Roommate Likes You? 7 Tips When You Don't Feel the Same

September 22, 2023

Moving in with a roommate can be a great way to save money on rent. But what happens when your roommate develops feelings for you? Unwanted advances from a roommate can make your living situation uncomfortable, awkward, and potentially unsafe.

If your roommate has made it clear they like you in a romantic way, but you don't feel the same, it's time to take action. Here are 7 tips for handling unwanted advances from a roommate gracefully while keeping yourself safe:

1. Communicate Your Boundaries Clearly

The first step is letting your roommate know in no uncertain terms that you are not interested in them romantically. Be clear and direct that you want to maintain a platonic roommate relationship. Say something like:

"I'm flattered, but I'd like to keep our relationship strictly professional as roommates. I hope we can continue being friends without any romantic expectations."

Make sure they understand any romantic gestures or comments make you uncomfortable.

2. Suggest Redirecting Their Energy

After rejecting their advances, encourage them to redirect their romantic energy elsewhere. Say something like:

"I know you'll make someone very happy one day. There are lots of ways to meet people, like through dating apps or social events."

Redirecting their focus off of you and onto more appropriate romantic prospects keeps things positive.

3. Limit One-On-One Time

To avoid sending mixed signals, minimize situations where it's just the two of you. Invite other friends over when hanging out at home. If you go out, make it a group activity. Don't get together for intimate dinners or date-like activities.

4. Maintain Physical Boundaries

Be mindful of any physical contact that could be misconstrued as flirting. Give them a handshake instead of a hug when appropriate. Sit across the room rather than right next to them. Keeping a respectful physical distance helps reinforce that you see them platonically.

5. Don't Flirt Back

Even friendly flirting can be misread when someone has feelings for you. Avoid any banter or behavior that could seem like you're flirting back. Don't make offhand compliments about their appearance that could send the wrong signal.

6. Involve Others If Needed

If your direct communication isn't getting through, involve a mediator. Ask a mutual friend to talk to your roommate on your behalf and underscore that romantic feelings aren't reciprocated. Having the message reinforced by a third party drives the point home.

7. Move Out If Necessary

Unfortunately, sometimes directly rejecting a roommate doesn't work, and their inappropriate behavior continues, or even escalates. Your safety is priority. If your roommate persists in aggressive, unwanted advances, it's time to look for alternative living arrangements. Prioritize removing yourself from an uncomfortable situation over avoiding conflict.

Unwanted advances from a roommate put you in a difficult position. While rejecting their feelings outright, aim to do so with compassion. The situation is awkward, but by handling it with care, communication and boundaries, you can hopefully preserve the roommate relationship, or at least make your transition to separate living spaces smoother.

The Bottom Line

  • Be clear you want a platonic roommate relationship only
  • Encourage redirecting romantic energy to more appropriate prospects
  • Limit one-on-one hangouts to avoid mixed signals
  • Maintain physical boundaries like space and no flirting
  • Involve a mediator if directly communicating doesn't work
  • Don't be afraid to move out if rejection doesn't stop their behavior

Setting and enforcing firm boundaries will help guide your roommate's behavior. But if they continue disrespecting your wishes, you may have to remove yourself from the living situation for your own well-being. Prioritize your comfort and safety above all else.

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