It was just supposed to be a regular old game night. Some guys in the next apartment complex at college asked out me and my roommates on a fun date night that would include a pile of board games, food, and some conversation.
So so college, I know. We played spoons, Clue, Sorry, some card games, and probably a little Truth or Dare in there, too. There were some shenanigans, but generally we all had fun and laughed a lot.
It wasn’t just a random group; it was actually each guy paired off specifically with a girl. Like date-date old school style where they each called us specifically. Pretty cool, right?
To this day, I can’t tell you who my date was that night. And the reason is this: I was totally into my roommate’s date. There was just something about him.
Looking back I realized:
- I had zero risk with this other guy, and therefore I wasn’t worried about my actions/words around him.
- I had zero expectations from this other guy. So any positive thing from him was delightful.
- When he responded favorably to me (laughed, responded to my comments), it was a pleasant surprise and I wanted to try more.
- I didn’t feel pressure for a full-on conversation; just some funny comments here and there were all we needed.
- We tried our comments back and forth little by little, which was more fun than the typical approach of a continual conversation.
- There was more anticipation and glances. Almost in a dangerous sort of way.
- He was someone else’s date, so being off limits was sorta hot.
By the end of the night, it was obvious to everyone there was some chemistry between me and this other guy, though we tried our best to show our respective dates that we were still with them and trying to get to know them.
But what could we do? Could we pursue a relationship of our own?
It reminds me of the episode of Seinfeld called “The Switch, “where Jerry’s interest is waning in the woman he is currently seeing, while at the same time he is becoming more and more interested in the woman’s roommate (the laugher). When he brings up the idea of “the switch” at the local restaurant, Jerry’s friend George replies:
“Do you realize in the entire history of western civilization no one has successfully accomplished the Roommate Switch? In the Middle Ages you could get locked up for even suggesting it!” They go back and forth on the issue, George convinced that it isn’t possible. But Seinfeld relents. There is just something about this other woman that is way too tempting.
“The point is,” Seinfeld says, “I intend to undertake this. And I’ll do it with or without you. So if you’re scared, if you haven’t got the stomach for this, let’s get it out right now! And I’ll go on my own. If not, you can get on board and we can get to work! Now what’s it going to be?”
George agrees to help him, and after toiling over how to make the switch, Seinfeld wants to give up. But then George has an idea: suggest to the woman Seinfeld is dating that he wants to have a mnage trois with her and her roommate; the woman is supposed to be appalled while the roommate is supposed to be flattered. The switch is then successfully made when the woman no longer wants to see Seinfeld and the roommate is totally into him.
Unfortunately, the plan backfires. The woman Jerry is currently dating actually loves the idea, and so then Seinfeld is caught in a trap he doesn’t know how to get out of. In the end, poor Seinfeld ends up alone, with neither his original girlfriend nor the roommate for him to date. Thus proving the theory that switching roommates is not possible.
But is it? Can no one ever possibly switch? I present the idea that it IS possible.
Let’s figure out the possibilities based on the following questions:
- How close are these two roommates? If they are just “roommates” then the odds are more in your favor; if the roommates are best friends, then it may not be worth it unless your current date is totally turned off to you.
- How long have you been dating your current flame? If it’s less than a month or two, then the switch may be possible. You haven’t formed a strong attachment yet. But if it’s longer, then a switch is less likely.
- Are you just semi-interested or is there a strong attraction? Gauge the risk and the reward. If you don’t really want an actual relationship out of the other roommate, then forget it. It is too much work.
- Is the other person showing interest in YOU? In my example above, it was obvious that both he and I were into each other and it could possibly develop into something more. So be honest here–is that roommate actually into you? Also make sure they aren’t already into someone else. Then it might get SUPER messy.
In the end, things were too complicated for me and the other roommate guy to take our relationship any further, but the idea was fun while it lasted.