Things Were Going Great—Then I Saw His Apartment

The guy I’d been dating for a few weeks asked me if I wanted to go back to his place after dinner and I was psyched since I figured we might be about to hook up with him for the first time. Then I got back to his place and…things got a little messy. In fact, they already were—his place was a pigsty.

From the minute I walked in, I thought it was a joke. When I say this apartment was messy, I’m not talking about a cup in the sink and a jacket slung over a chair. I wouldn’t even notice things like that. I’m talking about the type of messy that looked like the FBI had just come in and ransacked his entire home searching for pertinent evidence. There was stuff everywhere, covering every surface. It wasn’t cute.

His bedroom was even worse. I was hoping his bedroom maybe looked a little better, but alas… There were clothes thrown all over the bed and it was indiscernible if they were dirty or clean. He also had dirty dishes everywhere, it didn’t smell fresh, and it was just gross. He was being so cute, kissing me and trying to lead me to the bed, but the fact that I was dreading actually lying on his bed was so distracting and pulling me out of the moment. So not fun!

I couldn’t focus on him because of the mess. The mess and the clutter were so bad that I felt like I was on an episode of Hoarders. I couldn’t just enjoy this time with this guy I really liked because I suddenly felt like I needed to take a shower. Or three. I’m not a snob and I don’t expect an immaculate, pristine space, but this was on a whole other level of dirty.

I was afraid to look in the bathroom. At one point, we were lying on his bed talking and I really had to pee but was suddenly terrified of telling him. If his bedroom and the rest of his apartment were this gross, I shuddered to think what the bathroom must look like. After a few minutes, I couldn’t wait any longer, so I asked him if I could use it. He jumped up quickly and asked me to wait a second while he picked up a few things. I appreciated the gesture but it was pretty confusing. Why didn’t he care about how messy the rest of the house was?

I felt like I was being unfair. The bathroom wasn’t as bad as I feared, partially due to his quick cleanup, and after I came out, I started to feel guilty. I was hardcore judging this guy by the state of his apartment and that wasn’t necessarily fair. He wasn’t a neat freak—so what? He was sweet, funny, and really cute. I tried to tell myself that it didn’t matter to me that he lived like a slob, but I started to analyze the situation in a deeper sense and think beyond the filth.

If he couldn’t take care of his home, how could he take care of the rest of his life? The way we present ourselves to the world gives an impression of who we are whether we want it to or not. Where you live is no exception. I’m not talking about the actual location of your home or how nice, new, or expensive it is—I’m talking about how you treat your home and how clean it is, how organized, and how you display it to your guests. If this guy couldn’t even be bothered to put his dirty clothes in a hamper and his dishes in the dishwasher, how was he fully handling every other area of his life as in work, family, and relationships? Was he fully handling that stuff at all?

Was he this careless in his relationships? If he couldn’t manage his life properly like an adult, was he reckless and sloppy with his romantic relationships too? It seemed like an overshot to compare the two at first, but in retrospect, it made sense. If he couldn’t put in the effort to clean up after himself, how much would he put into a relationship?

Maybe he wasn’t as mature as he seemed. I date men, not boys. The fact that this guy couldn’t even find the time or motivation to do something as simple as his laundry felt like a red flag to me. If we got seriously involved, would I be forced to become the “mother” of this relationship and make sure his clothes were clean and his bedsheets were changed? Hard pass!

It wasn’t a big deal…but it was. At the end of the day, the reason this relationship ended up not working out didn’t have anything to do with this guy’s messy apartment. Do I think it’s enough of a reason to break up with someone? Absolutely not. Do I think it’s reasonable to consider it when weighing out the pros and cons of being with them? Definitely.

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