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Before you have neighbor sex

July 9, 2010

Whether it’s a drive-thru, the commuter’s breakfast, or a late-night trip to Wal-Mart, sometimes you just want to do the convenient thing. In the realm of dating and sex, there is nothing more convenient than the neighbor hook up.

Everybody in my apartment complex is young-ish, cute-ish and single-ish. We’ve had some neighborhood barbecues and more than a few impromptu pool parties, and I’ve watched many a neighbor hook up happen… I confess to having had a couple myself.

In some ways, this kind of a relationship can’t be beat: not much advance planning required for get-togethers, the wardrobe is always casual, and you never have to worry about getting too tipsy to drive home.

But just like visiting Wal-Mart after midnight, what seems like it might be easy as pie can turn out to be a pain in the ass, if not full-on scary, once you’re actually in.

Before you hook up with one of your neighbors, here are a few things you should know.

1. It can take you by surprise. Really. Maybe you don’t know the person that well, or she doesn’t seem that into you, it could still happen.  I’ve had a few beers by the pool melt like butter into a tipsy, very public makeout session with someone I’d considered strange before that day. Be ready.

2. It won’t be a secret. Other neighbors will see your, ahem, comings, and goings. They will talk to each other. Case in point: when my bff/neighbor hooked up with a dude in our building, I had just about everybody else in the place coming up and asking me what was going on with them. You need to be okay with other people knowing your business, and guessing even more.

3. The neighbortude will probably outlast the relationship. In other words, it’s likely that you two will still be living near each other well past the time when you lose interest in each other. With that in mind, don’t do anything shady. Think of it like a roommate situation: you may not always want to hang out, but living in such close proximity means you need to be cool enough to coexist peacefully.

4. It’s not that serious. And really, do you want it to be? Be prepared to have neighbor sleepover and then see said neighbor on a date with someone else the next week. Your neighbor may say she’ll call, then forget all about you in the light of day (guilty). The point is, you can’t have any expectations, but you also won’t have any obligations.

5. Your neighbor may not be hip to these things. If that’s the case, things will get awkward in a hurry. You can try to screen for general dimwittedness, but there are no guarantees. Your special neighbor might show up at your door unannounced and loaded while you’re trying to entertain someone else, or take up a post on your stairway to see who you come home with. Chances are good that if you keep it breezy, your neighbor will too, so don’t let your surprise get the better of you if things do get awkward.

Best of luck! You’ll need it.

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