Lifestyle

Is an Appalling Apartment a Dating Dealbreaker?

Great guy, awful apartment

A nice apartment makes many people more interested in someone as a romantic partner, according to a recent survey by Rent.com.

In the survey, 82% of respondents said they pay attention to how clean their date's apartment is when they see it for the first time. And 78% of respondents said if the apartment was dirty, it was a turnoff. Some rooms are worse than others - 45% of respondents said a dirty bathroom would possibly make them change their minds about even dating someone.

So don't feel bad if you're hitting it off with a guy, but you want to flee after you see his apartment. You're not alone.

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How to fix it

It doesn't always mean you need to break up with someone just because their apartment is horrific.

Lori Bizzoco, a relationship expert and executive editor and founder of CupidsPulse.com, dated a man with a terrible apartment and he's now her husband. In fact, it was so bad that a television show called, "She's Moving in with Him" selected the duo for a segment. 

Bizzoco said it was so horrible because the walls were painted in bright blues and greens and adorned with paintings of aquatic scenes and framed Looney Toons art and Disney animations. The living room was decorated with furniture from the 70's and dozens of boxes filled with Marvel Comics sat on top of one another. GI Joe figures stood proudly on bookshelves as a St. Bernard and Labrador Retriever ran freely through the rooms.

This was no scene for a Type A corporate, contemporary woman, yet Bizzoco ended up marrying her comic collecting chiropractor despite his living arrangement. In fact,
before she moved in he changed the entire place to her liking. You can get over the terrible living arrangements of your significant other if you know how to go about it.

"Many people believe that the living space reflects a person’s personality. While this is true in some ways, it shouldn't determine how you view someone as a partner. A messy room doesn't mean your boyfriend will always be a slob," Bizzoco said.

"Instead, see it as a learning opportunity. For example, if his home is decorated with action figures or trophies from his high school days, he may have a bit of growing up to do but it also means he has a light heart and is fun to be around. If his room is a complete wreck and filled with last week’s Chinese take-out containers, he may be accustomed to a mother who used to pick up after him. That could be something you need to work on.

How to handle it

Tell him you were planning on doing a "spring cleaning" of your apartment and ask if you can help him clean his home as well. If he says yes, tidy up and show him that everything has a place. Explain to him that he can hold on to important memorabilia of his past while presenting his apartment in an organized and grown-up manner, Bizzoco said.

Buy him picture frames for those photos of him playing ball and then ask him if he'd like to "create more space" by putting some of his stuff in storage. Finally, put a trash can right by his bed to make it easier for him to throw things out immediately, she said.

If you do all of these things, the relationship can easily be salvaged and you get the side benefit of redecorating a home.

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