Should Bad Habits Keep Us Apart?

Dear Evan!

I’ve been reading your advice for a while. I like how you talk about not putting so much importance on chemistry and how you should focus on how the person treats you. I met a guy on Plenty of Fish in January. We became exclusive in March. He treats me wonderfully and loves me unconditionally. I’m legally blind. He accepts me and gave me the chance to demonstrate that I’m independent. However, there are certain things that turn me off. He doesn’t care too much about appearance. He can go to work without showering! Also, during sex, he doesn’t want to talk but I do.

I’m confused because here’s a guy who treats me well and yet, I question his habits. Aren’t hygiene and sex important? I’m afraid I won’t find someone that will accept me because of my situation. It’s been hard for me. Here I have someone and I’m not sure if I would be able to live with him. Are these reasons not to be with someone?


Dear JoJo,

You illustrate a very important point – the heart wants what the heart wants.

Then again, the people who live by such credos often find themselves sleeping with their own daughters, so we have to be careful of being too rigid about such things.

First of all, let me give you credit for a few things: dating actively even though you’re legally blind, appreciating that it’s hard to find someone who will accept you as legally blind, and, finally, caring so much about appearance when you’re legally blind.

That’s some powerful irony right there.

No one will say you’re wrong for caring about appearance, wanting a man to shower daily, or desiring dirty talk in bed. The heart wants what the heart wants.

However, if you’re considering these things as fodder to justify breaking up with him, I think you’re going to have to try a little bit harder.

You don’t get to iron out all of your partners’ flaws… ESPECIALLY when you have flaws of your own.

And that’s about the hardest message that I have to deliver on a daily basis in my role as a dating coach. You don’t get to iron out all of your partners’ flaws, ESPECIALLY when they’re not necessarily flaws, and ESPECIALLY when you have flaws of your own.

Case in point: it is not mandatory that men talk in bed. You may prefer it, but he may prefer focusing his energies on finding your erogenous zones instead of narrating how he’s going to be doing it.

Case in point 2: it is not mandatory that men shower every day before work. If he goes three days without showering and smells horrible, that’s one thing. But just because he doesn’t do exactly what you do doesn’t make him WRONG. It only makes him different than you.

Has it ever occurred to you, JoJo, that you may have half-dozen habits that your boyfriend absolutely can’t stand? Your propensity to complain about the temperature in every room, your highly questionable taste in music and literature, your refusal to engage in anal sex, your ineptness in the kitchen, your annoying and catty girlfriends.

If you’re intolerant of others’ flaws and oblivious of your own, well, you just may be alone for a very long time.

I don’t know you, but I know “people” – and EVERYONE has qualities that have the potential to drive someone up the wall. If you have a low tolerance for others’ flaws, and choose to break up with men each time they rub you the wrong way because You. Just. Can’t. Live. With. That, it’s entirely your prerogative.

It’s hard enough to find love online. It’s gotta be doubly hard if you’re blind. But if you’re intolerant of others’ flaws and oblivious of your own, well, you just may be alone for a very long time.

If I were you, I’d appreciate the boyfriend, offer to hop in the shower with him, and engage in a sexy conversation about how it turns you on when he talks to you in bed.

And if you need to get back out there online, I’ve got just the resource to help you…

Click here to learn more:

Join our conversation (48 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 31

    Yeah, I myself am no longer as… uhm… spontaneous as I once was, due to odor/taste issues I encountered. And that was with a man who showered at least twice a day!

  2. 32

    Excuse me,  but a woman should be able to say what she wants during sex. That’s hardly being picky.

  3. 33
    Karl R

    Katarina Phang, (#29)
    To the best of my knowledge, you’ve never been within 200 miles of me. Should I take your word over that of my dance partners … who repeatedly pass within a foot of my armpit during every dance? I get unsolicited compliments about I never smell. If I did, they would say nothing … or just avoid dancing with me. Some people smell more than others, due to a number of factors. People ought to shower enough to avoid body odor or looking dirty. Period.

    You’re worried about oral sex? You can take a swab from your butt (even an inch from the crack) and it will have fewer germs than a similar swab from your face. Neither of those will be anywhere close to the germs exchanged from simply making out with someone (up to 20,000 germs). If you’re going to be grossed out by germs, you should at least learn where most of them are.

  4. 34


    You’re excused.

    Ofcourse a woman should be able to say what she likes in bed so her partner can better please her.  She can say this out of bed too, and it might even be more effective that way. This is not the same thing as requiring ongoing commentary during the act which for some, could be distracting.  Non-verbal cues often work well.

    I’ll say this though, I find sex more enjoyable with someone who registers pleasure is some verbal/non-verbal way, rather than with someone who goes about it in a silent,  mechanical, “get-the-job-done” type fashion.  Could be an indication that the person just wants sex and isn’t all that interested in a relationship per say.  Don’t know if that was the case with the guy JoJo dated.

  5. 35

    @# 29 Katrina

    Sex after showering is quite nice 🙂 . But making it a requirement rather takes the spontaneity factor out of it – which may become more important once couples are out of the “new” phase in a relationship.  And a quick wipe with a wet washcloth can suffice if one is concerned about their nether-regions, but it might surprise you how many men find it more enticing when a woman smells “au naturale” .  😉

  6. 36
    Katarina Phang

    Karl, nice excuse.  What’s wrong with just showering before sex?  It only takes 5 mins.  Sheeessshh…  Show me a guy whose ass doesn’t smell after #2 (or a gal for that matter, mind you we usually are more meticulous in cleaning ourselves up), LET ALONE talking about no germs!!!  Ask any massage therapists for that and they will testify LOL…!

  7. 37

    @33: Not all bacteria are created equal. You should at least know this, since you are taking others to task for what they “don’t know.”  E coli (from the butt, not the mouth) is very bad and is the main cause of UTIs in women. Sexual intercourse is the way most women get e coli in their urethras.  UTIs are very painful. Point: Number of bacteria is irrelevant; type of bacteria is very relevant. Moral of the story: Hygiene isn’t just about smelling good, it’s about health, too.  

  8. 38

    I agree that from a hygiene perspective it doesn’t really matter whether you shower in the evening or the morning.  But I shower in the morning because it helps wake my sleepy self up to get ready for the day.

  9. 39
    Katarina Phang


    @Jonesey, right on!  I had that e coli infection twice!  You’re never too cautious about cleanliness.  Anything that says otherwise is just an excuse for laziness.


  10. 40

    Well I shower twice a day that is in morning to get rid of sleep, and in evening when I come back from office. And my Boy friend don’t bath on sunday at all, if we are going some where outside he will take bath and get ready but if we are staying in home he will just sit there lazyly watching TV

  11. 41

    @katrina (#29, 36 and 39)…

    Glad you think one size/one way fits all. How would you feel if I said all women should wear no makeup whatsoever, ever, because it’s a gross and any woman who thinks otherwise is just oblivious to it because they’re always wearing it.

    Pretty condescending, no?

    Your perspective on health/smell, etc demonstrates ignorance and arrogance. Please stop preaching. Go talk to people who have certain skin disorders and tell THEM not showering every day is unhealthy. (Hell, go talk to a dermatologist…you may be surprised).

    Guess what? People CAN be clean without showering…not a problem for me for example (and I’ve had very honest girlfriends who let me know when I was smelly, so I’ve learned what works for my body). As Karl pointed out, all people don’t smell the same. We may be equal, but equal doesn’t mean the same.

    And you know all that “stuff” you’re washing off when you shower? There are oils your body naturally produces to protect your skin…to be honest, it’s rather unnatural how often we bathe (I’m not advising never bathing, but there’s some kind of reasonable balance).

    As for the UTI inference…I’m not even sure where to start. I mean, do you think guys just wipe their ass onto their balls/penis? Jeez, we’re not 4 anymore. I’m sure Karl can find some good medical stats showing the most common source of UTI’s, and I bet “male partner-poor-ass-wiping-and-not-showering-before-intercourse-habits” isn’t on the list. Either way, it’s a strawman.

    If you don’t stink, don’t shower, if your partner thinks you stink, shower. Or shower whenever you feel it matters. People can figure out what works for THEM. And couples can work it out.

    1. 41.1

      I agree.
      Men get stinky sometimes and skip a shower. I know my boyfriend does and if he were to be a little ripe I’d just tell him. It’s not a big deal. This does NOT equate to bad hygiene. We also live together and when he was living alone he was so messy – he is STILL messy, clothes to him go on the floor. Luckily I like cleaning and organizing and he does all the dishes and takes out the garbage (the 2 chores I hate) – it’s all a compromise!!
      Also, sex is supposed to be a little dirty and even if you start out clean you end up a big sweaty mess anyways! There is no need to wipe each other down with disinfectant prior to sexual engagement. I mean, as long as there’s no crazy B.O. smell who cares; just don’t go a** to mouth or anywhere else, that should always be last! HA!

  12. 42

    I am a little late chiming in here but JoJo, he might have broken up with you but I see no big lose. I don’t think this issue was really about his poor habits as it was that you just really weren’t that into him underneath it all. I also don’ think it’s too much to ask that someone shower. You arent askign for him to look like Brad Pitt. The first piece of advice given to a woman when she was trying to keep her boyfriend interested would be : Shower, shave, primp, put make up on , make sure you ahve nice underwear on, good outfit…No guy would tolerate their partner walking around dirty and unkept.

  13. 43

    I started to type a general reply to this thread and it disappeared in mid sentence, so I hope this isn’t a partial duplicate.
    My policy is to say nothing about annoying habits unless they are extreme or a direct violations of rights.  Occasional stinkyness and shower skipping, –not extreme. Going a week without a shower, shave or change of underwear,– extreme case.  Finger drumming, knuckle popping, rustling the newspaper,– annoying habits.  Discarding someone’s belongings without asking,–violation of rights.
    My ex had many quirks and annoying habits that I kept my yap shut about, but I did ask that he stop discarding my items without asking first.  It wasn’t his decision that I didn’t need something and donate it to GoodWill.  He thought I was making that request just to be bitchy.
    I have my share of quirks and annoying habits, and believe me, I now know everyone of them.  The ex cataloged every one of them and even included TV shows that I watched when he wasn’t around (he might come in on the tail end and “catch me” watching Judge Judy) 
    When people start bitching at each other for minor habits and annoying quirks, it is a SYMPTOM, not the problem.  If you find yourself picking a fight with your partner because he rustles the newspaper too much, or your partner picks a fight with you because you pop your knuckles, the rustling and the popping are NOT the real problem.  Examine the relationship instead, and decide if it can be repaired, and if it’s worth years of living with constant nagging and criticisms.  One is better off leaving than staying in a r’ship with someone you are constantly harping on about tiny things, or being the recipient of an endless stream of criticism.
    Now that I am divorced, my ex has nothing but good things to say about me.

  14. 44

    I really want to tear my hair out after reading this. Is the OP Jojo nuts? I am sure plenty of people have rejected her due to her being blind. I don’t think being blind means someone has less rights to choose the person they are dating, I do think in this instance it’s highly unrealistic to break up because of this, unless being single is the aim.

    It’s unclear if she meant he doesn’t bathe daily or just before work. As for talking dirty in bed, some people like it, some people don’t. Both things are habits many couples negotiate.

    He has accepted something deemed unacceptable to most people. I am not saying it is right but it sure is the truth. And you pick on him about habits?


  15. 45
    rae lopez

    Whoa…this reply is a bit ridiculous.

    I’m rather inclined to believe that you’re giving her a medal for being legally blind and dating, and are rather frustrated that she’s not being grateful with a guy who “she should just hop in the shower with”. She’s going to have to “try a bit harder” to find a reason to break up if she has bad taste in literature but he has bad taste in how fresh his genitals should be daily?

    I’m not sure why she should have to stay with someone who doesn’t arouse her fully, keep himself clean consistently, or understand why that matters. I truly find this reply a bit discriminatory.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *