In the early days of dating, people usually put their best foot forward. They’re wearing their best clothing, on their best behavior, and if you happen to visit their home, you’re more than likely to find it in tip-top shape. They want to impress you, so they tidy up before you come. But should the relationship progress, the authentic person begins to emerge. You see their eccentricities start to show. If you move in or get married, you may learn their space is not always clean as it seemed. Cleanliness can become a problem if you are tidier than your partner or if you’re the messy one. Navigating can be a learning curve, but these two people can make a relationship work. If you’re in this situation, here’s how you live with someone with a different mess tolerance than you.
Let’s say you absolutely hate scrubbing the bathtub. But you have a lower mess tolerance than your partner. So, they may not have even notice the ring around the tub, but it’s making you sick. You can’t stand it, so you just clean it. And anytime it’s dirty, you keep cleaning it. But you don’t ask your partner to take on that chore. Furthermore, you never communicate how much you don’t like it. So now, scrubbing the tub is your job. So much so that your partner might begin to think you enjoy doing it. Speak up about household duties so you don’t resent your partner. Instead, split the unpleasant duties evenly or in a way that leaves both parties comfortable.
Clean Up Your Own Stuff
Noticing the mess in your home versus doing something about it are two different things. Instead of looking at the house and complaining about everything you see, do you part. Once they see you’re cleaning, hopefully it will encourage them to do the same. In the meantime, get closer to the clean you desire by handling your business first.
Make an Agreement to Keep Common Spaces Up to a Certain Standard
Just because you have different mess tolerances doesn’t mean that you can’t compromise. After all, compromise is a skill you’ll need in most relationships. Once you’ve established a standard, both you and your partner can work toward maintaining it equally.
Set a Cleaning Schedule You Can Both Agree Upon
You’d like to clean every night. And your partner only wants to clean once a month. It may seem like someone is bound to be unhappy. But if both parties can set and maintain a cleaning schedule, you’ll both adjust to the state of the home you share.
Consider Your Partner’s Strengths
Living with a partner you consider a slob can lead to resentment real fast. You might think they’re a slob who doesn’t care about the home you share. But people show their appreciation for things in different ways. Does your partner make sure to take care of dinner every night? Do they manage the bills? Are they working longer hours outside of the home? None of this means you have to do all of the cleaning. But consider all that your partner does outside of cleaning. Having an open perspective will help you recognize the big picture and not just the dirty dishes in the sink at the end of the night.