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Boyfriend is a dirty hippie


dragon lady

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I've been with him for over a month now and things are going quite well. My only major concern at this point is his level of cleanliness. He's not a complete degenerate, but my hygiene standards are very high. He does shower daily, but he refuses to use antiperspirant. Instead he will spray himself with this awful spray. I've explained that I prefer his natural scent to the spray and he

didn't care. He also burns a lot of incense instead of airing out his apartment. He hasn't cleaned his bathroom or vacuumed his carpet the whole 3 years he's been living there.

 

I have offered to clean up his place for him and he said no. He says he likes it the way it is. I would really like to clean it because the filth and perfumes set off my allergies when I go over there. He thinks i'm going to try to change him.

 

Any suggestions on how to get him to budge?

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He also burns a lot of incense instead of airing out his apartment. He hasn't cleaned his bathroom or vacuumed his carpet the whole 3 years he's been living there.

 

the filth and perfumes set off my allergies when I go over there.

He seems very set in his ways and I doubt you'll get him to clean his place up.

 

Only thing I can suggest is that you tell him you can no longer visit his place because the dust/filth sets off your allegies (which isn't even a lie). See what he says and take it from there.

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he's not the type that responds well to tantrums. I believe that would only push him away. Besides, this is not a deal breaker for me. It just makes

it unpleasant to hang out at his place. I feel dirtier after a shower there than before. Everything else in the relationship is going well and I don't want to ruin things.

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he's not the type that responds well to tantrums. I believe that would only push him away. Besides, this is not a deal breaker for me. It just makes

it unpleasant to hang out at his place. I feel dirtier after a shower there than before. Everything else in the relationship is going well and I don't want to ruin things.

 

There's no need to throw a tantrum about it, but merely telling him it aggravates your allergies. I don't see how that's a tantrum.

 

That said, if it's not a dealbreaker for you, then it seems you're okay with it and nothing will change either way. He won't clean, you will always feel dirtier after visiting him, but you don't want to push him away by telling him it aggravates your allergies. Not too sure what can be done in the circumstances. If it were me, I'd walk.

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How is this 'going quite well'???

 

Where is your own self respect? And your resistance to C-Difficile, E-coli and MRSA, come to that.

 

THREE YEARS?? I wouldn't even be GOING to the bathroom. Ew, you must be at a place in your life where you think you don't deserve better, but after only a month, I'd be out looking for a guy with soap.

 

Are you sleeping in sheets which haven't been washed for three years?

 

I'm guessing there's some substance use here - he's never going to get cleaner! EWWWWwwwwww...

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People who aren't into much personal hygiene and cleanliness typically remain that way. Don't count on him getting any better. Even if he were to agree to have you clean his place, you would just end up as his own personal maid. He is lazy when it comes to things like that. If he hasn't cleaned his bathroom in three years (that's pretty disgusting), don't count on him to suddenly have an epiphany that he better get his act together and clean. He doesn't mind wallowing in his own filth. You will not change him. You have only known him a month or so...I can imagine that this is just the tip of the iceberg regarding his attitude towards other things in life. He probably has a lazy, laissez-faire attitude towards other things as well.

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Why should SHE clean it?

 

Why not just find someone who is a grown up and can clean his own bathroom? (I'm assuming it's not going to be a dreadful break up after a month).

 

If it's not a dealbreaker, why did you post this by the way?

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Everybody is different in terms of what they will accept for their cleanliness level.

 

This can be a MAJOR area of dispute with couples if they have very different standards. If one person LIKES to clean and the other accepts it then that is fine, but if one person EXPECTS the other to clean or refuses to agree to a maid or to let the other person clean, then that never works out.

 

You'll never be happy living in a pigsty, and if he doesn't agree to let you clean (and you don't resent cleaning for him), then it just won't work because you will be forced to live in a pigsty if your relatilnship goes forward.

 

But honestly, if you're already thinking of him as a dirty hippy, this is going to go nowhere. Just recognize you have different approaches to life and move on.

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I interpreted the title of the thread as more humorous than anything else. Given what I know about dragon_lady (admittedly little), I'm guessing she likes the fact that he's a bit of a hippie.

 

Unfortunately, I don't have much advice to give. Sounds like you already did what I would have done re: the spray and told him you didn't like it. I'm surprised he didn't at least reduce the frequency of his use after that.

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When I was in undergrad I lived with 4 other guys in a house. Our place got pretty filthy because no one would really sweep/vacuum clean up for weeks/months at a time.

 

However, the BIG difference was after a month no one could live with it for too long so we would all chip in and have a big day of cleaning once a month at least - or pay for a maid once a month (yes, sometimes it was that bad). We weren't hippies - we were just male students living in a rented house. That's "normal".

 

Not cleaning your room/living space for 3 years is just wrong - and it puts yours and his health in danger. I would think it should be a deal breaker.

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I agree with Capricorn, I don't see how it would work if you ever lived together.

 

I'm wondering how you are with someone you consider a 'dirty hippie'.

 

I was wondering this too. Haven't you two been together for a while now? (Sorry if I am wrong about this.)

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When I was in undergrad I lived with 4 other guys in a house. Our place got pretty filthy because no one would really sweep/vacuum clean up for weeks/months at a time.

 

However, the BIG difference was after a month no one could live with it for too long so we would all chip in and have a big day of cleaning once a month at least - or pay for a maid once a month (yes, sometimes it was that bad). We weren't hippies - we were just male students living in a rented house. That's "normal".

 

Not cleaning your room/living space for 3 years is just wrong - and it puts yours and his health in danger. I would think it should be a deal breaker.

 

I did this! The only difference was that I would break first, go mad and clean right through. So all they learnt was that if they left it long enough, I'd clean up their crap (and they would let it get really disgusting. I once went home for the holidays and there was a banana in a bag on the kitchen sideboard. When I came home there was brown gloop in the bag on the kitchen sideboard.)

 

Dragon_lady I think that is what would happen to you. He doesn't care, you do. You will be left tidying up your space and his. And that's kind of completely unacceptable from an able-bodied grownup.

 

At the end of the day, he doesn't care that he lives in squalour and you seeing that, and he doesn't care about you having to stay in squalor.

 

TBH, if it's only been a month... I would pass.

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I went out with a guy who was exactly the same way! I once attempted to discuss it and he was VERY offended and hurt. I never mentioned it again. But he never changed, either - house was always filthy, it got to where I didn't want to spend the night anymore and just wanted to go home to my clean apartment.

 

The relationship eventually ended, but not because of that. But that never did change.

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he's not the type that responds well to tantrums. I believe that would only push him away. Besides, this is not a deal breaker for me. It just makes

it unpleasant to hang out at his place. I feel dirtier after a shower there than before. Everything else in the relationship is going well and I don't want to ruin things.

 

I wouldn't even use a bathroom that hadn't been cleaned in 3 years, nevermind take a shower in it!

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I can't say I didn't expect these answers. That tends to be the way things go on ENA. It's always "dump them." Never mind that he makes me extremely happy and is wonderful in almost every other way.

 

To clear up a few things:

 

* In my opinion, telling someone you won't go to their house until they clean it is like a child demanding their parent buy them an ice-cream or they'll cry. He's not going to look favorably upon that and I wouldn't feel comfortable going down that route.

 

* I've told him that all the perfumes aggravate my allergies and he stopped the incense burning for about a week. It has since resumed.

 

* He does shower daily (with soap). His own personal hygiene is quite good. I would prefer it if he did use an antiperspirant because it stops the sweat, but he thinks that's unhealthy (ha!). A lot of people are like this and it's not a huge deal. The main things that bother me are the use of these perfumes and the filth in his apartment.

 

* I'll ignore the comments about my level of self respect. I think that was downright rude and completely uncalled for.

 

* In the past I had a boyfriend who refused to clean and I surprised him by cleaning his room one day. He was furious and he felt it was a severe invasion of privacy. I can't understand where he was coming from because I wouldn't want anyone touching my stuff without my permission either.

 

* I'm not interested in finding another person. I've found someone I connect with on so many levels. This is an incredibly rare thing for me. I'm not going to throw it all away based on something like this. I will probably never find it again.

 

* I don't mind cleaning. As I said, I offered to clean it up myself. It's one of those things where the benefits (cleanliness) outweigh the cost (the chore). If he left me do it, I'd be happy to do it all the time. It's actually kind of appealing.

 

* I am very concerned about offending him. So far I've mentioned it in a light-hearted manner. I've even brought him over to my place and shown him how nice it is to be clean. He said it was "too sterile" and "lacking character."

 

Basically what I'd like is to know is how to approach this. I'm not willing to put it all down the drain over this, but I'm not okay with the filth. I don't want to come accross as a nag.

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And no substance abuse here. He's also not a smoker of anything. One big plus you might say. A cigarette smoker would be a dealbreaker for me.

 

 

edit: One more thing. His sheets ARE clean. They are only new and he's washed them a couple of times this month.

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3 years of not cleaning the bathroom. Seriously, dating this guy is a health risk. That's completely disgusting.

 

It's only a month in. Think of long term relationship with this guy. Think about LIVING with this guy.

 

Screw that, you don't need to put up with that. If he cared/respected your comforts he would have cleaned for you. That's courteous thing to do when people come over.

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My only major concern at this point is his level of cleanliness.

 

Sorry to have offended, but I took you at your word. I sort of thought that someone who knows the forum as well as you obviously do (and yet didn't ask for people NOT to tell you to dump him) woujld realise that 'major concern' triggers concerns in other people too.

 

I'm sure you're smart enough to know that you can't go into a relationship and expect someone to change - so your only option is to suck it up (with a Hoover preferably but - as you say, he wouldn't want that invasion of his privacy).

 

BTW I think you may have put a negative where you meant a positive in your last reply - you meant you could understand where the other guy was coming from, right?

 

It's not really possible to comment in a way which is helpful to you if you are saying that his hygiene both is AND isn't okay by you. As you say he won't allow you to clean up, and you say you (rightly) respect his autonomy, then you need to accept that allergies are going to be part of your way of life, very probably with C-Difficile (I know a LOT about bathrooms! At least close the lid when you flush, for your own sake!)

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You need to risk offending him if "changing" him is worth it to you. I don't see the point in sugar coating this. It's pretty black and white... he's either clean enough or he isn't.

 

If not - suck it up and live with it. Just keep reminding yourself about all his positives when you are trying to step around all that filth...

 

Everyone has flaws. His are just more overt I guess.

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