Humans can be kind of gross, and when you're in the beginning stages of a relationship, you probably tend to try to hide some of your lazy or gross habits and behaviors from your partner. And, sure, some things probably are truly disgusting or at least borderline gross, but there are also things you think will gross out your partner, but actually don't, so you probably don't need to be as worried about some of these things as you might think.
It's easy to worry about things that you think your partner might find off-putting, whether they're gross, embarrassing, or anything else that you think they might view as a flaw, but, in some cases, you might be more concerned about those things than they are.
"Couples always want to be on the same page, so a lot of projection goes on," Dr. Claudia Luiz, Psya D, a psychoanalyst, tells Romper via email. "[We imagine] what the other person will be grossed out by when it’s us, maybe unconsciously, that [finds] it gross. This is why couples can keep getting to know each other even after longterm togetherness! When you talk it out, you learn about each other."
As it turns out, the gross things in your life may be things your partner finds pretty harmless — and not actually that terribly gross — no matter what you think.
1. Dirty Hair
I, too, tend to feel a little bit gross when my hair is dirty, so naturally I think that those around me find it gross when I don't wash my hair everyday too, but it's probably not actually that big of a deal. At least, not after awhile. "Many men are generally grossed out by the ladies not doing a daily scrub on their scalp, but over time, guys come to realize that this is not a necessity and actually better for your hair to let the oils seep in between regular washes," Vikki Ziegler, a divorce attorney, relationship expert, author of The-Pre Marital Planner, star of BRAVO TV’s Untying the Knot, and host of #DearVikki, an interactive video series for relationship advice, tells Romper by email. "Most men learn to understand this is common with women especially those with long hair, and as long as their bodies are clean they can deal with periods of unwashed hair."
2. Talking About Your Period
Period talk grosses men out, right? Well, honestly, for most men, it might not be as gross as you think. "Most guys took basic biology and understand that women have periods," David Bennett, a certified counselor, relationship expert, and co-author of seven self-help books, tells Romper via email. "We've also seen blood regularly, and many of us have bled a lot thanks to being teenage guys in the past. A little blood isn't that big of a deal. Most men get that women have periods and will be on them at times."
Sure, it might gross some guys (or gals) out, but, overwhelmingly, it's probably not as big of a deal as you might think that it is.
3. Passing Gas
Passing gas is just a fact of life, so while it might be embarrassing for you, your partner likely understands that. "As you become more comfortable with your partner it becomes an accepted common trait that most people have gas and if you can’t get to the bathroom in time [you] just let it out and your partner tolerates the noise or the smell," Ziegler says. "Not pretty but accepted."
4. Popping Pimples
Popping pimples can be kind of gross, but for some couples, it's totally a part of their relationship. "I know many couples that are totally OK with squeezing each other's pimples," Bethany Ricciardi, sex educator and relationship expert with Too Timid, tells Romper by email. "It definitely requires a lot of trust and a special kind of connection with someone if you and your lover are at this level. Most may say it's gross, I say it's a special kind of love!" As it turns out, your partner might not actually be all that grossed out.
5. Being Sweaty
If you ever stress about your partner seeing you all sweaty and disheveled after you've powered through a workout, you probably don't need to do that anymore. "Being sweaty is natural, and even attractive, because it usually signals that you're working hard to maintain your health and looks," Bennett says. "So, remember that being sweaty isn't necessarily gross, and may even be attractive in the right settings." Sweating is a part of life. You'll see them sweaty on occasion, they'll see you sweaty on occasion and it's really no big deal.
6. How You Smell Down There
Many women are concerned with how they smell and are understandably embarrassed if they think that they smell badly, but, in most cases, you're probably more concerned about it than your partner is. "Oftentimes people with vulvas really [try] to make sure that they smell like Hawaiian Breeze, or lilac flowers, or some other rendition of a [feminine hygiene] product," Dr. Lexx Brown - James, LMFT, CSE, a sex therapist and licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Romper by email. "And in all actuality it turns out that their partners want to taste it or smell them exactly [how] they smell."
If the odor is really strong or smells of fish or garbage, however, it's important to see your doctor to make sure that everything is OK.
7. Not Shaving Your Legs In The Winter
Lots of people who normally shave their legs choose not to when the weather gets chillier. And while you might think that you need to make the effort because your partner will think it's gross if you don't, you might be putting too much stock into something that just isn't a problem for them. "During the winter the temperature is freezing and no one has the time that shave their legs," Ibinye Osibodu-Onyali, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Romper in an email exchange. "Let’s face it, it’s really pointless because no one is going to see it. If you’re in an advanced relationship, your partner probably doesn’t even notice the stubble on your legs — it’s all in your head."
8. Leaving Tampons Lying Around
Just as period talk doesn't gross your partner out as much as you might think it does, neither does leaving tampons lying around. While you might initially feel like you need to keep them discretely stored in various places, Ziegler says, "with tampons needed often, you leave them around in your bathroom and over time [they] become acceptable to view." Tampons aren't gross and your partner probably recognizes that.
9. Discussing Bodily Fluids And Functions
"Most adults can say the word 'pee' without laughing or making a gross-out face," Bennett says. "There is no need to dance around the reality that you pee and poop; your partner does too. If they're mature, they won't be grossed out by it." While you might not feel the need to steer the conversation towards bodily fluids very often, saying you have to pee or, you know, actually pooping, isn't something that anyone should have to feel embarrassed by. Your partner recognizes that this is something everyone does.
10. Grown Out Pubic Hair
If you don't want to let your pubic hair grow, then you shouldn't, but if you're doing it because you think hair down there will gross your partner out, you probably don't have to worry so much. "For some reason many women living in Western countries feel a deep sense of shame about not shaving or grooming their pubic hair," Osibodu-Onyali says. "As long as you have good personal hygiene and there are no bad odors, your partner probably doesn’t care." Make the choice for yourself, not for someone else. Your partner probably doesn't find it as gross as you think.
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