Dear Em & Lo: Can I Sleep with Ex’s Roomie?

photo by balinto

Dear Em & Lo,

My boyfriend of seven months just broke up with me. He felt (and I agree totally) that we are more like friends than boyfriend/girlfriend. We were both sad, but it ended amicably, and we intend to stay friends. Here’s my dilemma: over the past couple of months, I’ve found myself developing feelings for his roommate, who I think has feelings for me too. I wouldn’t have acted on these feelings if my ex hadn’t broken up with me, because I didn’t want to risk never seeing either of them again. I’m moving across the country in four months for grad school, and don’t feel up for a long-distance relationship. Given my limited amount of time, how long should I wait (to spare my ex-boyfriend’s feelings) before telling the roommate how I feel? Should I even tell him how I feel at all? Is a short-but-potentially-amazing fling worth risking my friendships with both of them?

— Hot for Roomie

Dear H.F.R.,

Here’s the short answer: No.

Here’s the longer answer: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, and no.

Seriously, though: no, okay?! No brief fling is ever worth risking a friendship over. Are you really that short of booty call opportunities? Whatever happened to a good old-fashioned bar crawl? Or a saucy online personal ad? Or flirting with the mailman? Or rubbing one out at home?

The only time you should ever even consider messing around in a situation like this is if you’re convinced that you have found your one true love. Then, and only then, is it worth risking hurting someone you care for. But given the questions you’ve asked us, we’re wondering how much you actually care about either of these guys. It sounds like you’re willing to break two hearts for the sake of a temporary booty call. Because no matter how “amicably” something ended, no guy ever wants to see his ex emerge from his buddy’s room with bedhead and a satisfied grin, or bump into her wearing his roommate’s T-shirt in the bathroom in the middle of the night, or hear his ex getting it on through the apartment’s too-thin walls.

And actually, if the roomie is half the man you think he is, we doubt he’d be up for it either. We think there’s probably some kind of Budweiser man rule against that.

Oh, and one more thing: NO. And that’s our final answer.

Hall monitors,

Em & Lo


  1. I find that in the time of change, as in, when there is some (sub)conscious stress going on in my life (moving away to do grad school/being unemployed/getting dumped etc) I always ‘fall in love’. I have started to question my feelings since I noticed the pattern and more often than not I find that the object of my desire turns out to be a fad. I’m a pathological thrill seeker/ temporary high breather/ drama lover and I agree – don’t shit where you eat.

  2. Hhmmmmmmmmm… tough one…

    Hormones vs. basic decency has always been a serious dilemma for me, as it is for many people.

    But Em & Lo are right. Go with human decency in this case.

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