5 questions to ask yourself before hooking up with your neighbor tonight

By Leonora Desar  | February 14, 2012 - 8:09AM

“I want to vanish,” I said to my friend Christine, who was crashing on my couch for the week.

“Why?  Because you hooked up with your neighbor?  Big deal. Doesn’t everyone in New York do that in their twenties and thirties?”
She was right – we do. And then after we do, we swear off doing it ever again.
New York City apartment buildings often feel like dorms, with young and unattached people filling up a good portion of the apartments. But with a population that's significantly older — and hopefully wiser — the stakes are much higher.    
So before you do something rash tonight just because you don't have a date for Valentine's Day, ask yourself these five questions:
1. Do you really want to worry about how you look every time you leave the house?
It's the morning after a great date with your neighbor and you throw on some beaten jeans and an old, worn sweater and head to the grocery store. Then, bam, you spot said neighbor staring at you from across the hall. They don’t say a word, but you know what they’re thinking — 'Uh, what happened there?'
2. Do you really like your alone time?
Because you’re about to lose most of it. Sure, you may say that you’re going to take it slow, but are you really going to send your new boyfriend or girlfriend next door away when they come knocking on your door wanting to watch the The Daily Show? They brought you beer and pizza too. Didn’t think so.
3. Do you really want to see them with somebody else?
Picture this: It’s Saturday night and you don’t have any plans, so you decide to take a stroll around the block in your moth-eaten sweatpants. Then you see the neighbor you just hooked up with, his or her arms are draped over a model or actor type with no holes in their pants.  Enough said.
4. Do you really want them to see you with (or hear about you being with) someone else?
You’ve started dating your neighbor and things are going well, but not well enough or long enough to warrant swearing off all others.
What happens when your neighbor’s friend sees you out on a date? You risk returning home to find your neighbor and now ex-paramour waiting for you outside your apartment door, railing that they never want to see you again.
5. Do you really want to feel like a criminal on your own turf if things go bust?
Here’s a preview of what will happen if things end on a sour note with your neighbor: It’s midnight on a Saturday and you’re crawling the hallways of your apartment building like a burglar. That’s when you hear your neighbor behind you. You try to duck behind a doorway but it’s too late – you’ve been spotted.

Of course, this isn’t as much of a problem if you live in, say, a mega three-tower apartment complex versus a fourth floor walk-up, but then again, you never know whom you might get trapped in an elevator with.

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