He caught your eye while he was carrying his minifridge into his dorm room. Just as he was passing through the doorway, he looked down the hall at you. Your eyes met for a split second on move-in day, and you knew you wanted to get to know him in more ways than one. But should you really hook up with someone on your floor, the place where you’ll be looking your best and your worst for the next nine months? Before you decide to commit “floorcest” and give that fella a chance, weigh the pros and cons of getting down with a cutie on your floor.
Pro: You already have mutual friends
Living on the same floor means that you both will know a lot of the same people. Your friend groups will certainly overlap, which makes hanging out in group settings that much easier. “Do you want to text Jack and see if he’s free for lunch, or should I?” is what you could find yourself saying to your hook-up when the mid-afternoon munchies hit you between classes.
“I hooked up with this guy on my floor last year, and it actually worked out pretty well,” says Kim, a sophomore at Illinois Wesleyan University. “What made it easier was that our friends were friends with each other… Any time we wanted to hang out with other people besides each other, we already had that built-in group of friends.”
Awkward introductions and long silences after those introductions are not in the cards for your hook-up buddy and your friends if they already know one another. You also don’t have to worry about being jealous of any cute girl friends he may be spending time with, because you know all of his friends! And there isn’t a cute one among them… no one cuter than you, anyway.
Con: Everyone in the dorm will know about it
Remember all those mutual friends you both have? Well, they know that you and your guy have been hooking up for the duration of your relationship. And, what’s worse, they all have an opinion about it.
“I hated that all of my friends, guys and girls, seemed to know all the intimate details of my relationship,” says Ashley, a junior at the University of Mississippi. “They would act as if they were all a part of this thing with me. But they definitely were not.”
Suddenly, your hook-up situation becomes a family affair, and all the people on your floor assume that when you’re walking down the hall to his room, it can only be for one reason. Just like that, you can become the talk of the floor, which can definitely get annoying after a while.
Pro: It’s super convenient
You just got back from a night out with your girls, and he just got back from a night out with the guys. You’re in the elevator on your way up to the floor when you send your go-to text: “Hey, wanna hang out?” The time of night says the rest. Rather than walking a couple blocks to the neighboring dorm, or worse, across campus, you simply have to walk down the hall to your fella’s door if you want a little one-on-one time, or vice versa.
Rebecca, a junior at Indiana University, loved that her boyfriend lived on the same floor as she did when they first started dating. “Whenever I had a bad day or I just wanted to waste time before doing any homework, I knew I had someone to talk to,” she says. “I am guilty of booty-calling my hook-up buddy late at night later than I normally would if I would have had to walk further than 10 yards, but because we were so close, he never said ‘no’ either.”
Once the roomies have been politely sexiled (if there is such a thing as polite sexiling), there’s nothing standing in your way besides a microscopic walk of shame when all the fun is done. Neither of you will talk your way out of hanging out together because of an early morning the next day or a paper that still needs to be written when your rooms are right down the hall.
Con: You’re stuck seeing him on the reg if things go south
Being friends with benefits or hook-up buddies can only last so long. But just because your quasi-relationship ends doesn’t mean you get to cut that person out of your life. Living on the same floor as your ex-hook-up buddy means that you still have to see him or her riding the elevator, studying in the lounge, walking back to his or her room between classes, etc. You can’t really hide from your ex-hook-up or avoid him or her like you would normally be able to do if you weren’t living in the same building.
Jill, a sophomore at the University of Kansas, says that was the hardest part of hooking up with someone on her floor. “After we ended things, I didn’t really want to have anything to do with him, but that wasn’t really possible since he was friends with all of my friends and lived five doors down the hall from me at the time,” she says.
Jill says you may be forced to skip the “visibly wallowing in self-pity phase” of any breakup and jump to remaining cordial with your ex-lover. However, eventually the awkward tension will subside.
Con: You’ll both see the other people you’re hooking up with
On your way to brush your teeth, you glance down the hall and see someone, a girl, follow your guy into his room. But wait, he’s not really your guy. And two nights ago, you did bring that other guy back from the frats with you. And your dorm hook-up may or may not have been in the lounge as you passed by to get to your room. You didn’t have a talk about being exclusive, so technically, he hasn’t done anything wrong, but that can’t stop you from cringing at the fact that you were just in that very same bed with him last night.
“It wasn’t fun seeing him with other girls,” Ashley says. “That was sort of the reason why I stopped seeing him. I realized I couldn’t handle watching some guy I hooked up with hang out with other girls and do the same things with them as he did with me.”
If he didn’t live on your floor, you wouldn’t have to worry about seeing him with other girls as often or him seeing you with other guys.
Pro: He’s gone through the same awkward moments as you
From move-in day, when your parents were asking your RA about safety protocols, to waiting for an empty dryer in the laundry room while your wet clothes soaked through your hamper, there are a lot of universally awkward moments that come with living in a dorm that will bring you two together. Not only can you both enjoy the fact that you’ve survived these awkward times together, you can even bond over getting locked out of your rooms and being forced to get a spare key from the front desk worker in the lobby.
That’s what happened to Amy, a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. “I had just gotten out of the shower and was walking to my room when I realized I didn’t have my key, and I didn’t have a roommate, so I couldn’t just make her open the door,” she says. “So, in my bathrobe, I carried my shower caddy downstairs to get a new key from the front desk. And that’s where I met this guy. He had done the same exact thing, only his roommate was asleep and he didn’t want to wake him up! … We ended up becoming friends and actually hooked up a couple times.” Never underestimate the power of a cute bathrobe and an awkward moment.
Con: Sleepovers may not be in the cards when your bed is just down the hall
Because it’s so convenient for you to walk down the hall to his room, it’s just as easy for you to walk back at the end of the night. Rather than getting comfy and snuggling up for a closing cuddle sesh, he remembers that he really does have a two-page response due for his English class tomorrow. So you can’t stay. You’ve pulled this same move on him when you had that Spanish test to study for, but it still stings a little knowing that you’re both taking advantage of the fact that you live just down the hall.
“It got old,” Jill says. “We would hook up every other day after I got back from my … history lecture and before he left for his chemistry lab. And afterward, we would go our separate ways. I also didn’t feel the need to have him spend the night, and he didn’t feel the need to have me spend the night. Soon enough, we realized we were really just using each other.”
Sleepovers don’t seem to be necessary when you know that you’ll just see each other in the morning anyway on your way out of the dorm for class. Why share your twin-size bed if you don’t have to?
Hooking up with someone on your floor can be intriguing. You know you probably shouldn’t do it just to save yourself from all of the awkward tension that’s surely to follow, and yet, you can’t help but take your eyes off of him or her. If you ever find yourself wanting to make a move on a floormate, figure out if you can live with that decision (without cringing every time you think about it) for the rest of the year. Because he or she will be there. For the rest of the year.