How do I talk to the guy who lives in my building?

Chat at 1. 

Dear Meredith,

There is a cute guy who lives down the hall from my new apartment. I run into him almost every morning when he's out walking with his dog. We will usually smile and say good morning to each other, but that's about it. Lately, I've noticed (and hopefully it's not in my head) that he will change his direction and walk toward me, depending at what part of the street I'm on. Because I am on my way to work, I don't really have the time to stop and chat, nor do I know how to even start a conversation. I've only recently started dating again after getting out of a two-year relationship in late January. It took me a while to get over my ex but time, friends, and some self-love helped along the way.

How do I approach this guy? Do I just go up to him and ask him out for coffee? What if the date is terrible and I'm stuck avoiding my neighbor until my lease ends? Also, I know someone in the comments section will suggest something bold like go knock on his door, but I don't know his apartment number, just that we both took the elevator together once and I got distracted petting the dog instead of initiating a conversation.

- Clueless


Well, I know one thing. Most commenters will not suggest passing him a note.

Also, I don't think they'll want you to knock on his door, even if you figure out his apartment number. I don't like that idea either. Door-knocking happens all the time on TV – like, someone knocks on a person's door, and they happen to be home, alone, awake, fully dressed in non-pajama clothes, and ready for company. But in real life, what are the odds that anyone wants a surprise guest or has the time to deal with one? People tend to want to know when they're going to have to entertain.

Instead of making that kind of move, take some more time in the morning to say hello. It might mean being a few minutes late to work – but you can keep the conversation short. Ask him questions about the building. Does he have any favorite local restaurants/businesses, etc.?

You could also have a housewarming party and invite him. That's much less pressure than a high-stakes date. It would mean that he could stop by when you have your own friends around. There would be time to get to know him and find out his relationship status (he could have a partner, right?). You could take your time figuring out whether he's a neighbor who's worth the romantic risk.

– Meredith

Readers? Knock? Party? Is dating someone in your building off-limits?