Monday, October 31, 2011

Clean Up Your Room. And Apartment. And Car...

One time I went back to a girl's studio apartment after going out with some of our mutual friends. I'd met her that night, and was pretty attracted to her until we got to her place: it was filthy. The bathroom was disgusting, her clothes were everywhere, the bed wasn't made and it was poorly decorated. As I stepped through the door and saw the mess, I subconsciously but immediately relegated her to the zone of "girls to bang but not date."

Contrast this with one of my ex-girlfriends, who always kept her place nice. She didn't always have the most expensive stuff, but she put thought into the way it was decorated, took care of her things, and created a living environment that I actually enjoyed being in more than my own. Every time I was there my experience was all the more positive because of the efforts she had made. I couldn't help but associate those positive feelings with her, since I always had them in her presence. On more than one occasion I consciously considered the fact that if we were to ever get married, I would be able to live in that kind of environment for the rest of my life. And while something like that would never make or break my decision to marry a girl, I know that those kinds of background influences play into our gut feelings about a person much more than we usually realize.

Some men can put up with disorganization and uncleanliness more than others, and I would be remiss to hide the fact that I am much closer to the intolerant end of that scale than most. However, consider this for a moment: you won't turn any guy off by being neat, but you will definitely turn off some by being a slob. So play it safe: clean up your shit, paint an accent wall in your place, hang some framed pictures and take the seven pairs of heels out of your car's back seat - it could make a big difference on your next date.

12 comments:

  1. Gosh, I wish you'd written this six months ago! I had no idea what a big impact a messy place and car had. I work a lot of hours and I'm not home much, so stuff starts going into piles when I get really busy with work... and I kind of thought that was understandable. Then I met a guy I really liked and only after we got more serious found out what a red flag it was. So I dodge a bullet, just barely, but I wish I hadn't taken the strike against me to begin with.

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  2. Contrast this with one of my ex-girlfriends, who always kept her place nice. She didn't always have the most expensive stuff, but she put thought into the way it was decorated, took care of her things, and created a living environment that I actually enjoyed being in more than my own. Every time I was there my experience was all the more positive because of the efforts she had made.

    If you had married her, your argument would have been stronger. Not to devalue your efforts to help women in any way, but it must be said that women reading this will conclude...yes, the girl was clean and all, but she still got dumped. See the problem? Sure, there must be other reasons you and she are not together...but you get the point...

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    1. I agree with this actually. Everybody has pros and cons and unless you get very serious with the other one, that just happens to be one of her pros.

      This makes me slightly obsessed though. Where I live now is quite temporary - or that means until August - I hate my place, and my landlord has such poor taste I cannot possibly 'rescue' it by keeping it clean or whatever. The guy I'm seeing has a very nice flat, much more space and a cleaning lady. Do I still have to invite him over for the sake of it?

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    2. Right, but all else being equal, it is much better to keep your things clean.

      I wouldn't worry too much about the quality of your place (i.e. how expensive or modern it is), because this is out of your control, at least in the short term. But you CAN control how tidy it is, so I suggest you do. You can still invite him over; if he is going to break up with you because your place is not as nice as his, you have bigger problems!

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  3. This advice also applies to men. Failing to maintain a reasonably clean living space is a huge red flag for immaturity and irresponsibility. It's as important a factor as punctuality and proper spelling in judging a person's character.

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  4. new post please- miss you

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  5. ... how about we just hang out at his place?

    I'm not saying this because I am too messy, but I usually date guys slightly older than myself who's working whereas I'm a student, and they usually have more space etc, so it's a better place to hang out. I don't care if his place is messy - most young guys' apartments are. Was there a specific reason why you went to her place and not your own?

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  6. There is episode of Seinfeld where George tells Jerry he likes a girl a lot but he's not sure whether he loves her, because after many years of dating, he "just don't know anymore". Jerry asks if he cleans his place when she comes over, whether he "just straightens up the mess or cleans the bathroom". George says he gets down on his knees and scrubs the tub and Jerry replies that "it's love" :)

    I know it's not a definite indicator, but if a guy has invited me over and he knows in advance that I'm coming, I'll definitely look over the place to see if he's made an effort. Not because I'm a clean freak but because I see it as an indicator of whether he's really into me.
    Do guys think about this?

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    1. I am neat anyway, but I always clean up my place before a girl comes over. Then I try to leave a couple small, unoffensive things lying around so that it doesn't look like I tried too hard ;)

      Yes, I think a lot of guys do this to some extent, and I think you are right to get a ballpark of a the guy's seriousness based on whether or not he cleans up for you. BUT, some guys will be just oblivious to the mess, and others might be so messy that the mess you see IS actually cleaner than normal. So it isn't the BEST indicator either.

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    2. Yup when I was reading this blog post my head was nodding in agreement the whole time but for the other way around. I am very impressed and pleased when I visit a man's home and it is clean and neat and major bonus if its decor is in the style that I prefer! I feel that how your home looks is a major reflection of you as a person, just like how you present, dress, and groom your body.

      I once dated a man who had a nice minimalistic apartment with hi-end technology and nice furnishings. He is thin and muscular and well groomed and well dressed, his home matched him very well. My first time there though his bathroom had not been cleaned in a long time.. I playfully told him how I had to squat instead of sit (I know, I am so classy sometimes). It was not a biohazard, just dusty and dirty from lack of cleaning. Next time I was over, the whole bathroom was sparkling perfect. He did not say anything to my remark and he didn't have to, seeing that beautiful bathroom on my next visit swept me off my feet, as silly as it sounds. And it stays in my mind to this day years later.

      Another date had left a living room closet open with a pile of jackets on the floor... my first visit to his home! I dumped him soon after. Coincidence?

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  7. "I subconsciously but immediately relegated her to the zone of "girls to bang but not date."

    The female version of the friendzone. Guys that complain about being put in the FZ need to take a long, hard look at their life and see if they have put the women in the GTBBND zone, thus being hypocrites. :P

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