You move to a new place and discover that one of your roommates is a hottie: it sounds like the set up for an adult movie, but it can happen in real life. To like make an appointment with a colleagueResponding to your attraction to a roommate may be ill-advised, but horniness tends to crowd out the intellect. So, if you can’t stop thinking about what it would be like to date your roommate – and how much money you would save if you moved into a bedroom – here are some tips on how not to accidentally ruin your personal life in the Process.

Assess if your roommate feels the same way

As with any other situation where you’re into someone, the first thing you need to do is figure out if they’re into you in return. This could be a little harder than you are used to as your roommate may be more aware (or afraid) of how a possible connection could go wrong. Even if they like you, they may not show it.

This doesn’t mean that you should be pushing the topic or fooling yourself that if they aren’t flirting with you, they’re just suppressing their true feelings. Be smart and take small steps. Invite them to hang out outside your home. This gives you a sense of whether they are interested in you as a friend, not just a roommate, and gives you a chance to see if you have more in common than an address. If they refuse, don’t push the subject. No always means no, but it’s especially uncomfortable when someone feels harassed and uncomfortable in their own home.

For this guide, we reached out to two people who have firsthand knowledge of how a roommate date affects an entire household: A Brooklyn man named Patrick, who had a relationship with his roommate Sam for three and a half years Years; and a woman named Caitlyn, who was the aspiring couple’s third roommate before Patrick and Sam moved into their own apartment. Patrick described how he was concerned that it would be inappropriate to take action against his attraction, given that the woman he was developing feelings for lived in the same apartment as him.

“I had a hunch I wanted her as more than a friend before I moved in, but I was scared to acknowledge it because we were roommates,” he said, explaining that the two first met on Twitter where he finally replied to a post she made about finding a third roommate. “I was very shy at the beginning, but over time we felt more and more comfortable.”

Discuss it with a third party

Caitlyn told Lifehacker that she was friends with her two roommates when they were all roommates. The three of them hung out a lot, but Caitlyn was closer to Sam. When Sam started telling Caitlyn that she was into Patrick, Caitlyn immediately tried to stop her from following her feelings.

“I thought for a while it was just a crush! My roommate would joke – I thought – mention that he has a crush on Patrick. I always thought, ‘Okay, but you know nothing can happen, right?’ And she always said, “Yes, yes, of course,” but her comments became more intense for me. Still, I didn’t think it would actually happen until one morning she knocked on my door and said, ‘We met last night.’ “

Yeah, Caitlyn kind of got this wrong considering the couple have been strong for years. But at that time she did not know that they would fit together and that the positive atmosphere in the common home of the three friends would not break through an argument or separation. It was important for her to clarify this point before the couple got together: Always give other roommates a warning, if you can, and take their advice seriously. A third party usually has insights that you don’t, especially when they are close to the situation. Who knows, you may have noticed that you and the hot roommate have a lot in common. They might even encourage you! But you have to give them this chance. It’s only fair.

Take a step

If you really believe your roommate is interested and you’ve already sought outside advice, you might as well be able to do it. It might take him a while to get going: Patrick said it took him a year and a half to say goodbye to his current girlfriend. Since the tranquility and harmony of your life situation are at stake, you can (and should) take your time.

For Patrick and Sam things just came naturally one night when they were hanging out in the living room. In general, however, we recommend moving outside of the home, because if something goes wrong, you don’t want to associate an unpleasant memory with one of the rooms in your home.

Be open and honest. Instead of bending over to kiss without warning, express your feelings. Chances are your roommate won’t see this coming, so be careful as much as you want that movie-perfect first kissing scene. Still, only you know the true vibes of the situation. If it really feels like you can just do it, then go ahead, but only if you are absolutely sure that you both want it to happen.

Understand when other roommates are unhappy

Caitlyn summed up her roommate’s new union: “NOT GOOD.

“I was mad to be honest,” she said. “We were all really close friends and [suddenly] I felt left out. I kind of blew up and there was a few days of silence, which isn’t fun when there are two of you and one of you. We were a really close group of friends and I was so sad that the dynamic changed. “

Ultimately, of course, she realized that her roommates’ affection for one another was real.

Patrick’s memories of that time are the same: “It was hard because Caitlyn lost her shit the first time we met. We still had separate bedrooms, but switched bedrooms and always slept together. “

He added that he and Sam were as respectful as possible, keeping PDAs “to an absolute minimum,” and telling Caitlyn about it the morning after they first met. When you share a house with multiple people and bond with one of them, do what they did and be honest with your other roommates. Remember, they deserve to be transparent about what is going on in their own home. You should avoid anything that could cause an argument, such as lying or being too skilful in shared rooms, as that will only make matters worse.

Caitlyn was grateful for her honest approach … after all.

“Ultimately, two adults make their own decisions and they are entitled to them even if you worry about the bottom line,” she said. “Thankfully, they were very respectful because they weren’t very intimate in common areas, so that wasn’t a problem.”

Have a contingency plan

You still have to act as both a roommate and a lover just for you to know. Make sure you continue to split up tasks and finances normally, or at least talk thoroughly about any setup changes so that no one becomes resentful. Most couples wait a while to move in together, but you won’t get this chance. You enter into personal complaints about the order of the other or the individual habits that keep most people away from their partners for as long as possible. Knowing each other so well from the start has its disadvantages, but it can also make your partnership stronger and more authentic right away. Always communicate, be honest, and respect the fact that you are functioning as a couple and as joint caretakers.

And be prepared: when you break up, things get strange. It gets so strange, even stranger than any other breakup you’ve had. For at least a while, you have to come home every night to see the person you just broke up with. They’ll know when they’re staying at someone else’s home, or worse, when they have a new connection.

“I think one of us should have moved out,” said Patrick when asked what would have happened if he and Sam had separated in their old lease. “Or both of us.”

Have fun

If you do hang out with or meet a roommate, it will take you some time (and probably a few awkward moments) to get there. Once the two of you determine that you are into each other and off you go, don’t forget to relax and have fun. You have a great meet-cute and already have a good sense of how it will be it’s living togetherso at least you have that for you.

Soak up a little how cute and random it is! For all you know, you could stay together long after your lease expires.

“After the initial shock of it all, I honestly just felt happy for her,” said Caitlyn. “And they are still together a few years later.”