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It is generally widely accepted and recommended that one does not shit where one eats. Mainly because it is annoying, messy, requires extra clean-up and you have a greater propensity of catching a disease that the medical community hasn’t even discovered. This same concept is applied to screwing around with people who are your neighbors. The inevitable breakup (because let’s face it, everything ends, either via breakup or death) is way messier, involves inevitable and unavoidable constant contact, and if your neighbor is anything like my neighbor, your next gynecological exam will involve more tests than a lab rat. (Just for record, I am disease free and single and ready to mingle). Being the semi-rational woman I am, I am going to weigh the definite negatives and silver linings to dating your neighbor.

Positives

1. No walk of shame, only a few steps: No one will mistake you for a stripper, prostitute or homeless person on your way back to your apartment. There will be no construction workers to holler at your bandaid-sized skirt and four-inch heels, and your man’s basketball shorts and T-shirt will not be mistaken as homeless chic, because no one will see you. This is definitely that best part of dating your neighbor, especially if your sexual social life mostly revolves around alcohol, like most twentysomethings’ does. So when you wake up in the morning after a night filled with my favorite men, Jose, Johnnie, and Jack, and you look like something that popped out of a grave, who cares? Your Clinique face wash and hair brush are only steps away.

2. It makes hanging out less awkward… in the beginning: Since I am, and every single man I am attracted to is dating-inept, having him be a neighbor is a great ice-breaker. In the beginning stages of any relationship, it’s always awkward because you don’t want to always be inviting him over, but you want to still appear interested – but not too interested – because, let’s face it ladies, it’s all about the chase. But if he is your neighbor, it is a whole new ball game. If you see each other while getting your mail, you can just casually be like, “I rented a DVD today; want to come over and watch it?” (obviously, even at the age of 22, ‘watching a movie’ is still code for nakey time). But it eliminates the formal calling and arrangement of schedules.

(There are obviously many) Negatives

1. Hello, Awkward: So, that whole it’s-great-not-to-have-to-set-up-dates-because-you’re-within-close-proximity deal makes it more casual. Well, unfortunately, just because you break up doesn’t mean he has to move out of the building, regardless of who moved in first… I’ve learned this. I don’t understand those couples who break up and are like, “We loved, you enriched my life, now go, prosper and be happy.” I am way more like, “You’re a dick, I hate you with the power of a thousand suns, I hope you get struck by lightning and no longer exist” (especially when you are breaking up because of some way-younger zygote skank). But, if you both live in the same building, everything becomes territory you have to claim: who gets the elevator, non-overlapping mail checking times, etc. When you break up and still have to co-exist, your whole domain becomes a hot zone of hell.

2. Arson: Ever since Lisa ‘left-eye’ Lopez from TLC was charged with arson for burning down her boyfriend’s multi-million dollar home in a jealous rage, it is something I have considered in the name of vengeance. However, when their home and your home share a wall, there are logistical problems… but I am working on it.

3. I can hear you banging: I am still in college and relatively cash poor, so I live in an apartment whose walls are about as thick as Kate Moss’ thighs. Therefore, when people engage in certain arduous and loud activities I can hear it, and they can hear me. There is something very wrong with two people who used to sleep together, sleeping with different people, but close enough to each other that they are in auditory range… it gets creepy.

In general, when dating a neighbor or someone you work with or anyone that has a close and unbreakable (at least until your lease up) relationship, it gets messy. My advice is simple: bathrooms and dining rooms are separate rooms in your home for a reason, apply this logic to your dating life. Happy hunting!

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