Personal Growth
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Cleanliness and Dateliness

Cleaning before a date because anxious or nervous

When I moved into my first one-bedroom apartment I had grand visions of being a great party hostess. I wanted people to always feel welcome, to lounge at my place until the late hours discussing writing and drinking wine. I envisioned game nights, movie nights, and dinner parties. But then reality came back to remind me: I hate hosting events.

As much as I love people and love the idea of being a bohemian party hostess, I find hosting to  be a horrible experience. I spend days obsessively cleaning my place, then spend the entire party worrying, fretting, and eventually wanting everyone to leave so I can recharge my introverted battery.

So when I first started dating one of my boyfriends, I hated having him over to my place. Not that I didn’t enjoy being with him, but I would exhaust myself with cleaning. I didn’t want him to know I sometimes had dirty dishes in the sink. Or that my cat’s litter box sometimes had poop in it. God forbid. He couldn’t know any of this.

So I know it’s easier said than done, but try not to over-worry about cleaning your place when dating. Your living space should be an accurate representation of your personality. Maybe pick up the dirty underwear and rinse out the moldy juice glasses, but try not to go overboard. Go ahead and swiffer the floors, but maybe don’t get down on your hands and knees for an entire day. Because honestly, it shouldn’t matter *that* much. If someone likes you, they like you. And maybe it’s better to know at the beginning that your cleanliness-levels don’t match. If a super messy apartment is a deal breaker, it’s better to know from the start.

A poignant moment in my dating life came when I discovered VERY expired butter in my cooking-inept boyfriend’s apartment. And even though it was gross and he was embarrassed and we both laughed, I realized it didn’t change how I felt about him. When you care about someone you take them with the moldy food in the back of the fridge.

My apartment isn’t perfect, but it isn’t a disaster. It’s lived-in. And I’m getting better with allowing the people I care about seeing it this way.

What about you? Do you find yourself breaking your back to transform your home before people come over?

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