You are new to the neighborhood. Friendly new faces have stopped by to say hello or have thrown a nod and wave in your direction. You feel right at home in your new digs. No one has made you feel more welcome than the attractive and single woman next door. She appears to have everything you are looking for in a mate.

Asking out your neighbor couldn’t possibly be a bad idea… could it? Be warned. Even though she is cute, available and in close proximity, it doesn’t mean you should be stopping by to ask her for a cup of her sugar. Just like you shouldn’t dip your pen in the company ink, hitting on a neighbor could prove to be a worse idea than deciding to paint the whole house with just a brush and a kitchen chair.

Things can -- and probably will -- go wrong, and you could end up with more drama on your hands than you’d planned. Even though it’s been a sexual fantasy since the 7th grade, here are some reasons why you shouldn’t hit on your neighbor.
If she rejects you...

Every encounter thereafter will be awkward

Suppose you are reading her signals wrong -- maybe she’s just being nice because you share the same sidewalks and she feels safe knowing a guy-friend is around in case of an emergency. You ask her out, she says no and now you have to deal with the uncomfortable exchanges every time you run into each other at the mailboxes or bump into each other at the corner bagel shop. Rejection will have you running from the car to the front door every day to avoid the unpleasant exchanges. Unless you reside in a war zone, this isn’t the best way to live your life, and this is precisely why you shouldn’t hit on your neighbor.

It will jeopardize your chances with other women in the neighborhood

Men make this common mistake in college, at work and in a ton of other situations -- they take hunt, aim and fire at the first animal they see when they should wait back in the woods for bigger game. Have you met all your other neighbors? Did you take some time to learn who is who, or better yet, who is doing who? Suppose the object of your attention is the neighbor-hoe who has already schtuped half the block? Do some homework. Find a chatty Cathy who keeps up with every Jones in the neighborhood and is willing to dish the dirt without asking you to divulge too much personal information about your own situation.

You will have made a bad first impression

Whether you want the attention or not, the ladies of the Mahjong club and the guys who do nothing but brag about their tools (the ones in the garage) will make your innocent courting of the cute, single neighbor the hot neighborhood gossip. It’s not because they care about your personal life, but because they really have nothing better to talk about when they take the kids to the bus stop. Do you really want to paint yourself as the neighborhood gigolo after only a few weeks? Of course, that could be the reason you had to move in the first place. All this unnecessary attention isn’t the best way to make new friends. Fly below the radar at least for the first few months.

If your approach is successful (and you end up dating), you could find yourself in the following positions... If she accepts you...

She will have moved in right away

Things go well at first, time goes by and the next thing you know, she is squatting in your house, drinking the last Red Bull and asking why you get so many Fredrick’s of Hollywood catalogs in the mail. This will put an instant strain on the relationship. There is no transition period or getting to know each other while still being able to retreat to separate quarters for much-needed alone-time. There is just a new live-in girlfriend who, should you fight and tell her to get lost, doesn’t have very far to go because she still owns a place twenty paces from your front door (are you seeing why you shouldn’t hit on your neighbor yet?).

When you break up, you'll still live together

Things go from “bad” to “one step away from being on Cheaters”-terrible, and the relationship has to end. A bad scenario could be that you get her out of the house but she isn’t out of your life. She still owns a place in the neighborhood. A terrible scenario could be that she already sold her place and now you have to wait for her to find a new place to live. The good news is it won’t be in the neighborhood but the bad news is it could take longer than expected. It could be weeks or possibly months living under the same roof. Good luck bringing any females back to the house. It could go from Cheaters to Cops in no time.

She could be nuts

There could be a reason your place was available for such a steal. Think about all the bad breakups and the woman that went absolutely bonkers by sending hate emails, egging your car, showing up at your office, and making your life an Oxygen-channel feature-movie. Now imagine if that woman lived right next door. She can watch you all the time. She knows when you come and go. She knows who comes in and out of your place and has easy access to your personal property. She knows who will be looking for you when you turn up missing.

Lock the doors. Draw the blinds. Call your realtor. Or better yet -- know why you shouldn’t hit on your neighbor.