I left this one long because of the good details and television programming information.
It all started last summer when I moved in with my current best friend and her friend "Mike." I bet you can guess where this story is going. A recent theme in your letters has been "when you know, you know." I knew within six months of spending time with Mike that I was totally and completely in love.
During the first few months of living together, he had feelings with someone else, so I stayed out of the way but cherished the time we hung out. But then we started hanging out a lot more. We weren't big "going out" people, so we would make time to watch movies and cook together. It sounds so silly now, but we'd always find reasons to do errands together, even if it was just going to the market near campus. One night, he decided he wanted to start watching "Stranger Things" together, and we got our snacks and watched a few episodes. Now, before I go any further, I want to make it clear to the comments section that I knew I was being stupid. I shouldn't have put my head on his shoulder. I shouldn't have fallen asleep in his arms. I should have spoken up when I felt his lips on the back of my head.
The following week, I came back to my apartment and we watched a Food Network episode (we both love cooking) and ended up cuddling. He turned to me when he had his arm around me and asked, "This isn’t platonic cuddling, isn't it?" I admitted that I had feelings for him and we kissed. Then he said what we were doing was risky and probably a bad idea, but I didn't care. I was so in love at that point that nothing else mattered. We hooked up.
We were seeing each other for a while – we would always cuddle and stay up too late, just as an excuse to be in each other's arms. Looking back, he treated me as a midnight booty call, but I convinced myself that as soon as we made it official, I would be treated like an actual girlfriend. I now know that I am stupid.
He wound up ending it. I was destroyed by it, but eventually I was able to cool myself down and still be his friend. I was still in love and I convinced myself that once we moved out, we could try again. I believed that the reason for our breakup was the fact we were living together.
But months later, we had a party. He got drunk and wound up declaring his undying love for my best friend – our other roommate. Against my better judgment, I told her about Mike and me. For some background, they'd had feelings for each other in the past but mutually decided against doing anything about it. A month later, they told me they were dating. I moved out of my apartment on June 1st, but this haunts me. How do I move on from this? Everyone tells me that I shouldn't let this get to me. I'm trying. I'm really trying, but this destroyed me.
"Everyone tells me that I shouldn't let this get to me."
Well, that is some bad advice. Of course it's going to to get to you. You fell in love, got rejected, and then watched your best friend couple up with the object of your affection. It should get to you – because you are human.
That said, it should not take over your life forever, and it's important that you begin training yourself to see how big the world can be when you're not living with Mike. You should also remember that you have more than one friend. Give yourself some space from both of your former roommates. Go look for some new fall scenery.
Also know this: The thing about dating roommates is that you get to play house. You skip over the courtship and the awkward dates and go straight to pajamas and comfort. It can feel really nice. But relationships are so much better when you earn your way to that level of intimacy. Mike never inconvenienced himself to get to know you. He didn't have to go above and beyond to have your company. Really, all he had to do was turn on Netflix.
I often hear from people, "I just want to find a shortcut around the dating and go straight to the part of the relationship where we can sit around and watch TV." I've said that myself. But there's a reason TV comes later. It's the early part of a relationship that tells you whether someone is making an effort – and will keep showing up. Please remember that.
Readers? Thoughts on moving past Mike?