot of fun together. I'm just terrified that my crush on him won't go away and I'll have to watch him with other girls all year in my silent misery. Did I just ruin my chances of anything ever happening between us? Is this just setting myself up for being hurt? Could there be a silver lining in my situation?
Well, for one, I can't think of a better way to kill the mystery and magic of a nascent crush than by sharing a living space with the object of your affections. Seriously, if you want to get over a guy, there's nothing that'll torpedo your infatuation quite like finding out firsthand that he pees on the toilet seat, blows his nose on his socks, changes his sheets maybe once per semester, and blithely leaves rogue pubic hairs all over the shower walls.
And if you still find him impossibly attractive after a year of living in close quarters, then congratulations, it's love.
But let's imagine for a moment that familiarity doesn't breed contempt, and that your crush on Jack continues to rage unabated for at least part of your year as roommates. Will it hurt to watch from down the hall while the guy you adore dates other girls? Yeah, of course it will. But will it really hurt that much more than it would if you were watching from somewhere else? Because that's what you need to think about, here. If Jack doesn't like you the way you like him, it's going to suck regardless; only you can say for sure whether the added suck of close proximity is enough to make you want to give up on an otherwise great place to live.
Which, since it sounds like your living arrangements are actually a done deal, I'm guessing you decided it isn't. Right? (Okay then!)
And if that is the case, then let me assure you: you haven't ruined anything. Jack isn't going anywhere, and neither are you. Yes, sharing an apartment will put the possibility of romance between you on pause—or at least, it will if you're smart and want to avoid a major dating pitfall—but it hardly puts it at an end. There's nothing stopping you two from falling for each other down the line, or even during this year. And if you're looking for a silver lining, how about this: you'll have a great opportunity to enjoy getting to know Jack, intimately, without the added pressure of dating him.
And while it's not the requited crush and budding romance you wish you had, that's nothing to sniff at. At best, it'll give you the greatest foundation ever for a relationship moving forward—whether it's as friends, or something more. And at worst, you'll prove to yourself that you're strong and awesome enough to face down the suck of unrequited love, right up close, without flinching, because you are a magnificent specimen of self-possession and maturity. Yes, you are.
Would you share an apartment with your crush, or say "Thanks, but no thanks"? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.