Dating a neighbor can be tricky. While there are advantages to dating someone who lives within such close proximity, a certain amount of risk is involved. If and when things go sour, avoiding the other person will be difficult. Need more persuading as to why you should reconsider dating someone in your complex or building? Consider the following reasons.
When the Relationship Goes Bad, There’s Nowhere to Hide
It’s advisable to avoid dating your neighbor for the same reasons you shouldn’t date a co-worker. You never know whether or not the relationship will work out. While things start out fine in the beginning, the situation could become very awkward if and when the relationship goes bad. If you and a co-worker have a nasty break, going to work and seeing that person on a daily basis becomes awkward, if not painful. If you and your neighbor break up, you’re still likely to run into that person frequently, making hanging around at home less desirable. For most people, breaking off a dating relationship is best when you don’t have to worry about running into that person too often. Adding home or work into the mix is never a good idea. If nothing else, the prospect of the relationship ending is reason enough to rethink dating someone with whom you share such close quarters.
Even if the Relationship Is Good, So Is Having Some Space
Living close to one another certainly is convenient, but it can also become constricting. It’s easy to spend all of your time with someone when they live twenty feet away. Time you may normally spend doing things on your own or with other friends fades, many times without you even realizing it. Also, while the quantity of time spent together increases, the quality diminishes over time. Having some space from the person you’re dating can improve the relationship and make it more likely to last.
You Lose Some Privacy
Even when you’re not together, you can see what’s going on with the neighbor you’re dating. You’ll know when he or she is home when you see his or her car parked outside. You might even be able to hear his or her voice in the hallway even when you’re spending time by yourself in your own place. It may not seem like a big deal, but these are things you normally wouldn’t even think about were you dating someone who lived on the other side of town (or at least not in the same neighborhood!) And remember, it goes both ways. Are you comfortable knowing the person you’re dating can keep tabs on you? After time, the reality of it all could become a little too close for comfort. You may learn more about the person than you wanted to know in a much shorter time period.
It’s not to say you shouldn’t date your neighbor, but you should be mindful of what you’re getting into. There’s always a good possibility that the relationship will work out, but you have more to lose if it doesn’t.
Rachael Weiner: I’m a communications professional for a non-profit, which financially necessitates my status as an apartment dweller. Constantly “on-the-go,” I’ve resided in five different apartments across the United States over the past five years. Roommate issues, budgeting, organizing and handling problem neighbors are my specialty.