Last week as part of a campaign to encourage couples to talk about health issues, Measure Bowel Cancer created a Top 30 List of signs that your relationship has hit the ‘comfort zone’.
According to the research, carried out by the (rather unromantic) Measure Bowel Cancer campaign, couples hit the ‘comfort zone’ after just 11 months and 24 days. As I ran through the list of 30 signs, I couldn’t help wondering the ‘comfort zone’ was meant to be a good thing or a bad thing … some were indicators you have a close, intimate relationship, whereas others seemed to be signs all romance and boundaries have gone all together.
1. Not wearing make-up
Personally this is something I like to get out of the way early in a relationship. I don’t wear make-up every day (mainly out of sheer laziness, and liking my bed too much in the morning). There is also a degree of self-confidence – I’m happy enough for the world to know what I look like under my make-up. I’d rather a boyfriend appreciate when I’m wearing make-up, than be shocked to see me without it. I think the Rugby Boy saw me without make-up before our 5th date.
2. Not locking the bathroom door
As going to the loo is dealt with later in the list, I interpreted this as when you’re having a bath or a shower … which personally, I think that can be quite sexy, and not a bad thing. I’ve never had an issue with a boyfriend walking into the bathroom while I’m in the shower, and sharing one together can be a rather fun experience, provided it’s big enough!
3. Wearing pyjamas/lounge wear
As someone most comfortable in her pj bottoms, blogging on my sofa, I wouldn’t be able to have a relationship if my other half wasn’t comfortable seeing me in ‘lounge wear’. In my opinion, if a relationship has legs, you need to see a person for who they really are … not just when they’re looking perfect and sparkly. And then, when they are making an effort with their appearance, you appreciate it more.
4. Breaking wind in front of them
This one is a no-no for me. By not farting in front of each other, you show you actually care what they think! The same goes for burping. And having made this clear to all my previous partners, if a boyfriend did start doing this in my presence, I’d interpret it as a sign he was no longer too fussed about what I think.
5. Not shaving your legs/face
This one’s interesting, because I see the two acts as very different. I had laser hair removal a few years ago, so I no longer have to shave my legs, but it’s one thing I was always careful to keep up in a relationship. I know there’s a big divide between women who shave their body hair, and women who don’t, but as someone with particularly dark hair, I’ve never felt overly sexy with unshaven legs or arm-pits. However, I’m a big fan of stubble on a guy, and don’t see an unshaven face as any less attractive than a shaven one.
6. Wearing your less attractive/non-matching underwear
I don’t think I even own any matching underwear, so that one’s out of the window for me, before I even start. But I think when a relationship is comfortable, it feels everyday, and just a normal part of your world. And wearing your less attractive underwear is everyday and a normal part of your world. I don’t think anyone should be panicking about the state of their relationship, if their partner has seen a pair of their less attractive pants!
7. Doing his/her laundry
Again, I think this one is just an everyday reality. If you spent a reasonable amount of time at your partner’s house, it’s unlikely that you’ll take your dirty washing home every time you leave. The concept of having a shelf or a draw at someone else’s flat has long been played on by US rom coms, but in reality, if someone likes you enough to let you leave your laundry in their washing basket, and to keep enough stuff at their place to warrant your own drawer or shelf, it’s not a bad thing! And if you live together … well who does His and Her’s separate laundry??
8. Going to the toilet with the door open
Whilst showering with an unlocked door is sexing, doing anything else in the bathroom without the door shut is not-sexy. Certain things can be left to the imagination, not matter how close a couple you are!
9. Confiding in them over health concerns
I find this one quite odd – obviously it prompted the survey, because they found couples don’t talk enough about their health issues. My take on a healthy relationship is that you need to be each other’s best friends, and part of that closeness includes telling each other random stuff you’d never think to bring up in conversation with anyone else. If you’re not feeling well, the best person to tell is your partner. Your health is paramount to them … and any boyfriend or girlfriend worth their salt will take care of you when you’re ill.
10. Letting them look after you when you’re ill
11. You don’t mind crying in front of them
I think this is one to be careful with. Yes, it’s great to be so close to someone that you feel you can cry in front of them, but particularly in the early stages, you may want to pick your moments. A lot of the awful date stories people send in and tell me seem to involve crying. Though if you do find yourself crying in front of your other half, their reaction may tell you about them, and your relationship. I went to watch the Imitation Game, on an early date with the Rugby Boy, and ended up crying like a baby. Luckily he took it in his stride, wiped away my tears, and gave me just the right amount of pity/sympathy/ignorance for me. The thing is, when we cry, we all need slightly different reactions. So it’s a question of working out what you need, and whether that person gives it to you.
12. Taking calls/visits from their family
Haha – meet the parents. If you’re in a real, functional relationships with someone, and he or she has a good relationship with their family, then meeting that family shouldn’t be an issue. And the closer you get to them, the closer you’re likely to get to their family. If you have a relationship with your ‘in-laws’ that’s good enough that you take calls or visits from them on your own, feel lucky you’re not one of the people who can’t stand their other half’s family!
13. ‘Letting yourself go’ without worrying about it
Everyone gets a bit more comfortable when they’re in a relationship, and sometimes that’s not a bad thing. There’s no point beating yourself up about your appearance. But if you’re genuinely ‘letting yourself go’ … the person you’re letting down is yourself. It’s not a sign you should be worried about your relationship, but it’s perhaps a sign you need to think about your own attitude and happiness. Are you happy and healthy?
14. Laughing when they take the mickey out of you
As a chronic piss-taker, and someone who flirts by taking the mickey out of men, this isn’t something which worries me. I could only ever date a man who takes the mickey out of me, and the point I would start worrying, would be when I’m no longer laughing.
15. Letting them have house keys
I think this one is simply a matter of trust. If you live alone, and see a lot of your other half, then it makes sense for them to look after your spare keys. Again it’s a relationship marker, and a flattering gesture of trust. You’re not too comfortable, you’re just showing you trust each other, and taking baby steps towards actually living together.
16. Happy to have a conversation while naked
Hmm …. I’d like to think that if you’re having sex with someone, you’re comfortable naked in front of him or her. And if you’re not, you need to have a proper think about your own body image, and self-confidence. Some of the most close and heartfelt conversations I’ve had with boyfriends have been in bed.
17. Knowing their views on marriage and kids
Not something to bring up on a first date, but if things you could see yourself aspiring to in the relatively near future, then it’s obviously important to make sure your rough views of the future are relatively aligned. A good friend of mine found out his girlfriend was staunch against having children, five years into their relationship. Don’t make it a stressful conversation topic, but make sure you know where you stand.
18. Telling them when they need a mint/deodorant
If you have a good, playful relationship, you can probably find a way to do this without being too offensive. Remember, they’d rather hear it from you than someone less close – provided you show you’re still attracted to them.
19. Shaving in front of them
Again shaving less and shaving faces is quite different. I’ve never seen shaving your face as a particularly intimate action, but I do think that shaving your legs infant of your partner is a sign you’ve gone past the ‘allure’ of a new relationship and are in the stages of a more everyday, realistic partnership.
20. Asking them to squeeze a spot/pluck a hair
This one is rather intimate – an a real sign you’re comfortable. I have to admit, I’ve never asked a partner to squeeze a spot for me, and it does remind me of the awful scene in the Kevin and Perry movie!
21. Not fretting at the prospect of being in swimwear in front of them
Again … if they’ve already seen you naked? If you’re fretting about your other half seeing you in swimwear, again you might want to consider your own body confidence and body image.
22. Showering together
23. Going clothes shopping together
*shrugs* – if you have to see them wearing the clothes all the time, it’s not a bad thing to make sure you like what they’re buying and vice versa.
One of the most loved up married couples I know does this for each other. I think this is a sign you’re in a committed, long term relationship.
25. Answering their phone
Goes to show you don’t have any trust issues … as does being entrusted with the pin number for their phone. If you’ve been dating someone for a while and they make a fuss about you NOT knowing their pin, I’d be more worried,
26. Leaving clothes at each other’s houses
See my answer to 7
27. Telling them your hang-ups
See my answer to 9
Some people do this to everyone! But if you are one of those couples who thinks it’s cute to share airtime in this way … you may want to think about your audience.
29. Calling them by a pet name
Behind doors this is fine, and just an extension of your close relationship. Using pet names in public is a step too far, no matter how long you’ve been dating!
30. Talking about/knowing about ex-partners
Is a healthy sign of a relationship. Just don’t discuss them too often. Leave them in the past, and think about you’re own future!!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx