Dear Auntie Sparknotes,
I'm a college freshman. I started a few weeks back and I love it here, the campus, my classes, my suite mates and my floormates. I've heard so many opinions on "inter-floor-dating." Some people say it's acceptable, some say avoid it at all costs. One person even went as far as to call it "floorcest." I just wanted to know what you had to say on the matter. Because there is a guy on my floor who I can feel myself starting to fall for... even though I know I shouldn't and keep telling myself he's off limits because he lives down the hall. What do you think?
What do I think? Well! I think that I'm probably the wrong person to ask about this! Y'know, considering that as a college freshman, I not only freely dated the gentlemen on my hall, but eventually dated three of them at the same time. (Hey, it was a long hall. Also, they were extremely hot.)
But really, here's the deal: when it comes to dating, declaring people off-limits because of something as arbitrary as the geographical location of their dorm rooms doesn't make much sense. And more importantly, all those rules against inter-dormitory dating, and pretty much any dating rule in general, only apply to people who need them.
Which is to say, people create these rules—whether it's "don't date on your own dorm floor," or "wait two days before calling," or "ladies must never pursue a man under penalty of death"—not for the good of humanity, but because they, personally, need them. Rules create the illusion of safety and control in a situation that, by its very nature, is uncontrollable. For instance: the rule against "floorcest" is meant to prevent post-hookup awkwardness—the idea being that if things end badly, you're then sharing a lounge, bathroom, and/or communal microwave with a person who broke your heart. Which, to the minds of the rule-makers, is the most horrifying of all possible outcomes and should be prevented at all costs.
But let's be real: if you're mature enough to date, aren't you also mature enough to handle a modicum of awkwardness if things go sour? Don't you think you could manage to occasionally pass an ex-SO in the hallway without shrieking, bawling, or spontaneously bursting into flames? And most importantly, do you truly believe that avoiding the dudes in your dorm is all it takes to prevent heartbreak and weirdness when it doesn't work out?
Of course not! Because at the end of the day, breakups suck. They suck no matter how many rules you follow, or how many precautions you take. And if things don't work out with the dude of your dreams, it's not like you'll look back at the smoking pile of carnage that was your relationship and cheerfully say, "Hey, no big deal! We don't live on the same hall!"
And that's why, if you find that you have legitimate feelings for a guy who happens to live down the hall instead of across campus, I fully recommend that you recognize the rules against intra-dorm dating as arbitrary and unnecessary—which they are!—and then proceed. With caution, of course, and with the vow that you'll handle any icky outcome with grace and like a grownup. But please, proceed. Because if it doesn't work out, it'll be awful no matter where you live.
And if it does... well, just imagine how short your walk of shame will be!
What's your take on dating within your own dorm? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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