The Ups and Downs of Dorm Dating

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Whether it’s the cute soccer player one floor up, the musician down the hall, or the gorgeous art major two doors down, the college dorms are teeming with all kinds of hotties. Incoming freshmen: get ready.

Living so close to people of the opposite sex can prove unbelievably distracting, and there can be a lot of sexual tension. But is it wise to tap into this fresh, new market and commit what people are calling, “dormcest”?

In an article for the New York Post, world-renowned sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer states her belief that college is a time for young people to experiment and discover themselves, and living in the same dorm with a significant other can hinder this experience. “Offering couples their own love nests…is going to put pressure on students to pay more attention to their love lives than their studies,” said Westheimer.

Keiko Soga, a sophomore studying pre-nursing at San Diego State University, would probably agree. She lived in the same dorms as her boyfriend during their freshmen year, and while she does not regret her decision, she would not necessarily recommend it. “Living in the same dorms seems like a good idea, but you can spend too much time together, which doesn’t allow people to grow,” she said. “It was really important that we found other activities. I joined a sorority and he made other friends from the dorms.”

But Josh Branshaw, a kinesiology major at Cal Pol San Luis Obispo believes residence halls can be one of the better places to meet people when starting college. “The dorms are a convenient way to get to know people and I wouldn’t be against dating anyone in the same dorm as me,” he said.

Not sure what to do? Below are some of the positive and negative aspects of dating someone who lives in the same dorm:


• Convenience. Let’s admit it: Humans are lazy and most would prefer walking down the hallway or up a flight of stairs instead of dragging themselves across campus — or across the street, for that matter. People would also not have to worry about bad weather being an issue.

• People will always have their lover there to give them a congratulatory hug when they ace a test and comfort them when they are having a bad day and need a shoulder to cry on.

• Involves a limited walk of shame. Some people might know how embarrassing these can be, as inappropriate clothing and messy makeup are dead giveaways to bystanders who gawk or snicker.



• Seeing the other person all day everyday can take away the desire and passion in a relationship. It can also be a distraction from studying and getting homework done.

• The gossip factor. There is no way that someone can talk smack about his or her significant other if he or she lives in the same vicinity. Sometimes, people have the urge to vent or complain about their loved one, but word spreads like wildfire, especially in a residence hall.

• If the relationship ends, things can quickly get awkward. Imagine running into the ex in the elevator, the lounge, the laundry room or even the bathroom. Remember, you’ll be around each other for the entire year.

Either way, the choice is yours. But for those who do decide to take the plunge, here are some tips:

• It can be tempting to jump into a romance when college begins, but spend a couple weeks getting to know each other before taking it to the next level.

• Make time for each other after homework and work.

• Keep the romance fresh by trying a new restaurant, taking a walk around campus or going to a party or event your normally would not attend.

• Make an effort to develop friends and interests that take you outside of the dorm. This not only ensures that you will have your own space and time to yourself, but if the relationship ends, your life will not!

• If the relationship does not last, be sure to stay on good terms.

Senior > Communications and Chicano Studies > UC Santa Barbara

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