I love watching people live their lives, and there is a certain 'access' you get to the details that you just don't get when you can barely remember your neighbors name.
We set a relationship shot clock when key indicators go off. How long before "we're breaking up and one/both are moving"?
You don't get much privacy in a wood frame building, all snuggled up next to each other. A guy on the 3rd floor has a thing for 80's porn. The first floor? asians. The sexual prowess of one guy in the building that briefly dated another was rated as "less than to be desired" with a face that should serve as a warning to those that would follow. The previous manager used to get railed at around 8 in the morning by boyfriend du jour while others were trying to enjoy their morning coffee.
How do I know this? Because either people talk man.
So how do I know your relationship is coming to an end, possibly before you do? Nothing is new anymore. This may be earth shattering to your world, but for me its a big mac and large fry.
You can usually pick up on a tone change. That happy little couple is now a little 'darker' than before. The first time you pick up on it, you think 'bad day' then, bad week? Then you can hear arguing. Mild at first, but then you catch the hint of "I wish you had never been born" on the morning breeze and wonder if its coming from your building.
The phone rings.
Yeah, its us.
One couple ended without the usual signs. One day she called and said he's moving out. She's going to carry on. He slept with someone else. She got a restraining order. He does not have permission to enter her apartment.
You know what I actually needed to know? He's moving out and does not have permission to enter the apartment. That's it. He could screw his way through the BC Lion's cheerleading line up for all I care. I would question how he pulled that off, but I wouldn't actually care from a business perspective.
But people love to talk.
I then found myself in the uncomfortable position of being the go-between. I was 17 again, and my parents were getting divorced. I tried being nice, but visibly agitated at the whole thing as a hint. It didn't work. Finally I landed on "that letter you signed means I no longer have a relationship with you."
The on again/off again relationships can be entertaining. One day you get a call that she wants him off the lease, and then "never mind". You'll forgive me if I don't rush over to do that paperwork with you, but let's let this ride for awhile and see how it plays out. When I see boxes, you get your lease.
One couple at a building we don't live in recently had a baby...he's now on his way out. I try to stay dispassionate to these things, but my first thought was...damn. That kid will never remember their parents together. It only lasts a second, and then you think "I wonder who he slept with" Whatever, "Big Mac you said? I need a letter that he's moving and I can get you a new lease under the old terms"