Dear Carolyn: Four months ago I moved into a new place, and have fallen for one of my roommates. I want to ask her out, but given our yearlong lease I don’t know if this is a good idea. We hang out and really get along and I do not want to jeopardize our friendship.
I was telling her about a road trip I am taking in about seven months for a wedding, and she wants to come along. It would be us two on a 12-hour road trip to the wedding. We would then take five days to go hiking in the mountains because we both love to do that, and then head back home. This does not seem like something you would do with “just a friend,” but again, we really get along and maybe she is just doing this because she likes to hike and hang out with me.
It’s hard for me to keep on going like this. Do I wait until the end of the lease to ask her? What if she loses interest in me because I waited too long to ask her out? Do I take the chance now and, if she does not like me, have a possibly awkward living situation and maybe lose a friendship?
Carolyn says: Congratulations on such a nice problem to have.
It sounds like you’re handling it well. You have way more to lose by rushing in than by biding your time — and I’m not even sure waiting seven-ish months while actively hanging out and travel planning and suffusing the air with expectant glances like so many dust motes in sunlight even qualifies as romance-snuffing behavior. Seems more like a blueprint to build it.
Also don’t forget she is just as equipped to ask you out as you are to ask her.
So, enjoy the will-we-won’t-we for a while — there’s a reason that tension drives many a TV hit — and get to know her. Up close. Really well. Including the most important thing: whether she’s mature enough to handle difficult emotions gracefully. Make sure you are, too. Someone you know will break up ugly is a great person not to date.
Dear Carolyn: Our son was briefly married to Sally and produced our grandson. They divorced and Sally had a daughter, Zelda, with another man seven years later. Because Zelda is our grandson’s half-sister, is she any relation to us? We are close with Sally and always treated Zelda as a granddaughter, though not blood-related. Just wondering.
Carolyn says: Zelda is of no relation to you. Which makes your embrace of Zelda all the more lovely a gesture. Not that you meant it to be so, and not that you were even asking me about this (ahem), but your choice to be inclusive sets such an important example for these kids.
It’s not always possible to do this, of course. Sallys aren’t always open to an ex-parent-in-law’s presence in their new families, so yea for her, and even just numbers can get in the way. You have one grandson and one Zelda, but imagine if you had multiple grandkids and recoupling had introduced multiple Zeldas. Not everyone can manage that.
So think role vs. relation: Do the best you can.
Emphasis “can,” emphasis “best.”
E-mail Carolyn Hax at email@example.com, or chat with her at 11 a.m. Friday at washingtonpost.com.