My last blog post about the rules for romance when you live with roommates got me thinking more about all of the awkward situations that can arise when you live with other people. In particular, it reminded me of one of my oldest blog posts for La Petite Provocateur on the topic of bathroom habits and relationship boundaries when co-habitating with your significant other (which, of course, reminded me of one of my favorite Single Dating Diva posts on the topic, too).
Intimacy is lovely. Comfort is great. But, at what point does the blending of the two get weird?
You see, true intimacy can be wonderful. Getting comfortable with your partner can be great, too. But, at what point does the blending of intimacy and comfort become too much? Take, for example, one of my previous relationships (as always, the names are changed to spare the not-so-intimacy from their deserved shame).
Mark and I had been only been dating a short while when our comfort level became such that showering at his apartment became allowable…and pretty much necessary. One morning, he gingerly showed me where he kept the towels and left me to shower in peace…or so I thought. No sooner was I soaping up my nether-regions when I caught a male figure standing outside of the shower stall staring in at me. No knock. No “hello.” Nothing. I honestly don’t remember what he was doing there, but I instantly screamed, “THIS IS A PRIVATE MOMENT” before clutching the shower curtain for cover…and taking it down with me as I fell out of the shower and on to the floor. I mean, I know he had seen me naked before, but there was something about being caught in an intimate moment like that without any warning that totally caught me off guard.
Afterwards, we had a good laugh about it all, and “this is a private moment” became a long-standing joke in our union. However, at some point, the line between private and non-private moment continued to get blurred and, before I knew it, he was welcoming himself in to all sorts of bathroom “private moments.” To him, he felt closer to me when sharing every aspect of our lives…including bathroom habits. Me? I just felt dirty. I mean, who wants company in the bathroom? Sure, join me while I brush my teeth. Come chat with me while I blow dry my hair. But anything more is strictly off-limits. However, I had reached a point of no turning back, and my pleas for privacy were always met with cries of “but we’re a couple.” Seriously.
Near the end of our relationship, after Mark and I had been living together in a one bedroom and one bathroom apartment for some time, he began to quietly merge his morning routine with my morning routine by taking his morning dump while I showered. Imagine my horror and disgust at having those smells and sounds and sounds invade what was supposed to be the most serene and clean part of my day. I mean, we shared just about everything else with one another, but wasn’t anything sacred anymore?
In my opinion, dearest readers, there are, in fact, a few things that should still be kept sacred in any relationship regardless of how long you’ve been together and, as far as I am concerned, bathroom habits is at the top of the list. After all, we all know what kind of stuff goes on behind the closed bathroom doors, but no one…I mean NO ONE…need to witness it. In the case of bathroom habits, ignorance is bliss and discretion is sexy. Seriously, do you lover a favor: shut the door, turn on a fan, run the water (I know, not very “green,” but still!), light a match, spray some perfume. Keep that space and time sacred. And, for goodness sake, if you have to come in, KNOCK! Please and thank you.