There is No Ghosting When You Hook Up With a Dormmate

published Jul 30, 2019
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Ghosting is a sentence that too many of us have been served (or dished out ourselves, let’s be honest). It’s hard for some people to resist this terrible, yet easy technique for calling it quits. With no arguments and no questions asked, ghosting provides the ultimate exit to any relationship. 

As someone who’s been ghosted, I know that it’s a terrible feeling—but it can sometimes can be an easier pill to swallow than learning whatever harsh reality exists. That is, until you bump into them on the way to the bathroom that night to brush your teeth. Because if you’re a college student, there’s no such thing as ghosting when you share a dorm. 

For this spooky reason, I was given fair warning by college veterans who came before me not to engage in “dormcest.” And I had full intentions of steering clear. After all, there would be plenty of boys to choose from with whom I didn’t share a home, and therefore could ghost and be ghosted in peace, if need be. 

In the honeymoon stage as a dormcester, the future seemed bright. The world was at my fingertips! Suddenly Tuesday at 7:14 p.m. could be the most fun-filled time of my week if I so chose! Couldn’t sleep? Welcome late-night company was just a stroll down the hall. And tackling the feat of doing my own laundry was far less daunting when six feet, two inches of cute boy was eager to accompany me. No motivation to walk more than a few feet? No problem!

Well, other than some minor problems that gradually invaded various areas of my daily routine. Slathering myself in acne cream and making the dangerous mission from bathroom to bed became a landmine I faced on a nightly basis. And I was truly missing out on the under-appreciated ability to enter the building without hastily brainstorming a flirty retort, should we cross paths.

Though the no-plans-required hookups are the lazy college student’s fantasy, there were some housekeeping issues clearly lurking.

I reminded myself not to put all my eggs in one basket, but at this point in my college career, I didn’t exactly have a plethora of baskets to choose from. Risky or otherwise, this relationship was one of the few that I had been able to successfully build in my first few weeks of school. So though the thought of bumping into him everyday after we inevitably fizzled always wavered in the back of my mind, I still didn’t care enough to stop.

I do take full responsibility of the fact that, when presented with this overly-flirty D1 athlete living downstairs, I chose him, despite our close proximity. As context for my headspace at the time, the start of my freshmen year didn’t exactly go as smoothly as I’d hoped in terms of hitting it off with my roommate, creating new friendships, or finding my place. I was in an especially vulnerable position when presented with someone who shared a sense of humor, an affinity for sarcasm, and a hallway. How was I to know that someday in the not-so-distant future he’d be haunting it?

And then three months later, it was over. It’s not like there was some big falling out—that’s not really how college flings end anyway. No, we know how they end: with ghosting. A slow fade into the background, their name slowly inching down your list of recent FaceTimes and Snapchats until it’s buried among the random numbers saved thoughtlessly at bars and frat parties. It’s a kind of fizzle that might veil the true reason for it happening in the first place. Except when you share living quarters, the veil can become a little more transparent.

Unlike any old breakup, when a ghost stops texting back in a shared dorm, you still see the person walking down the hall, phone in hand, erasing any disillusioned comfort in the idea that they just haven’t seen your message yet. And not only will you see the ghost at the gym, library, and all over campus, but you might also see your old person with his new person, and vice versa. We’re all (sort of?) adults here, but why subject yourself to this if you don’t have to?

Freshmen, seniors, anyone who shares a hallway with other breathing inhabitants, heed my warning. This is one spooky story that can serve as a cautionary tale. Convenience is nice, having a ghost haunt your halls every time you have to take a shower–not so much.