When you get comfortable with someone, you tend to relax a little bit more around them, which might mean that you do things around them and let them see you in ways that you might have hid from them before. Couples who are going to be together long-term likely have to be comfortable with some of the gross things humans tend to do (either by necessity or by habit) because they're just things that happen. Plus, if they're comfortable doing them around you, that's a pretty big deal. If you can't do these gross things together, you might not actually be quite as "meant to be" as you thought you were.
Practically everyone has some gross habits, whether they want to admit to them or not (and, honestly, they likely don't). And while you might feel more pressure to hide them from your partner, friends, and even some extended family members, particularly when you might be first getting to know them, giving yourself permission to be gross sometimes even when your partner is around isn't a bad thing. "Seeing your partner's gross habits helps you learn about all of them; the good, the bad, and the gross," Dr. Wyatt Fisher, PsyD, a licensed psychologist, marriage counselor, and dating site founder, tells Romper by email.
Though not every couple does exactly the same gross things together or in front of each other, these gross things might mean that you're on the right track — and pretty good together.
Burping is part of life. It's hard to avoid it forever. It just happens sometimes. So if you can't do that in front of your partner, there's some sort of wall still up between the two of you.
"I always said that if I couldn't pass gas or burp in front of a man that we weren't going to work," Katherine Shorter, a marriage preparation ministry leader, tells Romper by email. "Not that I do it a lot but, being able to do it let me know that he accepted me for me...with all of the beauty and the gross. I'm human and these things are normal physiological responses."
2. Eating Messily
You might have great manners, but some foods are just messy. There's no getting around it. And even if eating messily is your go-to technique (no judgment), it might not be something you regularly do around your partner at the beginning of your relationship. If you can't be your messy-eating self around your partner, however, they might not exactly be seeing the real you.
"To truly know someone you have to get to know every single part of them," Alexis Dent, the owner of wedding vow writing company XO Juliet, tells Romper by email. "Yes, that means the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you want to be part of their lives for the rest of your life then embrace everything about them."
3. Go To The Bathroom With The Door Open
"The closer couples get the more 'gross' things they do in front of one another, which often makes them feel even closer," Fisher says. Going to the bathroom with the door open can certainly bring the two of you closer together, for better or for worse. It's something that you only do when you're comfortable with the other person.
Passing gas in front of your partner is often something that you don't necessarily choose to do right away. But Shorter says that this is something that's not only necessary at some point in your relationship, but also was ultimately a good thing in her relationship.
"For him, he knew that I was a real person," Shorter explains. "I knew that he accepted me as a real person. It strengthened our friendship and helped to lay an amazing foundation for being genuine in our relationship."
5. Scratching What Needs To Be Scratched
"I really think that being accepting of each other's bodies and bodily functions are an integral part of a successful relationship," Shorter adds. And sometimes, one or the other of you will have an itch. Shorter says that "scratching weird places" without shame should be completely doable when you're with the person with whom you're meant to be.
6. Being A Bit Of A Slob Sometimes
Dent says that, along with eating messily, being a slob, at least sometimes, should be something that you can totally do in front of your partner.
"I believe that grossness is a relative term," Dent says. "Just because something is gross to one person does not mean it is gross to another. At the end of the day, it is all about framing and perspective. If you can frame your partner's gross habits into something that is adorable and special then it will go a long way towards living together and building a life with your special person." If your partner's a slob, it might be something that sort of grosses you out initially, but being able to change your perspective and see it as something more endearing, a part of themselves that they let you see because they're comfortable with you, can change things.
7. Clip Your Nails On Your Bed
Nail clippings are something that a lot of people think are gross, so it might not surprise you that a lot of people may also find it gross when you clip nails on the bed that you share with them (or anywhere other than directly into the garbage can). Fisher says that this is something that you should be able to do around the person you're going to be in a long-term relationship with, however.
"These gross things reflect a level of closeness, openness, and trust in the relationship," Fisher adds. "Therefore, if couples are unable to do them, they may not be a good fit."
Ultimately, doing gross things in front of your partner is about letting them see the real you, the human you. It can be difficult to break the ice and do some of these things for the first time, but once you do, the two of you just might be closer than you were before.