Courting Disaster

How Weird Bathroom Habits Ruin Relationships

Courting Disaster is Jackalope Ranch's weekly column of dating horror stories, observations, how-tos, and more by Katie Johnson. Names of ex-boyfriends, past hookups, and bad blind dates have been changed to protect the guilty.

Love means never having to say, "Holy shit, you're weird."

But secretly thinking it.

There comes a point in every relationship when you realize the person you're dating is not perfect. In truth, he missed the mark somewhere between flossing his teeth in bed and crying after sex.

See also: Um, Have You Been Tested for STDs?

Personally, I'm relieved every time I find out the person I'm dating has some endearing idiosyncrasies because it means I too can unhook my bra, string it up on a pole, and let my crazy flag fly.

But far too often, charming turns into alarming. While I won't self-sabotage my credibility here in Courting Disaster by revealing some of my own charming behavioral problems (yet), I will disclose some of my exes' questionable quirks -- specifically, the ones they exhibited in and around the bathroom.

In the bathroom, people don't just unload their actual shit, they unload their weird, relationship-bending, what-happened-to-you-as-a-child shit.

These are things that may or may not be deal-breakers and, at the very least, warrant a heart-to-heart. Because when you find out your live-in boyfriend has to shower after every time he poops, regardless of where he is, what consistency it is, how many times it's already happened that day, or whether you two are running out the door for a dinner date with your parents, that odd little habit doesn't feel like the only thing in the relationship worth breaking.

Sadly, Mr. Shit-Showers wasn't the only man who made me question our love in the loo.

Back in Los Angeles, I dated a man who couldn't use the bathroom between the hours of, say, midnight and 5 a.m. This was because as a child he had gotten up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and, on his way back to his room, checked in on his grandfather, only to find that poor grandpa had died in his sleep.

Since then, this guy was convinced that getting up to pee in the middle of the night was an omen of bad things to come, rather than an indicator of one beverage too many before bed. Instead he would wait, risking both bladder and boyfriend status, as he tested my sympathy and woke me up regularly to ask what time it was.

But the most common issue that I have encountered with boyfriends in the bathroom, the one that is not so much a deal-breaker as it is purely disgusting, centers around the toothbrush. Turns out, not everyone is as devoted a follower of dental hygiene as myself. While I can wrap my head around the fact that not everyone is inclined to floss or use mouthwash, I cannot understand why so many people refuse to brush their teeth more than once a day.

Look gentlemen (and I use that word loosely), I don't care if you leave the toilet seat up or take pictures of your turds and send them your friends (yes, I know you do that). But if you're habitually going to forgo brushing your teeth before bed and thus letting your mouth double as an overnight petri dish of beer, beef jerky, and bacteria, you better keep that mouth far the fuck away from me. Because morning breath is one thing, but what you're brewing in that man muzzle of yours is mustard gas as far as I'm concerned.

Oh, don't worry, guys. I'm going after the ladies next.

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Katie Johnson
Contact: Katie Johnson