Okay, okay—your roommate/neighbor is really attractive. And they're right there in front of you, being incredibly hot! And it's so convenient! But dating/hooking up with your roommate/neighbor is generally a bad idea.
It's exciting, all those pheromone-soaked flirty interactions. It seems great at first, with the cute and the sexy and all, but later, when you decide that you don't like them that much, or they're no good in bed, or they have asinine interests, and you try to extract yourself, you have to see them EVERY SINGLE DAY. You can't hide: They know you're home. You can't get away, and things can get ugly when there's no safe place to retreat.
Of course, you can do it if you want to: You're on your own now, and you should try all sorts of things. But here are some things to think about. If you jump in the sack with a person across campus and it goes south, they're over there—you don't have to see 'em all the time. If you get unceremoniously dumped by your roommate, you'll then have to watch the parade of new lovers coming through. If you sleep with your roommate/neighbor but then move on to someone you really like, you may not appreciate having your old partner always there in your business. And mostly, it's a sure way to ruin a friendship. So don't be so damn lazy: Go out and meet somebody new who's not right in front of your face. See Dan Savage's advice here.
If you are having sex in a heterosexual relationship, and you get knocked up, and you don't want to have a baby right now for whatever reason (school! Money! Loss of a hot bod! That dude I slept with is a loser! It's Tuesday!), speed-walk your ass to Planned Parenthood or another abortion-friendly medical provider and have an abortion. They're legal here up to 24 weeks. If you're worried about how to pay for it, google these groups: the CAIR Project and Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest. They can help. In addition, Washington State offers Medicaid funds (called medical coupons) that will help pay for abortions and family planning services.
Perhaps you're religious and you're struggling with this decision. That's understandable. Perhaps you were raised in a conservative environment and fed a ton of misinformation about the procedure (abortion causes breast cancer!) and about the people who have them (sinners and heathens!). Keep this in mind: Nearly one-third of American women will have an abortion by the age of 45, reports the Guttmacher Institute, a sexual and reproductive health policy center, and 73 percent of those women are religious. In other words, lots of fertile women of all faith backgrounds reconcile their religion with the decision to have an abortion.
You're not obligated to tell anyone about any accidental pregnancy you have except your doctor and, arguably, the dude who knocked you up (caveat: unless he's abusive or would pressure you into a decision you don't feel comfortable making). The important thing to keep in mind is that this is your future that will be impacted, and thus, this is your choice to make.
You are young. You are young only for a short time. You will be old soon enough. You are in college. There are lots of other young bodies in college. College does not go on forever. One day you will graduate, get a real job, get stuck with one person, and possibly do some parenting with that person, and all of those young and available bodies you encountered at this and that party, in this and that classroom, in this or that dorm, will be nothing more than dimming images in your aging head. The point: You are crazy to stick to one lover at this point in your life. The good news: You will meet many men and women who feel the same as you, who do not want to be tied down yet, who want to experiment in an open relationship or just hook up. The bad news: Many of the women and men who want a closed relationship are hot. If the universe were fair, those who wanted open relationships or preferred hooking up would all be beautiful, and those who wanted to be like pigeons (they mate for life) would be mediocre. But the universe is a godless, thoughtless, and cold place. What to do? Cheat on the hot person you are dating. There is no other solution. You must have your cake and eat it, too.
But how can you hide your cheating business? These days, the main way you get caught is e-mails and texts, so most of the energy and brainpower spent protecting your secrets must be spent on securing those communication channels. When it comes to e-mail, never leave your account open on any computer. Always, when you're done, close the damn thing; even if you are in a rush, stop and make sure you have signed out. It's the only thing that really works. Also, change your password regularly. As for the smartphone, there are great apps out there (just google "cheating apps") that split your phone into two parts: the surface phone and the deep phone. The surface phone is for the official relationship, and the deep one is for the known unknowns. (We recommend Tiger Text—an app named after Tiger Woods—which not only hides your pics and messages but also secretly self-destructs messages you send to other lovers. That's impressive!) But, still, always keep your shit locked. You may eventually realize that cheating is too complicated or morally untenable, but meanwhile, while you are still young and surrounded by hotness, keep your shit secure.
Really. Monogamy is that simple. Don't flirt.
If you truly care about the person you're dating, and you've made a mutual commitment to be faithful, DO NOT FLIRT.
Sexual fidelity has nothing to do with superior willpower or morals, and everything to do with taking yourself out of the game. Think about it. How did you start your relationship with your current partner? You flirted. How did you start every previous relationship? You flirted. It doesn't always work, but that's the whole purpose of flirting—to start a relationship—and relationships don't start without it.
So that "it just happened" cop-out? Bullshit. You put yourself into the situation where it happened. You flirted. And don't play the victim by claiming the other person seduced you. Break eye contact. Withdraw from their touch. Don't pretend to be endlessly interested in what they're saying. We humans are sensitive to rejection. We'll get your cues. We'll go away.
Maybe Dan Savage is right, and monogamy is unnatural. Or maybe monogamy just isn't right for you at this moment in your life. Nothing to feel guilty about. Just don't make that commitment. But if you have committed to a monogamous relationship, there is absolutely nothing innocent about flirting.
You are gay and have not come out of the closet? Come on! You have to do this. You have to. It's hard, but not nearly as hard as you think. Mostly it's just awkward—saying "I'm gay" is a little like saying "I'm Batman." When is there ever a good time to slip that into a conversation? And what other options do you have? Call a town meeting and tell everyone at once? Sorry, bub, everyone's too busy to come to your town meeting. So here's what you do: Don't let any chance to clarify things pass you by. If you are a guy who's interested in guys, the next time someone mentions a hot chick or asks if you have a girlfriend, just say something super-casual like "Actually, I usually date guys." That way, your meaning is clear without you having to say—drumroll, please—"I'm gay." Bonus: Put it in this casual way and you're not saying, "Hi, I am a label." Likewise for ladies: Keep it casual. Say something like "That guy? I have no idea. But look at her—she's hot!" That's so much sexier, friendlier, and more human-being-like than saying something like "I am a lesbian." And if you're bi? For fuck's sake, you live in Seattle. Just be out with it. "Actually, I date girls and guys" is a very civilized and sophisticated way to put it. Once you are out of the closet, you get to live an honest, authentic, healthy life, rather than a life built out of lies on top of lies on top of lies.
Here's the thing: You're young and you're going to fuck up. That guy in your physics class is hot, he flirts with you, and even though he has a girlfriend, he's kind of an asshole, so one night, maybe while "studying," there's some kissing, there's some clothes coming off, and suddenly you're the "other woman." Of course, it'd be great if you didn't just help a dude cheat on his girlfriend because, young or not, that's not very nice, but they're not married and she seems like a jerk, so you convince yourself that you're not the worst person on the planet for intruding on a monogamous relationship. And you're not the worst person! Mistakes do get made.
But here's the second thing: Making a mistake is one thing, but continuing to do it is another. As soon as you start convincing yourself he'll leave his girlfriend for you—or as soon as he starts offering to leave his girlfriend but then doesn't actually do it—get out! You're done. The minute he starts making empty promises, and the minute you start believing them (even a little bit!), is the very minute you can GO NO FURTHER. He's never going to leave his girlfriend for you. If he were, he wouldn't say he's going to, he'd just fucking do it. And if he does leave his girlfriend, remember he JUST CHEATED ON HIS GIRLFRIEND. With you. Do you really want to jump into a relationship with that dude? No. You do not.
Save yourself the heartache and free yourself of what could become an otherwise very emotional, very messy mess. Accept that a mistake was made, thank him for the fun sexy times, and say good-bye. There are plenty more guys—ones who aren't already taken—out there, and the sooner you stop pining for a jerk, the sooner you can go meet/get naked with them.
All of the above also applies to the old she's-gonna-leave-her-boyfriend-for-you scenario, or he's-gonna-leave-his-boyfriend, or she's-gonna-leave-her-girlfriend, et cetera. Because, obviously, assholery does not confine itself to stereotypes.
Something like this might happen to you. You are in a room with another man. Both of you are considering sharing a woman who wants to be shared. The other is fine with sharing (all he is worried about is your dicks touching during intercourse), but you are not into it at all. You want to have the woman to yourself. Two naked bodies on a bed is more than enough. A third naked body seems a bit much. It's snowing outside. The flakes hit the windowpane. An electric heater beside the bed glows like some hot stone in hell. The woman is undressing, your friend is undressing, they are expecting you to undress. What to do? Look out the window, look at the snow, and recall those words from a U2 song: "And you know it's time to go, through the sleet and driving snow." The next moment, a door opens, cold air enters the house; then a door shuts, and you walk away from the house in silence. Some situations do not need words but must be passed in silence.