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7 Things to Consider Before You Commit ‘Dormcest’

Dormcest: The act of hooking up or dating someone who lives in your dorm building.

It’s such an icky name given to one of the most taboo college ‘crimes’. Of course, it’s not all bad and I know a few people who have had enormous luck in finding the person of their dreams or the best friends with benefits living right downstairs. However, both my roommate and I had somewhat subpar experiences with ‘dormcesting’ this semester, so I think it’s only appropriate to give fair warning to those who are debating dabbling with dormcest. Whether it’s a one night stand or a long term relationship, it has the potential to endpoorly and if you are anything like me, you don’t handle awkward situations very well. There were things about my short dip in the dormcest pool that I didn’t even think would become issues. So before you dive into the temptations of getting involved down the hall, keep in mind these potential pitfalls…


1.     Everybody will find out.

You might think you are being sneaky walking up the stairs at 9am on your very short walk of shame. You’re wrong. It’s almost too likely that you’ll run into someone you know—and they’ll quickly pick up on your leftover clothes and messy hair.  Your dorm-neighbors, and his, will eventually see you quietly shutting the door and tip-toeing down the hall PLUS they will probably hear you from time to time through the walls. It’s inevitable that your fling could become public knowledge; living in such tight spaces, news can spread by the millisecond.


2.     No personal space.

Hooking up or dating someone right down the hall seems SUPER convenient—you don’t even have to put on shoes before you get it on. That being said, hanging out 24/7 is a slippery slope to disaster.  You might be studying, watching TV with your roommates, talking on the phone with your mom about her bad haircut, or simply napping, and BAM they can just show up at your room. Because they can! You are literally living 30 seconds away from them. Too much togetherness is bound to end in getting sick of each other, ultimately leading to a potential fall-out.

3.     If it doesn’t work out, potential awkward moments everywhere you turn!

Just think about all of the possible awkward elevator encounters, having to pretend to focus on studying in the same study lounge (when really you are wondering if he’s thinking about you), and passing him while in your robe on your way to the shower (never my prettiest state). That’s a little too many forced smiles and polite “hellos” for one girl to handle, when really all you want to do is run in the other direction. At least until the end of the year, he’s virtually unavoidable. 


4.     Seeing them with someone else –ouch!

Every girl knows that feeling when your heart feels like it’s fallen into your stomach. That knife-in-your-chest feeling is bound to hit you like a ton of bricks when you see your ex-dormcester going into his room with his new girl.


5.     Or, when you have someone else.

If you’re the one with the new guy, it might be just as uncomfortable running into your ex-dorm fling with your new cutie in tow.


 (I mean, it could also feel like sweet satisfaction, but hey…to each their own) 

6.     Friend groups feel the tension.

It’s natural to get close to the people you live near. Some of your best friends will be people who live in your building. So remember, if your guy is in your group of friends, it could get sticky. Going to dinner with your crew suddenly could seem daunting knowing you’ll have to face them


7.     You could turn into THAT couple.

Ok, so if it does work out…beware of being that annoying couple in a group of friends. We all know the kind I’m talking about. If you do end up being a ‘thing’, just keep in mind that time with friends is important and to keep the public tonsil hockey to the minimum.      



Of course, these are worst case scenarios. If you can be totally cool with each other even if things go awry (or even if things work out), then more power to you! Don’t forget there are ways to prevent these mishaps, like setting some ground rules with each other beforehand. There are definitely ways to make dormcest work as long as you’re mindful about it. College is a time to have new experiences, so do your thing. Just remember, it might be easy to avoid that random hookup that you regret from that party last week, but it might not be so easy to avoid your neighbor. 

Have any experiences you want to share about Dormcest? We’d love to hear! Sound off below in comments. 

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