For those us of who are decidedly more Phoebe than Monica, “Tidying Up” isn’t always a priority. Forgive me, Marie Kondo, but my Life-Changing Magic came from learning how to reload my public transit card online. Of course, everyone is entitled to keep their personal space in whatever way makes them feel comfortable, but when it comes to dating, is a messy room a turn-off? Is Marie Kondo a modern-day cupid, shooting gift cards to The Container Store from her golden bow and arrow?
If you can’t stand the sight of dirty dishes, you may already know your comfort level (or lack thereof) with mess. And although you may be totally crushing on a new boo, worn clothes or wet towels on the floor may totally kill the mood when you’re back at their place. Of course, for a lot of people (me included) a messy room is no big deal at all. While you can’t see my rug (because of clothes and seltzer cans), I promise it power clashes with my comforter and curtains, just the way I like it.
I asked nine people if messy rooms can kill the mood, and what they say is well, really all over the place.
1. TL/DR: Yes.
Yes, absolutely. a messy room, especially with dirty clothes and dirty dishes, would definitely turn me off. A little bit of order and cleanliness goes along way, and it shows me that the person I’m seeing is responsible for their actions and has respect for themselves. If our relationship is going to go further, he and I are both picking up our fair share and cleaning after ourselves is needed and expected.
— Taylor, 28
2. Messy Versus Dirty
For me, ‘messiness’ falls into two categories: messy vs. dirty. Messy leans more toward disorganized, and dirty leans more toward gross. I think clothes on the floor are fine or whatever — pile em high if you must — but old food and crumbs and weird wrappers and dirty dishes, that’s f*cking gross. It’s unsanitary.
— Myka, 25
3. Who Cares
I don’t think it really matters. If their place is like super smelly or something is literally terrible, I would just suggest we hangout at mine.
— Lindsey, 23
4. Mess Is Cool
We’re cool with mess — it’s all tied to some problematic societal idea of ‘clean’ which is wrapped up in our idea of responsibility and capability. The idea in interior design/architecture where white spaces are perceived as clean and organized — for me that’s problematic, which is why I think messy is totally OK. It’s lived in! It’s experienced! It’s a story! But clean your dishes hun’.
— Isaiah, 26
5. I Will Scream
Yes messy room, grimy shower, or pubic hair on the toilet seat will all make me scream. And when someone has a pet and a messy litter box or something, we’re done.
6. Messy Isn’t Sexy
Messy isn’t sexy. No one wants to passionately make love on a counter top covered in take out boxes and bags, the sticky residue of sweet and sour sauce, and hardened rice granules.
— Luca, 24
7. Clothes Are OK
Piles of clothes here and there doesn’t bother me, because I do the same thing! Not everybody has the time to keep their room tidy at all times. But it does bother me when there’s like half eaten food and messy bowls because that can be really moldy, smelly, and unhealthy!
— Mandy, 23
8. Need Room To Move
There needs to be smoochin’ space — how can the mood be set if there’s no room for it?!?
— Micheal, 24
9. It Depends
I mean, it depends!!! How much fo you like the person? And how truly messy is it?
— TJ, 24
If you’re wondering if a messy bedroom is a turn-off the best thing to do is to talk to your partner(s). Of course, no matter who you’re dating, you never need to change who you are. If you’re into mess, by all means, keep the flow going. And if you’re super clean, it’s OK to say so. From getting it on to scrubbing it down, you get to decide what happens in your bedroom.