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By Amanda Ferrara, Student at NYU
So you meet a new boy at college; he’s funny, cute and totally likes you. The only problem is he lives right down the hall. What do you do?
When it comes to “dormcest”, there are two main concerns that people have before they decide to take the plunge and begin an intra-dorm relationship.
1. The “Sometimes Too Convenient” Factor
While living two minutes from your significant other can make it so much easier to find time to see them, there is a downside: you might run into them when you want to see them the least. Couples who don’t live near each other have the option to have space and time to themselves. Before you jump into a relationship, you have to accept that they’re going to see you when you just rolled out of bed, when you’re fresh out of the shower and those days when you’re stressed, frazzled and need time to yourself.
How to combat this? Agree on some ground rules. For example, agree not to stop by unannounced unless it’s a weekend or for a special reason. Remind yourself not to “move in” to each other’s rooms, having your own space and acting as if you don’t live a few steps away will make it easier to have your own life … which will be useful if the next concern actually happens.
2. The Awkwardness When/If the Relationship Ends
We all know that sometimes breaking up with someone makes hanging out with your mutual group of friends or running into them in public awkward, but imagine if your ex lives in your building! Can you handle the awkward if the relationship was to end?
You can help lessen the uncomfortable aftermath by taking some steps while you’re in the romance. Make sure you have time allotted to yourself and your own group of friends. Even if you have a lot of mutual friends, be sure to spend time with them without your significant other.
College is a time to explore friend groups and figure out who you are, but this is impossible if you are constantly in relationship mode. So what if you see them walking around the halls after a bitter breakup? You have friends, hobbies and your classes to remind you that you can still have a great time in college without them.
My advice? Decide if the new relationship is worth the risk to you. Remember, college doesn’t last forever, and you definitely will not be living in the same dormitory forever either. Even if you have the messiest breakup, you’ll be moving out of that dorm room soon enough!
Don’t give up on a potentially great relationship just because you’re scared of the outcome. As long as you set up some ground rules, find time for yourself and follow your intuition, you’ll be OK.