Showing your love doesn't have to be all about flowers and chocolates. In fact, there are a few gross things that are actually pretty romantic in relationships. It all depends on your definition of romance, really.
Because at a certain point in a relationship, embracing your comfort level with the other person is what's important. Once you're beyond the whole "I'm totally a perfect person!" facade in the beginning stages, then it's only natural to get more comfy and real with your partner. Hey, no one wants to put up a front forever, so it's pretty cool when you can just let your guard down and be yourself.
Of course, part of that whole being yourself thing tends to come with some weird traits on its own. You're really just another human, which means that stinky feet or sweaty clothes are sometimes part of the territory. But when you and your partner accept one another no matter what, even when you're a little less than fresh, then that's a wonderful sign for the relationship. Here are a few of the gross things couples do when they really, really love one another. That somehow makes everything just a little less gross, to be honest.
1. Doing Laundry
Most people don't exactly view a pile of dirty laundry as an aphrodisiac. So there's something to be said for handling your partner's used gym socks. "We're so connected that gross things don't matter anymore, we enjoy helping them out and like doing favors such and handling stinky laundry," says Mayla Green, sex & relationship expert and co-founder of The Adult Toy Shop. "They appreciate it too - it's a subtle sign of closeness." It is pretty nice when a partner takes something off your to-do list.
2. Grooming Each Other
Some couples are happy to groom one another if given half a chance. "You examine moles and dark hairs on each other. You relish in the excitement of popping a juicy zit on your partner’s back," says Liz Colizza, head of research at Lasting. It's a way of showing that you care, and proving you're super comfortable with one another's bodies.
3. Using Pet Names
It's a different kind of gross, sure, but some of these names can get cringe-worthy. "Somewhere along the way you both created cheesy, awkward, or inappropriate nicknames for each other," says Colizza. "You get strange looks when you accidentally use them in public." Hey, it's just another way of reaffirming your affection for each other when your refer to your significant other as Schmoopy.
4. Having Period Sex
If you're in a relationship with someone who menstruates, then you have to address this topic sooner or later. "When I coach couples on the subject of healthy marriage relationships the topic of sex is a major component," says Eric Hunt, Myrtle Beach wedding officiant. When life gets super busy, a period shouldn't ruin one of your nights together, Hunt explains.
5. Wearing Each Other's Clothes
There's nothing quite like slipping on your partner's shirt, even if it's been worn a time or two and there's a sweat stain — and if it's something well worn, then yes, there's likely to be a gross stain or two. "There’s something oddly romantic about wearing your partner's clothes – maybe it’s the leftover hints of perfume or aftershave that does it for you, for some, it adds a sense of security," says Adina Mahalli, a certified mental health professional with Maple Holistics.
6. Going To The Bathroom With The Door Open
Is there anything more private than making a bowel movement? There are countless articles and message boards that touch on the topic of when it's okay to poop at your partner's place, if it's okay to use the restroom in front of each other, and so on. If you're able to go to the bathroom (number one or number two) with the door wide open it really shows how comfortable you and your partner are with each other, provided you're both okay with the situation.
Whether you're stealing their sweater or calling them some super-sweet name in public, these gross signs of affection prove your relationship is strong.