Moving in together is a big step in any relationship and typically represents the end of portraying the best possible image of yourself. Whether it’s messy cooking, accidentally shrinking jumpers, or leaving the toilet seat up – your worst habits are laid bare to your significant other on a daily basis.
It seems that bathrooms are a flashpoint for relationship woes, as our survey of 1500 people revealed the behaviour that would make the UK public leave – or consider leaving – their partner.
Relationship Ruining Habits
Overall, a quarter of people would consider breaking up over a bad bathroom habit. Here are some of the specific issues that could cause problems in a relationship:
1. Pee on the Toilet Seat
It’s a well-worn trope that women hate pee on the toilet seat, but it’s actually men who are most annoyed about this issue. Over half of the men surveyed (51%) stated they would consider ending a relationship over their partner urinating on the toilet seat.
Urinating on the seat and not flushing were the two issues most likely to cause women to rethink their relationship, with over a third (36%) saying these two bad bathroom habits would make them think twice about staying with a partner.
One in three men admit to peeing on the toilet seat, so they’ll run into trouble if they carry on after moving in with a partner.
2. Leaving The Door Open
27% of participants would reconsider a relationship if their partner left the door open while going to the toilet, which theoretically puts many relationships at risk – one in four people admit leaving the door open whilst doing their business.
3. Replacing the Toilet Roll
It may seem trivial, but a quarter of participants would think about ending a romance over leaving the toilet roll holder empty, so always remember to replace it!
4. Toilet Trouble
35% of men would reconsider a relationship over their partner leaving stains in the toilet, whereas women were more forgiving at 33%, which, in fairness, is understandable if it was persistent (for either gender).
Why Are Bathroom Habits A Big Issue?
To better understand why so many people would consider leaving a partner over a bathroom issue, we spoke to relationship experts who gave us some insight into why leaving the toilet seat up can be the kiss of death for a budding couple.
Dr. Donna Oriowo, licensed clinical social worker and Therapist at AnnodRight.com, explained why bathroom habits can be so dangerous to couples: “Bathrooms are probably people at their most honest. This is where people get ready in the morning and have honed grooming habits and routines.
“When in a newly co-habiting relationship, these almost secret rituals stop being so secret. Conflicts can be about leaving the toothpaste cap on, how you prefer the toilet to be (seat up, down, or lid closed), but not just what your preferences are – also why you have those preferences.
“Bathroom habits can be reflective of how you want other areas of the house or even your life to look. Bathroom habits leading to a breakup are reflective of more than just what you are or are not doing in the bathroom. It can lead to a breakup if people involved aren’t willing to communicate about what they want/need to be comfortable and are then not willing to compromise to make the other person feel comfortable.”
Wendy Newman, Author of 121 First Dates and relationship expert featured on Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Glamour and Elle, explained how couples can avoid these issues: “If you’re dating, it’s easy to avoid conflicts in your relationship relating to bathroom habits. Simply be a good guest and don’t use their personal products (or at least don’t get caught).
“When it’s time to move in, make deals with each other in advance around minimum standards of cleanliness and division of labour. And have separate space so everyone can use their own products. Even in small spaces in big cities, you can still add an extra wall cabinet in the bath or in the hall to make it happen.”