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Making it clear to a roommate that I'm not interested

AnomeAnome Registered User regular
edited May 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
So about two months ago I decided I really needed to move and an opportunity presented itself to live with an old acquaintance. He's always been a decent guy, we get along, my brother knows him better than I do and assures me that he'd be a solid roommate. I moved in at the beginning of this month and things have been great, we're pretty compatible for living together, no stress, it's nice. Then, things changed.

About a week ago our internet went out so we got bored and decided to drink and play video games. Then he mentioned that he wanted to finally see what this whole Lost thing was about so we started watching that (I've got the first few seasons on dvd so that was a convenient thing to do). We continue to drink and fun is had. I get kind of drunk and sleepy and end up moving to get comfortable and my head winds up on his shoulder. Nothing more that night. The next day he tells me that we're roommates, we shouldn't get involved. I succeed in not laughing at him and tell him not to worry, I just got out of a relationship, I'm not looking for more complications in my life.

Shortly after there is more Lost, more alcohol. Possibly too much on both our parts. I tell him I'm tired, he says one more episode. No big deal, I've seen them all before, and I almost fall asleep. I don't know when I turned around, I must have actually fallen asleep for a while because I woke up to him stroking my head which was now on his lap. Shit. Then he kissed me. Woah. I got up and reminded him of what he had said before, told him that I had no intention of pursuing anything with him, and went to bed.

Tonight there was more Lost but I didn't drink. (Unfortunately a lack of cable is preventing me from watching the finale until Tues, but that's neither here nor there. Just no spoilers please!) I've already decided that until this is sorted out, no more drinking with him. He, however, was drinking and through the evening kind of crowding me on the couch, always having a leg in contact with mine, often letting a hand "casually" drop onto my leg. I think my body language was pretty clear that I wasn't interested - arms and legs both crossed, looking straight ahead pretty much without moving, possibly kind of terse answers - but he didn't seem to get it.

Should I just hope he gets over this or start a conversation? I don't want to make things awkward but they kind of are for me already anyway. I feel like I've been clear. Do I need to do more? Should I stop watching tv/gaming with him? Because I would like to be able to do stuff, just as an ambiguity-free friend.

tl;dr - Roommate seems to be into me. I'm not into him in the least. How can I make this not-awkward?

Anome on
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Posts

  • ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User
    edited May 2010
    Whenever he tries to do that stuff again just tell him that you don't want to pursue anything at all.

    Bioptic wrote: »
    Lemmings was pro-Communist propeganda. All are created equal, sorted into specific jobs and roles that they will hold for the rest of their lives by a higher authority, and must sacrifice continuously for the good of the group. Success is measured by meeting quotas and nothing else. Also, nuclear holocaust.
  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Definitely don't drink around him. You've kind of slipped into a gray area twice and to him that appears to be strong signals. Be honest and kind but tell him the truth. You are not interested.

  • ruzkinruzkin Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Having been the guy in that situation... I didn't realise I was doing anything wrong or uncomfortable until I was told in plain english, no ambiguities.

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  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    ruzkin wrote: »
    Having been the guy in that situation... I didn't realise I was doing anything wrong or uncomfortable until I was told in plain english, no ambiguities.

    This is pretty much the whole Handbook To How To Deal With Male Homo Sapiens summarized for you. Never assume your body language is clear, never assume they "got the hint" and for god's sake don't fall asleep on some guy's shoulder and expect him to not get any ideas in his head.

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • cabsycabsy oh it's a boat Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Having been the girl in this same situation (minus the drunken could be 'mixed signals'), have a backup plan in case you need to move out, because it may be necessary. Tell him clearly and seriously you aren't interested. Do it when you're both sober. If you have to, explain exactly why you don't want to get involved - I didn't want to complicate in any way the roommate relationship, and since it was a financial transaction that was really important to me. Don't sit by him on the couch if you're feeling sleepy, move to the floor so that if you slouch over he won't think SCORE and you'll just conk out on the floor. He may ignore what you say or even escalate the situation and become more aggressive about hitting on you; if that happens, find a way to move out, because it will become extremely uncomfortable very quickly.

    Ideally you'll sit him down and say you guys are just friends and you aren't interested in him, he'll accept that, and you guys will have a totally awesome roommate relationship, but please please please have a backup plan for getting out in case he turns out to be a closet crazy or just unable to take no for an answer.

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  • ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User
    edited May 2010
    Aldo wrote: »
    ruzkin wrote: »
    Having been the guy in that situation... I didn't realise I was doing anything wrong or uncomfortable until I was told in plain english, no ambiguities.

    This is pretty much the whole Handbook To How To Deal With Male Homo Sapiens summarized for you. Never assume your body language is clear, never assume they "got the hint" and for god's sake don't fall asleep on some guy's shoulder and expect him to not get any ideas in his head.

    Yeah, basically what we're trying to say is that guys are stupid.

    Bioptic wrote: »
    Lemmings was pro-Communist propeganda. All are created equal, sorted into specific jobs and roles that they will hold for the rest of their lives by a higher authority, and must sacrifice continuously for the good of the group. Success is measured by meeting quotas and nothing else. Also, nuclear holocaust.
  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Yeah, basically what we're trying to say is that guys are stupid.

    You might be stupid, but the rest of us just can't read minds and weigh actions and words more heavily than thoughts we don't have access to.

    etxvv5.jpg
  • 3drage3drage Registered User
    edited May 2010
    How about stop watching Lost and being so close to him on the couch all the time?

  • NODeNODe Registered User
    edited May 2010
    3drage wrote: »
    How about stop watching Lost and being so close to him on the couch all the time?

    Yeah, you're such a tease with your TV watching, and your sitting.

  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited May 2010
    NODe wrote: »
    3drage wrote: »
    How about stop watching Lost and being so close to him on the couch all the time?

    Yeah, you're such a tease with your TV watching, and your sitting.

    To be fair, she/he should have changed the behavior after the first incident. That it happened a second time, it's understandable that the roommate would be receiving mixed signals.

    Which is why it's absolutely important that the OP makings things unambiguously clear that nothing is going to happen, and to follow that up with behavior that doesn't indicate otherwise. Watching TV with the new roommate is fine, just make a point of maintaining personal space from now on. This will help not only with the OP's comfort, but strengthening the friendship-only thing.

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  • 3drage3drage Registered User
    edited May 2010
    NODe wrote: »
    3drage wrote: »
    How about stop watching Lost and being so close to him on the couch all the time?

    Yeah, you're such a tease with your TV watching, and your sitting.

    You probably didn't read about the drinking, and head on the lap laying so I forgive your ignorance on the subject.

    If your words say no, but your actions say yes an obviously ambiguous outcome will occur. It's logical if OP isn't into him, that maybe they should stop with the physical contact and drinking while on the couch. It's not rocket science.

  • ChillyWillyChillyWilly Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    Yeah, basically what we're trying to say is that guys are stupid.

    You might be stupid, but the rest of us just can't read minds and weigh actions and words more heavily than thoughts we don't have access to.

    This. The guy in this story (and the majority of guys) aren't stupid for missing body language and they aren't stupid for not being psychic. If you want someone to understand something, say it to them.

    Let's be honest here: Mixed signals have been sent twice by the OP. People have assumed more with much less. Now she wants an answer on how to let the guy down in no uncertain terms and try to maintain a spirit of frienship so they can remain awesome roommates. That's all that really needs to be talked about, not some goosey stereotype that men and women can't understand each other at all. EVER.

    And the answer is: Just tell him. You can't control how he'll react, especially since he'll likely feel like you've led him on a couple of times. I know that I would feel that way if I was him. You'll just have to say it and hope that it doesn't ruin the roommate relationship.

    PAFC Top 10 Finisher in Seasons 1 and 3. 2nd in Seasons 4 and 5. Final 4 in Season 6.

    Height: 5' 11" Weight: 225 Goal: 200
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Why are you even asking the internet, Anome? You already know the answer. Tell him, plain and clear.

    An excellent ability to read body language is a valuable and uncommon talent, not a standard-issue human feature. You are obviously coming across to him as "interested, but playing hard to get" which will just make him try even harder to get through to you romantically.

  • AlyceInWonderlandAlyceInWonderland Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Yeah, you're going to have to be pretty straight forward with him. Communication is important for any and all relationships, including roommates.

  • AnomeAnome Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Thanks. I think I'm gonna stop sitting on the couch. The comfy chair is comfier anyway, I'll just have to move it. And yes, I know getting drunk a second time was dumb, but after him coming to me and saying he wasn't interested in complicating things, I thought I was safe. I have since learned and have made efforts not to get drunk around him despite his efforts to get liquor in me. I didn't want to have to say anything because I'm not good at delivering possibly disappointing news but it's better than having him thinking he has a chance where he doesn't I suppose.

  • ceresceres Your photo framed Raw within my mindSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited May 2010
    If he's actually trying to get you drunk, that is a very good reason to never BE drunk around him.

    And I am done with my graceless heart,
    So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart.

    The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.
  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Stop sitting on the same couch as him or at least not within touching distance. (assuming you have more than one tiny couch)

    To me, the falling asleep on my shoulder and possibly once in my lap, would be a pretty clear signal that you were interested. Now you've said you're not, but the previous shit already got him revved up. Just create some space.

  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I'd lay off booze while he's still around. Sounds like he just wants to liquor you up for a one-night-stand. I'd go so far as to not keep it in the residence.

    steam_sig.png
  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2010
    This is how a guy is thinking during the situation.

    First event: Okay that was awkward, this is my friends sister, but I don't want to fuck up the situation so I'll just give her the easy out and we'll be fine

    Second event: Okay she not only is here again but is getting totally close! I guess she really does like me!

    Third event: Him reciprocating feelings from second event


    Basically

    1) Tell him upfront that you are not interested.

    2) Stop drinking around people you don't want to send mixed, drunk messages to.

    3) If you feel the need to get drunk on the same couch with this guy again, go sleep in your own bed before going to sleep in his lap. Alternately, both of you need to stop drinking to the point that you can't remember how you got somewhere.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    The first thing you should do is approach him pro-actively and explain that you're sorry for kind of leading him on, but that you aren't interested in a romantic relationship with him. Don't be vague or try to spare his feelings with such platitudes as "I think you're great" or "I'd rather just be friends" (even if you really do, or would.) It's important that the message get through free of things that would allow him to rationalize a more favorable interpretation later.

    This conversation will suck. No way around it.

    You should communicate the fact that you don't think he's some weird jerk by your actions; be cordial, keep doing roommate things with him but don't drink, etc.

    ed: trying desperately not to read too far into the fact that your avatar is the PBR logo

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    stand up! It was the smallest on the list but
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  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    just straight up tell him. The sooner the better. Hopefully he gets over himself and it isnt weird.

  • NerdtendoNerdtendo Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Don't know about everyone else, but I tend to get rather... amorous.. when I'm drunk. Just talk to him, and consider not drinking too much when alone with one another.

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  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 a.k.a. Nubmonger/Antaeus#1352, 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion Oakland, CARegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    To reiterate:

    1) Tell him, with no ambiguity, under no uncertain terms, that you are not interested. If necessary, apologize for potentially sending mixed signals, and be clear that what happened before was just drunk behavior and would've happened with anyone. You are not attracted to him. Nothing will ever happen. You are not interested. He needs to accept it and respect it. The end.

    2) Don't bother providing any other excuses beyond that. Guys are very single-minded animals. If we get any hints whatsoever that something might happen, we will cling to that for dear life and hold on to it forever. Guys don't carry torches - they make them with their own hair, fueled by their own tears, and stand, alone, in the freezing, bitter darkness, waiting for you to return. Excuses only provide a guy with a way out. If you tell a guy that you aren't interested because he has has a cat and you are allergic, he will get rid of the cat. If you tell a guy that you won't date him because you are friends with his brother, he will disown your brother. If you tell a guy that, look, he just has too many arms and your religion forbids you from dating someone with two arms, he's going to cut his fucking arm off. No, I'm not being melodramatic. Psychologically speaking, this is what guys do on a pretty regular basis. It's actually quite difficult not to do this, and takes a great deal of [negative] experience and [self-imposed] apathy to do otherwise.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA no.
  • AnomeAnome Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Yeah, I'm definitely creating space at this point. Our furniture right now consists of one tiny couch and a chair that, while comfortable, is kind of tough to get into and out of. I've started using that chair and had already resolved not to drink around him any more. He bought some rum today, but that's alright cause I don't like rum.

    Honest question: if a girl cooks for you, as a roommate, do you consider that a sign of something? Because I like to cook but lots of the things I make generally make too much for just one person so I offer him some because he hates to cook/doesn't really know how. I'm horrible at knowing when I'm giving mixed signals (except the drunk stuff, even I knew that was getting me into trouble) and would really like to avoid more.
    Dyscord wrote: »
    ed: trying desperately not to read too far into the fact that your avatar is the PBR logo

    If you look closely, that R stands for Robot. It's a Futurama reference, not a beer reference :P

  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 a.k.a. Nubmonger/Antaeus#1352, 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion Oakland, CARegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    In a vacuum, cooking is pretty neutral, especially if you just sort of leave it out and say, "These are leftovers, have at it." However, in a larger context of other behavior, cooking can definitely be seen as something more.

    It could also be seen as the precursor to attractiveness from a guy (i.e., hey, this girl is kind of cute, and is cool enough to cook for me...). The former might be an issue, particularly given the information you've provided thus far. The latter is really just the guy's problem - if you haven't given any other signals, he's just letting his own feelings and hopes get ahead of themselves. I've had female roommates cook for me and thought nothing of it. Others...like I said, it depends on the context. In this case, I would highly recommend just being clear that it's just extra food, and not really having any other conversation beyond the availability of food at that particular moment.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA no.
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    cooking between roommates shouldn't give any signals like that.

    But who knows how he will interpret it if he is already swinging that way.

    Seriously just tell him, get it over with.

  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Anome wrote: »
    He, however, was drinking and through the evening kind of crowding me on the couch, always having a leg in contact with mine, often letting a hand "casually" drop onto my leg. I think my body language was pretty clear that I wasn't interested - arms and legs both crossed, looking straight ahead pretty much without moving, possibly kind of terse answers - but he didn't seem to get it.

    This is both the good and the bad thing to do.

    I mean it is good that you are not encouraging it.

    On the other hand you are not discouraging it.

    Stupid-man-who-wants-to-get-with-you-logic will inevitably conclude that you didn't say stop accidentally touching me then it is to be encouraged. Despite you think that your body language was in a "negative manner"

  • The Black HunterThe Black Hunter Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Remember to take your share of the blame for the confusion

    Not saying "oh huuurgh terrible terrible all your fault", but you misled the guy, unintentionally I know, but you have to recognize it.

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  • SaphSaph Registered User
    edited May 2010
    The thing is, the first time you accidentally slept on him, he did the right thing and said "We shouldn't be romantically involved". He did it right away. However, things went astray and you kept on accidentally giving him signals, so now he's thought it over and decided to go for it.

    If he was considerate enough to say "we shouldn't get involved" then surely you should return the favour and clear this up face-to-face?

  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2010
    others have already told you to just straight up tell him, now listen to them and stop relying on your behavior and body language to tell him what your words should be making clear

    this is part of growing up, so get on top of that shit

    belruelotterav-1.jpg
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Anome wrote: »
    Honest question: if a girl cooks for you, as a roommate, do you consider that a sign of something? Because I like to cook but lots of the things I make generally make too much for just one person so I offer him some because he hates to cook/doesn't really know how. I'm horrible at knowing when I'm giving mixed signals (except the drunk stuff, even I knew that was getting me into trouble) and would really like to avoid more.

    Stop worrying about the signals and just straight up tell him that you are not interested. You are not Jean Grey, the Phoenix, most powerful telepath in the universe. You are going to have to use words.

    Unless... you are interested? Your not telling him 'no' plainly is starting to suggest you enjoy his attention, maybe unconsciously.

  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Parental Unit RemulakRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Plenty of people have already said it but here is pretty much exactly what you should say

    "I'd like to make it clear to you, my roommate, that I'm not interested"

    ElJeffe wrote: »
    I get by on the knowledge that I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time mucking about inside of my asshole anyway
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited May 2010
    Unless... you are interested? Your not telling him 'no' plainly is starting to suggest you enjoy his attention, maybe unconsciously.

    Nonsense. She just made a couple poor choices. That doesn't mean she secretly craves his advances.

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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Nonsense. She just made a couple poor choices. That doesn't mean she secretly craves his advances.

    She's pretty resistant to the idea of telling him 'no' straight out - is that fear of confrontation or secretly wanting the flirtatiousness to continue? This ambiguity is why he's never going to let up until she tells him honestly.

  • 3drage3drage Registered User
    edited May 2010
    Nonsense. She just made a couple poor choices. That doesn't mean she secretly craves his advances.

    She's pretty resistant to the idea of telling him 'no' straight out - is that fear of confrontation or secretly wanting the flirtatiousness to continue? This ambiguity is why he's never going to let up until she tells him honestly.

    Agreed.

  • SeptusSeptus Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Nonsense. She just made a couple poor choices. That doesn't mean she secretly craves his advances.

    She's pretty resistant to the idea of telling him 'no' straight out - is that fear of confrontation or secretly wanting the flirtatiousness to continue? This ambiguity is why he's never going to let up until she tells him honestly.

    Fear of confrontation seems like the simple and most likely answer here.

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  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Anome wrote: »
    Honest question: if a girl cooks for you, as a roommate, do you consider that a sign of something? Because I like to cook but lots of the things I make generally make too much for just one person so I offer him some because he hates to cook/doesn't really know how. I'm horrible at knowing when I'm giving mixed signals (except the drunk stuff, even I knew that was getting me into trouble) and would really like to avoid more.

    Honestly, do as people have been suggesting and stop worrying about space and signals; just tell him you want to talk about that time on the couch. Make clear that you're not interested in pursuing any kind of romantic/sexual relationship with him at all, and you don't want this to be an issue in your friendship. Acknowledge the mixed signals you may have been sending, and explain that it wasn't intentional.

    It might be a good idea to suggest that he keep this in mind even when you're both drunk.

    It may be an awkward and uncomfortable moment, but I bet you'll feel better once things have been cleared up, and you don't have to watch your body language all the time and worry about stuff like cooking.

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  • NylonathetepNylonathetep Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Seriously, you all have been asking the wrong questions... The most important questions....


    WHEN WILL THEY GET THEIR INTERNET CONNECTION BACK UP AGAIN?


    Once the connection is back up, the roomate in question will get his ration of internet porn back, and won't be bothering you again.

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  • PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Silly geese in here.
    Then he kissed me. Woah. I got up and reminded him of what he had said before, told him that I had no intention of pursuing anything with him, and went to bed.

    That's a very clear signal.

    I have since learned and have made efforts not to get drunk around him despite his efforts to get liquor in me

    That's a clear signal that he's trying to lower your inhibitions.
    Honest question: if a girl cooks for you, as a roommate, do you consider that a sign of something?
    Giving a roomie leftovers is a "sign"? bull.


    I can't imagine the stress involved with watching your every word for "signs" and worrying that if you have a some drinks your roomie will try something. It's your HOME. you should be comfortable and secure.

    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2010
    We didn't miss where she told him initially that she wasn't interested, but her resistance to bringing it up again and relying on body language is just dragging this out.
    The best advice still stands, be blunt and straightforward with him and just tell him it's not going to happen.
    Don't bother with reasons why, as that can be interpreted as a sign that you would be interested if only that obstacle was removed.

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