The Four Stages of Sharing a Bathroom With a Significant Otherby Laura Willcox on August 14, 2013
So you and your significant other have moved in together. Congrats! You’re officially a grown up who has taken a leap of faith into a life of intimacy and commitment – but perhaps there’s one personal matter you overlooked: sharing a bathroom. Or more specifically, the fact that your live-in lover will now always be within earshot of all the terrible things you’re doing in said bathroom (unless you live in a “mansion,” which is what we New Yorkers call “a small house.”)
To soften the blow of your eventual privacy downfall, here is a list of inevitable steps you will take.
1. Polite avoidance (1-2 weeks, MAX): You just finished unpacking and are still getting used to being around each other all the time. When you have to use the bathroom, he politely goes into the other room, or if it’s a studio you’re sharing, maybe you turn on the water to mask any unsexy sounds. Even when partaking in benign bathroom activities like brushing your teeth or doing makeup, you’ll give each other some personal space, waiting until the other is done to take your turn. Sounds nice, right? It is! But it’s a lot of work and, thus, this phase will not last very long.
2. It’s my bathroom too (2 weeks-2 months): As your patience wanes, the degradation of privacy begins, slowly at first. Maybe he comes in to shave while you’re in the shower, or you two start brushing your teeth side by side. It’s actually kind of nice to feel so comfortable with someone. Still when nature calls, the door is shut and the other is nowhere to be seen. But you probably don’t bother with running the water because, honestly, he farted in his sleep so loud last night surely he can put up with a gentle, ladylike tinkle.
3. Open door policy (2 months-8 months): The first time is always an accident. You’re so comfortable in your home that one day you forget to close the door, maybe leaving it a little bit ajar. You notice it but sort of shrug it off. Eh, what can you do? It’s too late to get up and close it all the way. ‘Maybe he won’t hear it from the living room,’ you convince yourself. When you reemerge and you’re both unable to make eye contact for a few minutes it’s clear that he did hear. But it’s also clear that the part of you that really cares died long ago, probably during a fight at IKEA over ottoman colors. Pretty soon if you’re just peeing that door is wide open because, honestly, it’s natural and we pee like a billion times a day and when we were cavemen we didn’t even have doors so why start now? When it’s number two though, the door is closed. Let’s keep it a tiny bit sexy.
4. Full frontal (8 months-eternity): After living together for awhile you and your partner are so close, so comfortable with each other that you forget where you end and they begin. You know his poo schedule and he knows yours. The bathroom door is basically never closed because there’s no window or ventilation in there anyway, so really it would be irresponsible to close it. By now one of you has gotten food poisoning or a stomach bug at least once so really there are no more secrets anymore. You’re both disgusting creatures and trying to deny it would only be lying to yourselves. He’s peeing while you’re brushing your teeth; you can lie in bed and converse with him, maintaining full eye contact, while he’s sitting on the toilet for 20 minutes. You get so used to never closing the bathroom door you accidentally do it when you’re at you friends’ apartments.
There’s something beautiful in the complete loss of all sense of shame and embarrassment. It’s around this time that you also realize suddenly you haven’t had sex in three weeks and wonder why. But don’t worry. That’s natural, too.
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