So You’re Considering Flatcest?

You move into your accommodation and find that one of your new flatmates happens to be rather attractive. After spending a few more days with them you realise they’re also funny and kind and… oh no… you’re considering flatcest! 

For anyone who that’s been living under a rock, flatcest is the cardinal sin of halls. Getting romantically involved with a flatmate is a huge no-no. At first, it may seem like a great idea. After all, you’ll save money on travel as meeting up with your FWB (flatmate with benefits) only requires a very short walk out of your room into theirs. However, the flatcest curse is something that comes to any who dip their toes in the shallow pools of their block, and it should be avoided at all costs. 

What’s so bad about flatcest? Well, to engage in flatcest takes up time. Before you know it, you find yourself spending all day in the kitchen waiting for them to walk in, and after having to deal with a few agonising conversations with other flatmates about the weather, they just walk in and say a quick ‘hi’ before leaving for the lime tree. To be fair to them, sometimes you’re just in the mood for a lime tree pizza. 

Being comfortable in your own home also becomes a thing of the past. You can forget going into the kitchen wearing a dressing gown, even if you are just popping in to make a quick hangover cure. Even when someone inevitably sets off the fire alarm at 3am, you will consider putting a comb through your hair and applying some hairspray (who cares if it’s flammable?) before exiting the building, as you’ll surely run into them on the way out. You’ll take the bins out, clean the sink and even anonymously do their washing up for them, which is pretty much the university kitchen equivalent to a love letter from a secret admirer. Surely all of that will impress them… right? 

The flatcest curse spreads far and wide. Even labs isn’t safe as nights out become much more complicated, as drunk texting is now the least of your concerns. After all, why drunk text someone when you can just knock on their door at any time in the night. That couldn’t possibly end badly.

You can’t even confess to your flatmates about your feelings as they will either choose a team, meaning your once private love life becomes a spectator sport, or worse, your partner in flatcest could overhear and find out. When you try to call a friend to tell them about the ‘moment’ you just had in the kitchen as you bonded over the brand of milk you both use (“Cravendale?”, “Cravendale.”), you are too conscious of them being on the other side of the wall to raise your voice above a whisper. Even Christmas becomes an issue as before you know it the flat Secret Santa has become very complicated. Everyone else is deciding on which tacky mug they should buy, whereas you, after negotiating a swap, are browsing Rolex watches and wondering how you will fundraise the money (bake sale, anyone?).  

After catching feelings for a flatmate, the next bad decision you can make is to tell them how you feel. This will most probably result in long, awkward silences in the kitchen over the following days, and when you finally break that silence, you’ll end up forcefully calling them ‘mate’ every other word to reinforce the fact that you can continue existing in the same living space as friends. That is if you’re not already avoiding the kitchen like the plague, in fear of even breathing the same air as them. 

Sure, there may be some successful flatcest couples out there. They may have fallen in love at first sight as they made eye contact through the mountain of moving-in boxes on the first day. They may now be married with three kids, a huge house and even a fancy car each but that’ll end soon. The flatcest curse affects all. It’s going to happen. Just wait. 

To conclude, flatcest is a horrific curse that should be avoided no matter what. The only positive that could come out of it is making friends with fellow flatcest victims in therapy, bonding over how you should have paid attention to the advice that you saw before Fresher’s Week in articles such as these. You have been warned.

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