The art of apartment romance falls somewhere in the lexicon between fire walking and formula one driving. So, for those of us who would just prefer to live life in utter peace and rest, steering clear from neighbor dating is not just a recommendation but a rule that if broken, may be life changing for better or for worse.
It may be difficult to ignore a love connection. However, how you proceed will most likely change your living style immediately, so it may be equally as valuable for you to ignore an opportunity to date your neighbor. So you see, you don’t even know their name yet, and already it’s complicated. As a community manager, I’ve seen many property romances come and go, so rest assured, you’re getting solid insight and observation from one who has seen it with his own eyes so keep in mind some important consideration:
1. Make sure this is someone that may actually be interested in YOU! Just because he or she lives three doors down, doesn’t allow you the right to invade their space.
2. You do have any number of locations to find out whether you’ve got a shot. Apartment communities almost seemed designed for individuals living alone to meet and introduce themselves to one another. The mailbox, gym, pool, leasing office, dog walking, trash containers, laundry room, newspaper machine, etc, etc. With this many opportunities to bump into someone, you shouldn’t even need to plan when to “accidentally” bump into the person.
3. Always set a good example, because you never know who’s looking. For example, parking your detailed auto next to her sends a clear message of how tidy you are. Picking up after your pet always is a good example. Carrying Mrs. Hopsinger”s groceries upstairs is another act that may get you noticed.
Once you’ve decided, there’s no turning back. It may all come down to “hello.” A simple greeting in any area of the community will set this ball in motion, and where it goes from there nobody knows. Hopefully, by the time this simple word is uttered, your neighbor has noticed enough good things about you already that they’re willing to have a conversation. And, if the conversation starts with a smile you’re off to a good start. If it starts with your neighbor asking if you’re the one with the thumpy stereo or 4×4 w/ no muffler. You may want to cool it, and live to try another day.
But, let’s say it does go well, what then? Well, you’d better find out quickly or you might as well just unpack your moving boxes again. Apartment relationships that I have witnessed typically fail 10 to 1. Mostly because the participants seem to forget that once the relationship is off and running, their going to see that person every day, whether they want to or not. And, this can be great! But, it does limit your privacy. And, should your romance go down the drain, you’re still forced to see them everyday. And, now instead of planning to “show up” at the mailbox or gym at the same time as your mate, you’re peering out the blinds to find out when it’s safe to go there without seeing them. And, that takes much of the fun out of living on your own.