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Dating Your Roomate's Ex is Playing with Fire

Dear Dating Doctor:

For two years now I have been infatuated with my roommate's fiancee'. I have joked with them about wanting to steal him away, but they have written it off as playful fun. Four weeks ago, they broke things off and have not talked since. I am eager to approach him. Am I playing with fire? Can it work?

Ready to Explode

Dear Ready to Explode:

Are you playing with fire? Are you serious? I would suggest taking in the movies "Dante's Peak" and "Volcano" to get a better perspective of what may be in store for you.

First, take a deep breath and get a hold on your hormones. You must observe their relationship for several more weeks before taking an embarrassing leap of faith. A couple that has endured several years together, and had made a commitment to get married, has weathered stormy situations before. This could simply be another. Although, this does sound fairly serious.

People who separate after extended relationships usually take one of two courses of action. Individuals who are apprehensive about being alone, often seek an immediate rebound-relationship. Conversely, those who need a break, relish their newly-found freedom.

Before you approach him, ponder these thoughts. No matter what she expresses to you, your roommate will experience intense jealousy over the situation --more than she ever expected. Her ex-fiance' may decline your offer due to the nature of the situation. His past history with your roommate may make it impossible for him to create a history with you. Plus, the longer you remain roommates, the longer they will remain in direct contact with one another. Would you like to observe your ex on a daily basis as he begins a new relationship with your best friend? This reads like a torture scene from a documentary on warfare.

If you really care for this guy, you must be true to yourself and follow your heart. If you don't, you'll always ask yourself "what if?" But as you approach him, exercise a great deal of caution and common sense, treat your roommate with respect and bring along a fire hose. You're definitely going to need it.

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