It’s The Clean Freak vs. The Slob: Who Wins in the Relationship?
You can’t live comfortably if there’s one piece of paper out of place. He likes to keep his socks on the floor—where he can find them. How do you handle a relationship when your other half is the opposite of you?
– Michelle Mazzarella, sparkology.com
It happens all too often. He’s a great guy; you love spending time with him…but that growing pile of dirty dishes nags at you and diminishes his appeal. But holding out for a clean freak isn’t always the answer—remember how Bridget Jones was put off by Mark folding his underwear when they spent nights together? Dating and relationship experts of both sexes share their advice on how the two of you can clean up this particular mess and come to a compromise.
Well, what could you really do? Common sense really—either suggest that they pick up after themselves or hire a maid. My best advice is to teach them how you organize yourself and perhaps it’ll catch on. Usually, people are “slobs” because they lack organization and order. Show them the way with an Ikea catalogue and a label maker!
Maria Avgitidis is the owner of Agape Match, a matchmaking firm based in NYC that caters to New Yorkers and Greek-American singles.
Just be upfront about your pet peeves from the start. You probably won’t change them, but you can modify the behavior. I am a total neat freak and my boyfriend…well not so much. When we moved in together we made a deal, I clean and he cooks. This way I don’t nag him about cleaning up. He is a lot better about picking up after himself since he knows that messes drive me insane.
It’s important to understand your partner’s cleanliness pet peeves. If you’re not on the same page with their neatness, understanding each other’s gripes is half the battle. Be vocal to your mate about your own preferences, too. Separating chores between each other so you’re each responsible for cleaning what you’re good at will create a happy living space.
Laurie Davis is an online dating coach, founder of eFlirt Expert, and author of Love at First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating (February 2013, Atria Books/Simon & Schuster).
The guy’s point of view and more up next!