celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, women

The “next door” effect


Sometimes, love is just round the corner… or the landing. How many of you have ever fallen in love (or just been attracted) with your neighbour or your roommate ?

Different reasons push you to fall for your neighbour / roommate. In the first case, there’s the mystery: you see him/her everyday but you don’t know anything  about him/her. But there’s also a lot of physical attraction going on. I still remember, when I was younger, the fascination I had for my closest neighbour. We used to share the same bathroom located on our landing with one other person. But our landing was closed by a door, so we didn’t have to expose ourselves to the sight of everyone passing by when we got out of the bathroom.  My neighbour used to get out of his shower with just a towel wrapped around his hips, usually at the moment when I was leaving my apartment to go to the university. I didn’t know if he did it on purpose, but for sure, I enjoyed the spectacle. My friends also. One of my gay friends fell for him badly and came to fetch me every morning at my apartment just to see him and his towel.  G., 32, told me she played a game like that with her neighbour, before deciding to start a relationship with him. “I was physically attracted by him, and I liked the little game of seduction that was going on between us. We eventually started a relationship together, but it didn’t last long. We found out we had nothing in common” she said. “I also wondered if I had met him in a different place and different conditions, like at the office or in the club, I would have been attracted  by him”  she asked.  For sure, the proximity effect has played a huge role here. But this kind of relationship rarely leads to something serious.

In the second case, it’s different. Y. ,28, told me she fell in love with on of her roommates when she was studying to become a lawyer. And now they’re getting married. “We just realized we had some much in common. We fell progressively in love with each other, it wasn’t love at first sight. We were friends before getting together” she explained. “But of course, the proximity played a huge role too. If we didn’t share an apartment, we would have probably missed each other”  she added.

The proximity, the fact that you know your roommate sometimes better than his/her partners and  the special platonic relationship you create between you can lead to love. But sometimes, it’s not mutual. H.,34, explained she fell in love with her roommate too. But he was gay. “We had so much in common. We were so close together, I gave him advices for his love life, he gave me advices for my look,… I realized I had fallen in love with him, I attached myself to him badly. But the day he announced me he was moving out with the love of his life, I was devastated” she said.   

Falling for your neighbour/ roommate can lead to something serious, a so-so love, or a big disappointment. One of my friends says that’s why she chooses her apartment in function of the neighbours. Her rule: finding only ugly neighbours. 

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9 thoughts on “The “next door” effect

  1. Hmm. I had a neighbour once who I became very close friends with. He lived upstairs from me and we hung out together almost every day. There was a tiny bit of sexual tension, but nothing overt. After many months somehow we ended up in bed together and it was disastrous. There was no chemistry whatsoever. We were such good friends that you’d think we could have laughed it off, but he started behaving very strangely and pushed me away, thereby ending the friendship. It became quite awkward, although it wasn’t me facilitating that – and I didn’t want a relationship with him at all. I thought we could still be mates…

    That kind of ties into another topic, “how to ruin a good friendship by having sex”. Heh.

  2. Oh, Vanessa, I could say a lot on that topic. And it goes far beyond ruining a friendship by having sex 🙂
    Maybe you said something back then that really disappointed him. I have a similar experience too, and I know why we couldn’t stay friends afterwards, because of one thing I said to him. I know I have hurt his feelings.

  3. Hmm… maybe I did although I doubt it. We were very, very open with each other up until then. I’m pretty sure he didn’t want a relationship with me either. It was a very long time ago. I guess I’ll never know… 🙂

  4. You are quite right. Although I am one for wanting to get to the bottom of things…

    This happened 14 years ago. It would be interesting to see him now. So much time has passed. I’m sure we could have a good laugh over it…

  5. Ha, curiousity! I have a few questions left unanswered in my past love life, and personally, I wouldn’t want to find the answers.

  6. Pingback: Thanks for the memories « What’s love got to do with it ?

  7. lovetips4all says:

    I have an annoying habit of wanting to get to the bottom of things as well, and to tie up loose ends. That’s not a good thing as that would force some of my ex into no returns-land, but I’ve got to know and curiority kills the cat, 😉

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