A Redditor needed some advice for a life changing situation involving, of course, love... they asked... Me [32 M] with my "roomate" [31 M], how do I ask him to be my boyfriend when we pretty much are already a couple?

Here is how the story goes... I'll be the first to admit, I have huge commitment issues- my parents threw me out for being gay and then shortly after I entered into an abusive relationship with a much older man. After that broke up because he found someone younger, I was in a relationship with a guy who was in the closet and basically was his dirty secret until he got engaged to a woman without telling me and then wanted me to stick around. I didn't. After that I became pretty anti relationship.

I'm pretty well known for being anti-relationship too, especially in my circle of friends.

About 18 months ago, I met Alan at a supermarket, we made eye contact, flirted a lot and I invited him back to my place for a drink when he invited me back to his place when he saw that I was just grabbing a frozen meal, whereas he was going to cook. So of course I accepted.

We started a FWB thing after that but then slowly started hanging out outside of the bedroom.

Then Alan's lease was up and I was wanting a housemate so I asked him if he was interested- he couldn't afford it but I told him he could pay what he was currently paying and he could cook and kept the house clean.

He agreed because he was essentially paying for a single bedroom apartment and living in a house and he loves cooking and cleaning anyway, his personality reminds me a lot of Monica from Friends only he works in a library.

Before I knew it, I was getting packed lunches every day and he's made a vegetable patch in the backyard.

About 2 months after he moved in, he brought up being mutually exclusive FWB after an STI scare. I agreed because I actually hadn't slept with anyone except Alan for ages and neither had he. So after we got tested again we stopped using condoms.

Then a few months after that- Alan wanted to join the gym so I added him to my membership as my partner. We turn up to events with each other. We hang out a lot. He sleeps in my room more often than his room because we have sex there the most.

Then last week we were at a party when someone asked what our relationship was. Alan laughed, looked at me straight in the eye and said that we were "mutually exclusive, housemates with benefits with income proportional expense sharing."

Now that just sounds ridiculous. I know I have a boyfriend, I've been sort of denying it all this time but that's what Alan is.

This situation is both really screwed up but I've also never been happier. He's so easy to talk to, to hang out with and when he's not at home I feel bored, like I don't know what I did with myself before I met him.

But somehow I both want him to be my boyfriend but a part of me is scared of getting in a relationship, even though I am in one.

I just feel like saying the words will change everything- it's a commitment and I really want it but there's that irrational part of me that is scared.

Also I'm scared that Alan doesn't think we're in a relationship even though we are right? Alan has never had a boyfriend as long as I've know him and he has his own set of issues too, he's parents basically tried to "pray away the gay" and he left of his own volition. He used to bring up very subtly about getting more serious but I would just evade and he stopped pushing. It's so weird, like I can talk to him about everything and anything, we have these amazing conversations but lately this whole boyfriend thing is like the elephant in the room.

How do I get over this fear of commitment and also what does it say that he'd put up with this crap from me?

Use your words...

"mutually exclusive, housemates with benefits with income proportional expense sharing".

I kind of love Alan. I'm sure this was upsetting, but he really nailed it, didn't he?

If you're scared, then you don't need to change anything, but it sounds like you want more. I'd just tell him that functionally, we are in a committed relationship, you make me happy, and I'd be interested to know if you'd like to make it official and put a label on it.


Face 2 Face...

"Hey Alan, the other day at the party you said that we were "XXXXXX," I know this conversation is lame and i'm not trying to change anything we're doing, but don't you think we're boyfriends already?"

Just talk dude. Not to the internet. To him.


Do it!


I may be the only one to say this, but in addition to just straight up talking to him, why not make him dinner one night for a change and THEN talk about it? I think it could be a cool defining gesture to mark the shift in your relationship and sort of show symbolically that you want to be a partner to him officially.

I think this is beautiful. If I were you, I would thank him wholeheartedly for the patience he has had in allowing you to see clearly where you want to place him in your life, because-- as it turns out-- he has become the most important part of it.

Good luck! It sounds like he is primed already, so go for it!


I think, reading between the lines, that you're almost over your fear of commitment and just need one last push. And I think (having been in Alan's position before) Alan must care about you very much, so don't stress too much about having the conversation with him. Communication is important! Best of luck to you both :)


Why so difficult?

Of course his description sounded ridiculous. Alan meant it to sound ridiculous. Because

He used to bring up very subtley about getting more serious but I would just evade and he stopped pushing.

He CAN'T call you his boyfriend. You are the architect of this ridiculous sounding situation. I'm sorry that asking for commitment is scary for you, but you have totally put yourself in the position of needing to ask, because you've tied Alan's hands from doing it at this point. So just grow a pair and do it, I'm sure Alan will accept.


Quack, quack!!


Everyone else probably assumes you are a couple now, and it sounds like you know you are and he does too, but didn't want to say in front of your pals in case it freaked either of you out. I suggest you just sit him down and speak to him about how you feel about him. You guys clearly care for each other deeply, perhaps are even in love by now.

Even if you guys decide that yes you are a couple now, you don't have to announce it to the world and make a big deal out of it just yet. You can get used to the label for a while until any commitment issues around it have faded away, then just mention it if and when people ask.

Two of my closest friends lived together for years as friends, the girl had a boyfriend for some of that time as well but eventually they realized their feelings for each other and started dating. They didn't want the world to know immediately though, so I kept it on the downlow until they were ready to have their relationship public. I think a lot of relationships that start like this have a transitional period where the label is a bit fuzzy. But if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck!


Skip the labels...

You guys sound adorable. The nice thing about being good to each other is you don't HAVE to worry about titles and the implied commitment/status/whatever (which are sometimes used as a crutch in crappy relationships), you GET to, but only if you want to. Ask Alan how he feels, if getting to use the title is worth the trouble of working through the old BS, do it. If not, keep being happy with what you are.


Alan laughed, looked at me straight in the eye and said that we were "mutually exclusive, housemates with benefits with income proportional expense sharing".

I know you're worried about it, so I don't mean to make light, but I think you should joke about this with him. But, like, serious-joke, you know?

When he comes home today (or you do, or whatever, whenever you see him next) you should be like "hey there, mutually-exclusive-housemate-with-benefits-and-income-proportional-expense-sharing, I was thinking we could... date." And then share a laugh about it and then actually go on some dates and move your stuff into the larger bedroom, turn the smaller one into an office or something.

How do I get over this fear of commitment

You're not afraid of commitment. How could you be afraid of it when you're already in it? You're afraid that he doesn't feel the same way about you, I think, but I think he's probably afraid of the same thing, hence the half-joke about "mutually exclusive housemates with benefits." His attempt, perhaps, to say "I think we're dating" without being the first one to put it out there that you're dating. Well, one of you has to take the risk. That's what you're afraid of.



Getting kicked out of your home for being gay, being in an abusive relationship, and being in a relationship with someone who ended up being engaged to a woman... these are all fairly traumatic events that I guarantee will affect the rest of your relationships in some manner. Have you sought therapy for this at all?

Before I knew it, I was getting packed lunches every day and he's made a vegetable patch in the backyard.

This made me "aww" out loud. Alan sounds like a great guy. I think you should get therapy to make sure you are in the right headspace to ensure a healthy relationship with him moving forward.


Call Netflix...


It's completely valid for you to be scared to commit to someone after those two awful relationships, but Alan seems to be a great person for you to be with. That doesn't mean you have to define the relationship right away, but recognizing that he makes you happier than you've ever been is a great sign that you are with the right person.


I would watch the hell out of this romcom.



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