She Said Hallcest: the awkward predicament of hooking up with a hallmate

Emily Guillen

As a college female who participated in hallcest during my first year, I can honestly say that it was not one of my better ideas. It was convenient to have my boyfriend close by, not only so I could be around him most of the time, but also so I could keep an eye on him. However, convenience does not form the basis of a solid relationship.

Looking back, the relationship was mostly based on accessibility and fleeting lust. We didn’t have a lot in common, leaving us with little to talk about. Our personalities didn’t really click and we weren’t a good match, but since we lived on the same hall, we continued to date.

As the year went on, we both started losing interest in each other and we were fighting all the time. The dilemma was that I knew that if we broke up, it would be really awkward to live on the same hall and be forced to see each other all the time. The arguments culminated in a really bad breakup that happened to coincide with my moving to another hall (something that resulted from many different issues building up all year). I realized afterward that I felt relieved that I wouldn’t have to see him all the time, and I wouldn’t have to pretend to still be invested in a relationship that was obviously over. My initial first-year hall had about four hallcest relationships, but not a single one has lasted since then. My second first-year hall had one couple that is still together after one of them studied abroad, so it is clearly possible to make things work when there is a real connection, not just a convenient living situation.

Fast forward three years and now I’m living on the same hall as the guy I dated sophomore year. Not only is it awkward because we didn’t maintain a friendship after the breakup, but it’s also awkward anytime my current boyfriend comes over and happens to run into him or when my roommates get caught in a conversation with him.

I think it’s natural as a first-year to come to school, meet new people and find someone on your hall attractive. I think we’re always attracted to the people we spend the most time with, and during your first year, they are the people living in your residence hall. At the same time, I wish I’d thought further ahead about my four years at the University and made better long-term decisions. I’m not saying I shouldn’t have dated someone that I wanted to, but maybe I shouldn’t have let the relationship become so dependent on our living situation and let it continue when it was clear that it wasn’t right.

Overall, I think hallcest doesn’t work out and is more trouble than it’s worth about 98 percent of the time, but hey, that two percent that does work out can be worth the risk.

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