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An intense bromance

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  January 4, 2013 08:26 AM

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This is a borderline Love Letter. Or is it?

Reminds me of the roommate I had the summer I turned 21 ... she used to make me fresh quiche in the morning ... Oh, Heidi ...


Q:I moved away from home 6 months ago for school and work. It was the first time I'd been away from my family for so long. I moved into a studio apartment for 2 months then started looking for a roommate because I hated being alone all the time. I met a friend at work. We decided to get an apartment and move in together. I really love living with him but I often wonder if I'm too attached to my roommate. Just to clarify: We're both heterosexual, 21-year-old men. I have never had a roommate before, so I think I do a lot more than the average roommate. I cook, clean, do the shopping, and do both of our laundry. He does help out with household duties too. I feel like a housewife but honestly I don't mind. I find myself always trying to make him happy or proud. I look up to him as a role model even though my friends don't think that's always a good thing. I don't like going back to my hometown for long periods because I miss him. I don't know what's going on. Is this normal? Am I attached because I love taking care of people and treat him like my child? Am I attached because he fills the void of my family? Am I in love with having someone to go home to? The term "bromance" describes it perfectly but it's often a joking term and I'm being dead serious. Why am I so obsessed/in love with my roommate?

– Confused In 'Cuse


A: This is your first time away from home, and you were so lonely before you moved in with this guy, CIC. His companionship cured the loneliness. No wonder you think he's so cool.

My guess is that you're in love with your new life and your roommate is just a part of that. You like keeping house. You like being a grown-up. You like that when you're with him, you feel useful. That's all OK.

Of course, there's a difference between excitement and obsession. If you find that you're ignoring the rest of your life (and other friends) to focus on this guy, you might need to reconsider this living situation. And the wanting to make him happy ... that's fine, within reason. You shouldn't be pleasing him at your own expense.

But really, this sounds like a friend crush. It's a new living situation and you're thrilled with it. That's all good. Just make sure that the rest of your life is full and busy. That'll keep things in perspective.

See how you feel about him in a few more months (and after a few dozen more loads of laundry).

Readers? Is this relationship healthy? Is he using his roommate as a substitute for family or a relationship? Does this happen when we're lonely? Why are his friends concerned? Discuss.

– Meredith



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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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