Ask Evergreen is a weekly advice column by the students of The Lumberjack
What do I do when my housemate makes an advance on me?
Dear cornered cohabitant,
Every now and then we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations due to an unwanted admirer. Of course, it’s easier to avoid this when the admirer isn’t your housemate.
You can steer clear of any further awkward encounters by trying the following.
First, if your housemate has made it known they’re fond of you by making unwarranted physical advances, be sure to tell someone you trust or an authority figure. Having someone cued into this predicament can help you if your housemate decides to retaliate.
Reach out to friends for moral support. They might be able to back you up when it comes time to telling your housemate off. You can even consult the school counseling services if you’re feeling agitated about the situation, or campus police if you feel in-danger around your housemate.
Second, set boundaries. Make it known that you don’t appreciate the way they make you feel. Your most sacred space is probably your bedroom, so be sure to tell them to respect your limitations so you can maintain your safe space.
Don’t let the familiarity or comfortability of a housemate relationship become a way for them to continue their actions. You don’t have to be friends with your housemate, especially not if they’re making you uncomfortable.
Third, be kind but steadfast in your rejection. While you don’t owe your housemate an apology, you should be cautious with your rejection execution so you don’t aggravate the situation. Rejection brings out vindication in some, so be careful when breaking it to your housemate that you’re not interested.
Lastly, talk with any other housemates you may have. See what they have to say about the predicament. They may be able to step in to deescalate things. You could all decide to have a household meeting where you can discuss how to best make a safe and comfortable home environment.
Remember, you don’t have to do this alone.
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