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Why Dating Your Roommate Can Be The Most Bizarrely Confusing Thing Ever (Or Maybe, Kind Of The Best)

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New Girl
New Girl

I’ve Googled variations on “dating your roommate” and “why you should never date your roommate” and “BUT I WANNA! SHUT UP GOOGLE!” roughly 10 billion times in the last 48 hours.

There I am at work on my triple screen standing desk comparing articles and reading reason 17,000 on why I should steer clear of such a messy situation; something like “because you’ll have to like poop and stuff and you don’t really want him knowing you have normal, functioning bodily organs, do you???” No, VixenBloggerChickWhoWentToAStateSchool.com, I want to maintain the illusion that the dainty grapes I pop suggestively in my mouth never make it to my colon and that the only version of that word I use pertains to grammatical usage. I actually want him to think I shit glitter and that I bake pies while performing sexual favors and that I DID, in fact, wake up like this.

The truth of course is much darker. I survive mainly off of pop tarts, hummus, and cookie butter because my culinary skills range from ice to toast. I wear a questionable amount of flannel around the house for a straight girl, and I wake up resembling a 12 year old boy in the thick of puberty. Oh, and I just farted really loudly as I write this in our communal kitchen. Maybe he’ll find out how much I value any show produced by Andy Cohen and how I sometimes keep a jar of peanut butter in my bed because…peanut butter. As someone who has spent a lot of time alone with her dog, I can tell you that those freakish little tid bits are pretty much the bulk of my existence.

Sure, I have a job and sometimes send an email here or there. I can throw on a face and have a drink at a classy cocktail bar; propping myself up on a stool, legs crossed like a minx, batting my eyelashes wildly like I lost a contact. But for the majority of my life I’m right where I am now: sitting slouched in my underwear in the kitchen drinking bourbon, still damp and a little ripe from spin class.

Any man who gets a sneak peek of the woman behind the mask before month 15 should run for the hills. Here in San Francisco we have a lot of them. Pick a hill. Run toward it. The funny thing is, he didn’t…at first. And yet, nothing to write a Nicholas Sparks novel about has come of our fling, and my dear girl, I promise you too are probably not the exception. So before you go running off to sign up for your joint Costco card, read the below.

1. You met him on Craigslist.

Chances are, if you’re a below-average, broke 27-year-old girl who needs a home, you hit up Craigslist. Should you be the one person on earth who makes it work with her roommate, someday you will need to tell your children and your children’s children that you met on Craigslist. You’ll be a Craigslist couple. You’re basically one Monster Truck Rally away from Wednesday night line dancing. It might be on your tombstone. Think about it.

2. You’ll run into him on your way to the bathroom and wonder if you should kiss him.

What are the rules and protocols? When are we a “thang” and when are we in down time mode, recovering from our thangy-ness? You know what I mean. You can have an amazing time with someone you’re dating! You can go hiking or stare at bodies of water together and have a deep meaningful talk, or maybe you just get naked and see where your brains down south lead you.

But, the most beautiful part of it all is when you get to go home and breathe into it and regain your sense of self. You decompress: you take out your bed peanut butter and make weird guttural noises at your dog for fun, just to see if he’ll bite you. You can’t do that when you live with The Someone you’re dating. They’ll hear you and question your sanity – which shouldn’t happen until after you’ve tricked them into marrying you. I briefly wondered if we should wear little pins that say “occupied” or “vacant” to express our current mental state as it relates to our relationship, like port-o-potties, but couldn’t find any on Amazon Prime.

3. You’ll have a weird emotional outburst.

The water’s boiling and, like a dumbass, you left the lid on. That’s what the past 3 days have been like in your apartment after the physical threshold has been crossed. No one’s comfy, but you don’t have a solution so you keep your mouth shut until he brings it up.

When he does and suggests you dial back the “Relationship” to a “relationship” with a lower case “r”, you’ll turn into Your Own Worst Nightmare. I flipped my hair around so much I think I pulled a muscle in my arm. I turned into a brick wall. I shut down. And at my lowest moment, I think I made a metaphor about toothpaste. All I could think of was that Pixar movie, Inside Out, and I was cursing those little assholes for spilling something hot and spicy all over my switchboard. And then I realized that what I thought I could pass off as fun, was actually real feelings. Something I wasn’t quite prepared for.

But guess what? You can also ignore all of those reasons and take a risk. Much to my mother’s disbelief, I never set out to complicate my life by falling for my roommate, but it happened. And I’m so happy that I was open enough to explore it.

Kissing him was the most fluttery and excited I’ve felt since opening my lunchbox in third grade and seeing a Lunchable. Maybe he’s terrified of the emotional malfunction I had, or it’s the wrong timing, or we’re not meant to ever be anything more than two people who store their Haagen daz in the same fridge, but I wouldn’t have been true to myself if I hadn’t followed the tug in my gut elicited the first night our eyes met. The kindness and depth I immediately recognized in his eyes quickly revealed one of the funniest men I’ve ever known, and a loyal, soulful human that I’m still so lucky to see every day when I get home.

Other than the final resting place for your beer, your gut has a purpose. So let it guide you, and fuck what anyone else tells you. More times than not, you’ll probably end up a little heart-bruised like me, but the practice will leave you softer until one day, you too will find the Craigslist man of your dreams in the haiku discussion forum. TC mark

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