Like any big step in a relationship, cohabitation can bring you closer than ever—or it could tear you apart for good. When you're living apart, there's plenty of time for both of you to let your hair down, relax and indulge yourselves in all your bad habits. But while your grossest secret habit might not be any worse than a little zit popping or forgetting to wash your bras, his could be utterly relationship-breaking.
Never underestimate how nasty a dude can get when he thinks he can get away with it. Gross guy habits don't just begin and end with burping, passing gas, and scratching themselves inappropriately. A lack of hygiene, disgusting self-care routines and a whole host of unwelcome smells and sounds might be in your future (and that's just scratching the nauseating surface). Don't let his revolting man habits ruin a good thing before it even gets rolling! Get these fifteen filthy habits under control before you move in.
15 Not showering until the film of grime on his body is unbearable
The first time he comes home hot and sweaty after a hard workout at the gym, only to skip the shower and immediately start kissing on you, we won't lie—it is kind of sweet! He missed you so much that he just couldn't help himself—what's not to love about that? But the second time he pulls that s*!+t, it's, well, a little less endearing, and after a few months of that nonsense, no one could even blame you for pinching your nose and running for the door.
When you were living apart, he probably always got all showered up before coming to see you—but when you're living side-by-side, you might start to wonder if those pre-date scrub-ups were the only time he was showering at all. Make it clear pre-move-in that keeping things clean is a must if he wants this relationship to continue or face the stinky consequences.
14 Avoiding his toothbrush like it's harboring some kind of supervirus
The minty freshness of his sexy mouth when you first started sucking face was a huge bonus to all those steamy makeout sessions of your early days—and you do not want to lose that just because you do not have to play "my place or yours?" anymore! But upon the big move-in, you might just find that his sweet-smelling breath wasn't the result of a godlike oral hygiene regimen, but in fact, could be 100% attributed to a clever use of Tic Tacs.
You don't want the honeymoon phase of the cohabitation stage to end in a hot, halitosis-riddled puff of stink-breath, so make sure you've laid down the law about brushing up before you ever start to look at sharing a living space. His morning breath will be excusable when he first wakes up, but you won't be feeling so lenient when it's still sticking around at 3 PM.
13 Not replacing his toothbrush until you're worried it does have some kind of supervirus
You can forgive that his bathroom is suspiciously missing any signs of dental floss (hell, most of us only floss so the dentist won't judge us, anyway). You might even be able to overlook the way he's hanging onto seven tubes of toothpaste, none of which contain more than a pea-sized amount inside. But if his toothbrush looks like it's seen some stuff and five years later is still struggling to come to terms with the shock of it all, prepare your best yikes face. That's some nastiness you do not need in your life.
The state of his toothbrush is key. Even if he is brushing on the reg, if he's using something that looks like it could be the source of the next zombie apocalypse virus, you are not going to want his mouth anywhere near you. Have the argument about tossing it and getting a fresh model before move-in, or you might be moving out sooner than you'd think.
12 Letting dishes pile up in the sink all week
When dudes live alone, dishes become a little less than a priority. After all, who needs forks when all you ever eat is delivery pizza, anyway? But when the big move-in finally arrives, you are best off if you have already broken his grody dishwashing habits, or else you are going to get stuck with all the nasty, vom-worthy results.
It will not be a big deal the first night, or even the first month of nights—but that first time you go to visit your parents for a weekend and leave him to his own devices, you will be wishing you had caught this one before you ever let it get this far. You know that it takes twice as long to scrub dried-on ketchup off of a plate, and while it would not bother him to see those dirties filling up the sink, it will bother you. So get crackin'
11 Chucking said dishes in the dishwasher with food still caked on them
There is always something to be said for doing a little bit of pre-wash, especially if you suspect that green bean casserole dish is not going to get 100% clean thanks to all that delicious baked-on melted cheese topping. But while you would give it a good scrub before tossing it into the dishwasher, chances are your dude has not been schooled at the same university of cleanliness—which means you will be scrubbing those dishes down again when it comes time to unload them. Ugh.
It is not that he does not care—it is that some kind of intersection of laziness and a lack of understanding has landed him here. Explain to him that all that caked on food means extra work for the both of you (and potentially, even a call to the dishwasher repairman in the future) before you start to cohabitate and avoid any gross surprises after.
10 Scratching dried food off of a plate and calling it clean
If you do not catch his bad dishwasher habits soon enough, this is what ultimately follows. He might think that scraping that weird dried-on cheese film off the plate with his raggedy fingernail makes it perfectly acceptable to eat off of, but chances are, you won't agree. Nothing puts a worse taste in your mouth than when you prepare a gorgeous, healthy, wholesome meal only to wonder if you are not eating it off a dirty plate. That's the kind of stuff that will turn your stomach and ruin an evening—so nip this in the bud fast.
You might not even realize that he does this at all until it's too late—and suddenly it's Thanksgiving, you're rolling into the kitchen to check on the turkey, and he's standing there scratching the remainders of last night's chicken alfredo off of your good dishes. No thank you—don't even give him the opportunity.
9 Launching clipped toenails across the room
On one hand, at least he keeps them clipped, right? There is nothing skeevier than looking at a dude's feet and seeing nasty, thick, grody toenails curling out so long that you are not sure how he even wears shoes. Or if he is considering climbing a tree monkey-style anytime soon. (Gross!) However, the first time you discover one of those nasty, thick, grody toenails launched across the living room, you'll be singing a different tune. Maybe they are best left curling away on his feet.
It doesn't take a lot of effort to keep track of one's toenail clippings and trash them like a normal human being, so this isn't really asking much. If, "Honey, can you maybe not send your toenails into orbit and then abandon them on the nice rug?" is the kind of request that breaks your relationship, moving in together was never going to work out anyway.
8 The toilet seat thing
Ahh, the good old toilet seat. It doesn't matter at all until suddenly, it does. It's late at night. You're tired from a long, hard day. You hop out of bed to pee one last time before you slip off to dreamland, and suddenly, SPLASH! What you thought you were sitting down on: the comfortable cushion of your toilet seat. What you actually sat down on: nothing. You grasp at the rim (yuck), your poor butt mere inches from the cold, questionable toilet water (double yuck)... and meanwhile, he's laying in bed, sound asleep and totally oblivious to the horrors that he just put you through.
Putting the toilet seat back down is just a common courtesy—and if he's used to living the bachelor life, this is one habit that he's going to need to break, and fast. If he loves you, he'll put the seat down. End of discussion, guys.
7 Not replacing the toilet paper roll after using the last of it
Double sigh to this one. It's just as bad as the toilet seat thing, if not worse. Few things are more soul crushing than sitting down on the toilet to do business, only to reach for the toilet roll when you're finishing up and come up with thin air. That empty cardboard tube with just a few useless shreds of TP clinging to it doesn't do you any good if you're already stranded... and since you know that you didn't forget, there could only be one possible culprit: your man.
Men don't use toilet paper as frequently as us ladyfolk do, so we understand why it's easier for them to forget. But if you don't break this habit before you move in together, you might be faced with the very awkward situation of dropping the biggest, smelliest deuce of your life... then having to call him into the war zone with toilet paper reinforcements.
6 Using socks as cleaning materials
For most of us, socks have one purpose and one purpose only: they go on our feet. Unless you count "looking cute" as a significant function (and if so, you're probably right), there's only one thing that you should be using socks for... but there are a lot of dudes out there who can and will beg to differ.
Sure, it's gross when he pulls out one of his tube socks to mop up a big spill, but the real firefight starts when he grabs one of your favorite socks to use as a makeshift cleaning rag. There's a line in the sand there, and rather than pointing at it while you rage at him for using your most adorable pair of thigh-highs to clean up spilled milk, just make it clear before you even move in. Socks are not cleaning rags, and they won't be treated as such under your roof.
5 Wearing swim trunks as boxers because he's all out of clean underwear
He might have been able to get away with this as a bachelor, but now that he is about to be living with a proper lady, there are certain standards that must be upheld. We are not sure how dudes can possibly go through so much underwear in such a short period of time (maybe an adjustment to diet is in order?), but we know that there are some things that are just unforgivable. Swim trunks as boxers? Might as well stick a fork in this relationship, because it is over.
We love seeing a man dress down to a pair of sexy undies, so there is no greater disappointment than to see those jeans unzip only to reveal... is that a Hawaiian print? Swim trunks are for swimming, guys. They are not surrogate underwear, and they were never meant to be. Can you imagine putting on a pair of swimmers because you ran out of underwear?
4 Repeatedly passing gas into the same couch cushion until it perpetually smells like it
Whether your guy is a gamer, a football fan or just likes to sit in one spot for hours on end while he's binge-watching Game of Thrones, if his couch is about to become your couch, this is one to watch out for. When you invite people over for the big housewarming, you do not want to be in the possession of a couch cushion that needs to be sectioned off with caution tape so that no one sits in the seat that has been soaking up an amount of passing gas, so he's either going to need to give you a few days to fumigate, or you're going to need a new couch.
First time offense, two or three, and this isn't really that big of a problem. But when he's been working on the same cushion for months—years, even—you're not going to want to subject your company to it.
3 Wearing the same dirty outfit for days on end
That outfit was pretty sexy the first time he wore it... so when he puts it on the next day, who can blame him—it is hard to find a look, and when you do spot one, you are going to want to keep it rolling. But then day three rolls around. And day four. By the end of the week, you're left wondering whether he remembers that he actually does, in fact, own other clothes.
He probably changed outfits just about every time you saw him when you were living separately. But unfortunately, when you start living with a person, a guy stops caring so much about whether you saw him in those dirty gym shorts the last time you were around each other... and he shouldn't. Make it clear that this is some skanky behavior before move-in day rolls around and you'll save yourself an awkward discussion in the future.
2 Shoving outdated food to the back of the fridge to make room for new food
Especially if your dude was a takeout fiend with a fridge that only contained condiments and beer, introducing fruits, veggies, and leftovers to his refrigerator ecosystem might be a lot to take in. He's probably only used to eating leftovers in the sense that if he had pizza the night before, he'll have the rest for lunch the next day. The concept that he now has real, honest food at his fingertips can be overwhelming for a resident of a former bachelor pad—we get it!
But where we'll do a quick clean-up of anything that looks like it's gotten too old, mushy or outdated for human consumption, his first inclination will be to shove it all the way to the no man's land in the back of the fridge. Out of sight, out of mind isn't going to be worth much when you find that container full of surprise General Tao's growing its own microbial ecosystem.
1 Leaving beard and other trimmings just... everywhere
You know that keeping your hair in check can be a full-time job. How many times have you flooded the shower thanks to your own long, luscious locks? But while you're used to vacuuming up the mess of hair that you shed on a daily basis and keeping your body hair situation mostly under wraps, when your dude decides to do his first big manscaping project in your clean bathroom sink, bullets will fly if you have to clean up the mess.
No one wants to deal with his hair. We get it. But you're not about to have the girls over for wine night only for Samantha to return from the bathroom and announce that your sink is full of them... so don't let him sneak up on you with this gross habit. It doesn't matter what he does with them... as long as he doesn't leave them on every surface you own. It's not that much to ask, guys, so get with the program and clean up your acts.