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Love Thy Neighbor? The Pros and Cons of Dating in Your Hood

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What could possibly be dreamier than settling into your new home, then finding out some hottie lives next door?

OK, now let's get back to reality. This may in fact be the ultimate double-edged sword of neighborhood life. It's great if you two truly hit it off, but if you don't, setting foot outside your door can get so awkward, you might become a shut-in -- or be tempted to just pick up and move.

With that in mind, we set out to find some real people who've gotten romantically entangled within their area code -- or their own block -- to learn the true pros and cons of getting really friendly with the neighbors.

Pro: It doesn't get more convenient

"In college, I lived across the street from a group of male friends. Toward the end of two years, I realized I was falling for one of the guys. Grayson, my now boyfriend, made the first move -- and what made me fall in love was that he asked to take things slow. It was hugely convenient to live across the street because if I ever needed something I could just go home rather than pack a giant bag, but if we needed alone time or got in a fight one of us could just walk home. Since then I've graduated and moved an hour away from him, but we're still dating. And I actually miss when we lived next door!" -- Erica S., Fairfax, VA

Con: You'll be sorely tempted to spy

"I hooked up with a guy across the street a few years ago. He wasn't my type … or so I thought after our first night together. Then as we continued seeing each other, I got a little attached and started peeking out the window and stuff, like a weirdo. Then I saw one of my other female neighbors (and good friend) over there! It's like this guy's value went up when word got out that I had slept with him. That's when I knew I had to stop, because I got in a serious tiff with her about this guy who wasn't at all worth being jealous over." -- Erin C., Los Angeles, CA

Pro: You might even get engaged

"There are only five units on my floor, and Miles' was the one you see straight out of my peephole. I started running into him at our local grocery, on the street, and on the subway. We would chat for a bit, and we already had things in common like favorite neighborhood restaurants, our crazy landlord, and our building issues. It turned out that Miles was also a trainer at my gym and worked three blocks away from the theater where I perform. I finally gave him my number. I was hesitant at first because I thought if this doesn't work out, one of us is going to have to move! But luckily that wasn't the case. A year later he moved into my apartment. Now we're engaged. Nonetheless, my name still pops up in his phone as 'New Neighbor!'" -- Aubrey Morgan, Queens, NY

Con: But it's hella awkward if it crashes and burns

"A few months ago, my next-door neighbor found my online dating profile and asked me out on a date -- via the dating site, even though he's right next door! Prior to this, the only interaction we'd ever had was polite smiling and nodding in the hallway every now and then. I wasn't really interested, and I tried to tell him that I didn't think it was a good idea to date a neighbor, but he was persistent. He kept emailing and asking when we could go out, and I said we'd make it happen … and then I never followed up. After that I started crossing my fingers that we wouldn't pass each other in the hallway, and tried to time my trips to the mailbox or laundry room when I knew he wasn't home. We have run into each other a few times since then, and it's super awkward. We've basically reverted back to our 'smile and nod' routine, but with an extra layer of uncomfortable!" -- Roberta F., New York, NY

Bonus con: They could foil your future dating prospects

"I got involved with a neighbor, and it was wonderful in the beginning; then it turned out to be a nightmare. I couldn't have my own social life without her wanting to know what I was doing and where I was going, and of course whom I was with. She wasn't obsessive, but the proximity made it hard to be independent. After we broke up, it was even more uncomfortable. One time I was with someone else, and she was on the same elevator and she said to the other girl, 'Is this your boyfriend? I feel sorry for you.'" -- Dan Nainan, New York, NY

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