By Nick Anstett and Kaitlyn Fowler
Elm Staff Writers
This week, our Goose and Gander writers are discussing the importance and necessity of proper hygiene in a relatonship. Next week, they will touch on the topic of sex toys and their effect on relationships.
Nick says… I recently received a surprise package in the mail from my father; 14 new toothbrushes. Apparently, he had become concerned with my supposed lack of dental hygiene. This came as a shock to me. I floss and brush regularly and never really considered that my dental health might be lacking.
As much as we try it’s sometimes hard to keep track of our own health and hygiene. This goes for those both single and those in some form of a relationship. Hygiene in relationships is a tricky subject to navigate. When entering into any sort of intimate partnership with another person, it’s not going to take long to begin to notice certain negative health habits in one another.
When it comes to your own health, I recommend simply taking strides to look after yourself. Bathe regularly, take care of your teeth, exercise, and eat healthy. There is a trend in some people to let themselves go physically after finding a partner, but trying to keep the same health habits that you had when single is easier than it may seem. However, on a related note, it is ultimately your own choice of how to style yourself physically. Your partner may have ideas of how they like your hair or facial hair, and it may be smart to consider their opinion, but this decision is up to you.
When it comes to hygiene for your partner this can be a bit trickier to address. My general belief is that unless the two of you have been dating for an extended period of time, touching upon basic hygiene problems is an issue that should go untouched. It is nearly impossible to receive any sort of remark about personal hygiene and not take it as some sort of personal attack or offence. Keep this in mind. Unless the issue in question poses a serious health risk to your partner, I would avoid making any sort of direct comment.
Kaitlyn says… When you enter into a relationship you no longer have just yourself to think about. Yes, there are the obvious things like loving and taking care of the other person, but then there are the parts of relationships that should be common sense, yet they slip through the cracks. I’m talking right now about hygiene. I know, this kind of seems like a weird thing to talk about in a relationship column, but just picture this: you’re watching a movie with your significant other. You’re having a good time and you lean in to snuggle next to them. As you lean in, you catch a whiff of some serious BO. Automatic romance killer.
Sure, not every situation is going to be like that, but would you rather be up close and personal with someone clean and nice smelling or someone stinky and carrying the grime of the past couple days around with them? I personally prefer a clean smelling partner, but that’s just me. Also, if you want to be really specific and couple-y about it here’s another thought. I know in a lot of relationships, people end up wearing their partner’s clothes. I have countless friends who wear their significant other’s jacket or sweater or something along those lines. Do you want them to smell your sweat when they wear it? Or would you prefer it to smell your cologne or perfume?
I’m not saying we stink on purpose to frustrate the other person, but just keep in mind that there is one more person who could be getting pretty close to your space bubble. So wash your hair, brush your teeth, put on some deodorant, and all that other good hygienic stuff. It only takes a minute or two, but you will end up with much more time with your significant other happily snuggled up next to you than you would if you forgot your basic hygiene. Also, there aren’t many downsides to having good hygiene…just saying.