Keep roomie from becoming something more

Dear Harlan: This year I had roommate problems and switched roommates. My new roommate and I have been best friends ever since

Dear Harlan: This year I had roommate problems and switched roommates. My new roommate and I have been best friends ever since. We hang out often and have a lot in common — except that he is bisexual and I am not.

I have no problem with this. Since we tell each other everything, I asked whom he was interested in. He did not tell me because he said it would have been awkward if I knew, which was a red flag. The next day, one of his friends, who he has been with, asked me if I could ever be bi. Another red flag, making me think that he likes me.

One night, I was hanging out with other friends and when I came back home, my roommate was really mad that I went out without him, and he left the room. When he came back, he told me, “I can never stay mad at you,” and “Every time I’m in a room, I wish you were there with me.”

He and I are rooming together next year, and I don’t know what I am supposed to do. I told him I respect the fact that he is bi, but I don’t do that stuff, trying to get that into his head. Any advice? — Not Bi-curious

Dear Not Bi-curious: Talk to him face to face and leave no room for questions. Make it clear by saying this: “I’m looking forward to living together, but I’m uncomfortable. I get the sense you might like me as more than a friend. If we live together, I need to know that you’re not going to try to date me. I’m cool with you and your choices, but I wouldn’t live with anyone of any gender who wanted to date me.”

If you can’t talk about it, then don’t live together.

Dear Harlan: I recently started dating a guy. I had a rough time after breaking up with my last boyfriend of four years and simultaneously adjusting to college life, so I am happy to have found someone who makes me smile, laugh, and feel good and happy.

He just recently broke up with his last girlfriend (about a month and a half ago), and I am kind of worried that he still may have feelings for her, and maybe strong ones. I think I am willing to accept that he still has to let his feelings for her fade, but part of me feels like he may be too mentally and emotionally wrapped up in her.

Is that wrong of me? Am I worrying about nothing? Should I talk to him about it? Should I just let his feelings fade for her and grow for me? — In Like

Dear In Like: If he’s calling you by his ex’s name, that’s a bad sign.

As the new girlfriend, the challenge is to not come off as jealous or insecure — just concerned.

If you’re uncomfortable about this, absolutely discuss it. Make sure you’re sober and clothed when you do it. Make it clear that you understand that feelings can linger, then explain your concerns. In your own words, find out the answer to this question from him: If his ex wanted him back in her life, would he be interested?

When he says no, ask why not.

If he says yes, ask him to find another girlfriend.

His answer should give you a sense of how he sees the relationship and your future together.

Write Harlan at harlan@helpmeharlan.com or visit online: www.helpmeharlan.com. Send paper to Help Me, Harlan! 2506 N. Clark St., Ste. 223, Chicago, IL 60614.