RelationTips with Jordan: Dormcest is never a good idea, unless you live in Umrath

| Staff Columnist

From the moment they commit to Wash.U., first-year students are enamored with the new world of freedom they’re walking into. In addition to walking into freedom, they’ll also walk into dorms. With this comes the infamous concept of becoming romantically involved with someone who lives in your building: dormcest.

Once while swiping through Tinder, a friend of mine said, “You know, from a logistics standpoint, sticking to guys from Wash.U. is SO convenient,” and honestly that’s a pretty accurate take. If you expand on that, dormcest is actually really great from a logistics standpoint. However, that’s literally the only frontier where it even resembles a good idea.

Wash.U.’s population is larger than that of most high schools, so first-years are often surprised by the sheer number of people they interact with. Also, college is full of fun and freedom! I feel like first-years are particularly inclined to commit dormcest because they’re exceptionally excited and naive about the novelty of college. Maybe that guy who lives on the floor above you is so cute and so into you, and there’s no one who can tell you not to hook up with him!

It can seem like a great idea in theory: the only thing standing between you and your significant other is a flight of stairs. How convenient! Your romantic bliss is only increased by your proximity to each other.

What people don’t take into account when they become romantically involved with someone in their building is the thought of it going sour. To be fair, no one ever goes into a relationship with the expectation that it’ll end, but that’s a very real possibility.

That single flight of stairs separating you guys while you were together will seem like the literal worst thing in the world if things don’t work out. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to have to worry about running into my ex-boyfriend whenever I walked into my dorm.

Additionally, the ramifications of dormcest are so much worse depending on what building you live in. Lee and Beaumont are known for the camaraderie between students living there. Perhaps you’ve spent a lot of time in the common room with a fellow giraffe, and you want to turn your friendship into a romantic relationship. Perhaps this’ll only make your time in the common room even better. Alternatively, things could end badly and you guys will treat the common room like it’s a child of your divorce: you’ll make a schedule of hours so you can still hang out there without ever having to see each other.

However, there are larger dorms where maybe you can get away with dormcest. If someone told me there were 800 people living in Umrath I would believe them. I know that the dorm is actually smaller than that, but so many people live in that building that even if you’re romantically involved with someone, you might never see them unless you plan to. That building is like an apartment complex; yeah, you and your significant other both live in Umrath, but they’re also three corners and two flights of stairs away from you. If things don’t work out, it will probably (hopefully) be easy to avoid them.

Now, we’re all familiar with dormcest, especially now that I’ve gone into so much detail on its pros and cons. But an even bolder, and more risky, concept is floorcest. First-year floors tend to be a pretty helpful tool in making friends, and sometimes the friendships you develop on your floor can turn into more.

Going back to my Tinder story, floorcest is even more logistically sound than dormcest, but that’s about the only upside. For better or worse, you’re going to see your floormates pretty often. Maybe you have lots of chemistry with someone on your floor, so you decide to take things to the next level. And I don’t mean gen chem, I’m talking romantic chemistry. Objectively, walking to class with your significant other every morning is a cute idea, and it’s a lot more feasible if they live two doors down from you. But if it doesn’t work out, taking the elevator out of your building is going to be WAY more awkward if you’re sharing it with someone who just broke your heart. In summary: not a good idea.

So yes, starting college is exciting. And more than likely, you live in a dorm, and on a floor, with people who are really attractive and have great personalities. But it’s probably (definitely) not in your best interest to get involved with someone you share a dorm or a floor with. Remember kids, there are other bears in the forest.

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