I've been dating a guy for a few weeks, and it's going great—mostly. I'd like to get more serious with him, but a deal-breaker has reared its stinky head: His housekeeping and table manners are AWFUL. When we "go home" at the end of a night, it's always to my place, and that's because I've only been able to sleep at his house once. I won't sleep over there again, because the place is foul—dirty dishes all over the kitchen, filthy floors, mold smells everywhere you go and a bathroom that is truly disgusting. I won't even describe it. Also, I have only one roommate, and he has three.
His personal hygiene is not perfect. Though he showers and wears deodorant, he re-wears the same clothing for days, and he never wears socks, so his feet smell terrible. I actually have had to ask him to leave his shoes on my porch to cut down on the smell indoors. When he does laundry, he just drops his clean clothes on his filthy floor. On top of all that, this man eats like a pig. Chewing with his mouth open, loud smacking, and food gets all over his face.
His personality is great! We like to spend time together (outside of his place), we laugh a lot, and we have the same values. The idea of spending years across the table from him makes me wanna gag, though! And if he doesn't clean his own house, what would that mean if we eventually moved in together? (FYI, we do the dishes together at my house, if we cook or eat there.)
Any tips on moving the relationship forward and having a "come to Jesus" talk with him about his gross house and habits?
Keepin' It Clean
When it comes to cleanliness and hygiene, you two are gonna have to find a common ground. Have you tried talking to him about this issue, or are you avoiding his dirtiness until you can’t anymore? Sounds like the latter when you ask him to leave his shoes outside and refuse to sleep at his house. But you really like this guy and see yourself spending years with him, so y’all are gonna have to figure out how to truly share a space. I believe that this should involve him rising up to your level, not you gritting your teeth in a disgusting home day after day or—even worse—you doing all of the cleaning and eventually resenting the hell out of him for it. You’ve described a pretty amicable guy here, so I imagine he’d be receptive to your issues and willing to make some positive changes.
You wanna move forward and get serious? Say so. Let him know how much you like him, and you can make the hygiene conversation part of it. Tell him you have real concerns about sharing space with him, and come clean about why y’all spend so much time at your spot. You say he washes dishes at your place—does he stay generally tidy there, as well? I’m positive you could blame some of the messiness on his three roommates, and maybe he’s given up fighting the good fight over it all and lets his room go south out of pure despair. Who even knows. Wearing dirty shirts is a habit that I had to break myself of a few years ago, actually, and it was initially because I got sick of my mom complaining about every single stinky hug I gave her.
Why did I wear dirty clothes? I didn’t care about my scent until someone I loved let me know how smelly I really was. It’s fine to request that he wears a clean shirt on your date nights, and being more direct about his foul odor might lead him to take his personal hygiene more seriously. If he wants to get serious and grow closer to you, he won’t see these concerns as an affront on his humanity. He’ll see the value in presenting a clean vessel to the world and to his partner.