It’s important to realize that being neat or sloppy is a choice, though often an unconscious one. Since there is no “right” way, avoid trying to impose your values on anyone you aren’t living with. But if you are bunkmates, clearly state how you’d like your surroundings to be maintained. Then suggest ways your goal might be accomplished, resisting the urge to criticize the other person. The nicer your presentation, the more likely they are to cooperate. Cooperation is the foundation of any successful relationship or cohabitation.
David M. Matthews is a relationship coach, advice columnist, and author of Every Man Sees You Naked: An Insider’s Guide to How Men Think.
Relationships are about compromise and effort. Don’t let the fact that one person’s a neat freak and the other’s a slob get in the way of an otherwise healthy, happy relationship. If your partner hates it when you leave dirty laundry on the floor or dishes in the sink, make an effort to put the clothes in the hamper and the dishes in the dishwasher. On the flip side, if your partner can’t stand it when you yell at him or her for not making hospital corners when making up the bed, ease up and either do it yourself or accept that your bed will never be perfectly made.
Neely Steinberg is a dating/relationship columnist and Boston’s Premier Dating Coach for the Modern-Day Woman.
If you want someone to respect your cleanliness, you need to have a conversation and say, “I can live with the fact that you have piles everywhere, but can you at least make friends with the dishwasher?” It’s all about compromise. No one’s ever going to be you, so tell them what you can and cannot live with.
Michelle Mazzarella is Head Tastemaker of Sparkology, a luxury, quality-driven dating website.