Love Thy Neighbor. Even When They Live in the Same Apartment Building?

Living in a high rise apartment building has certain advantages, especially if you are single and looking for love. It's kind of like extended dormitory living – each day is like the first day of college but with the adult rules of a kibbutz. And just when you think your love life has hit rock bottom, you get stuck in the elevator on the way down to the laundry room, only this time it's with the cute new neighbor from down the hall. And in an instant, faith is restored. It's one of those rare beautiful encounters that keep our hearts faithful.

It's hard enough to meet someone you like, let alone make a connection with someone Jewish, but are the perils of same-building romances worth the risk?

A recent study examined the dating behaviors among same-complex apartment dwellers. Based on the statistics, more than twenty one percent of survey respondents confirmed that they had been involved with someone living in the same building. Partnering up with someone on the same premises has positives: you start off sharing similar lifestyle preferences, help is but a few steps away and loneliness can be cured at the press of a button.

But living and loving in tight quarters can have disadvantages: the built in convenience makes it easy to forego traditional courting rituals and lackadaisical complacency can overtake the relationship. And don't forget privacy or safety matters. The assumption is always that the person has to be good because they are living down the hall, until they go psycho or start stalking you. Many of us have been down that unfortunate path, including your humble author. Suffice to say, there are few words to describe the fear associated with someone banging on your door for three hours just because you have declined the second date invitation.

The repercussions of a break-up can also be devastating when you have to run into your ex in and around your neighborhood on a regular basis. For New York couple Jamie and Amanda, the termination of a four month relationship came with a division of Upper West Side properties "agreement." Amanda lost her favorite dry cleaner in the deal but kept an exclusive on Fairway Market, with Jamie having to schlep ten blocks to get his groceries at Zabars.

So what happened to their favorite romantic dinner spot? Fortunately, the two were mature and compassionate enough to agree it was off limits to all parties.

Still, there is good news for hopeful hearts. Three percent of survey respondents actually met their spouses while living in the same apartment building or complex. As with any relationship, the recipe for success is a combination of mutual respect, maintaining boundaries and a constant commitment to romance.

We live in unusual conditions; millions of single people from all over the world are trying to make home and find love at the same time. So go ahead, love thy neighbor. Be kind, say hello and try to smile once in a while at everyone. If you're lucky one of them, the right one, may just love you back.

By Sherri Langburt of for


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