7 Habits You May Not Know Can Bring You Closer To Your Partner, According To Science
While many couples put a lot of effort into not to grossing each other out, there are a few gross habits that can actually make you feel more attracted to each other, according to science. Sure, your "polite" side might be telling you to keep the romance and mystery alive by holding in your burps. But being just a little bit quirky may be exactly what your relationship needs.
"When we think about weird or gross habits, we think about things that contradict our traditional ideas of 'hotness' — for example, puking," Amica Graber, a relationship expert for the background checking site TruthFinder, tells Bustle. "But those situations may, in fact, highlight our other qualities, like kindness or our sense of humor."
We tend to think physical qualities are what make people attractive, but research has shown that intimacy wins out every time. "In one study, researchers found that people tended to view physical looks as a luxury, but personality traits as a necessity," Graber says. "Someone could be 'attractive enough' but if they lacked qualities like humor and kindness, [nothing physical] could make up for it."
So it makes sense why letting your guard down, being yourself, and truly getting comfortable around each other can be the most attractive thing of all. As Graber says, "It leads to greater intimacy which leads to more passion and a longer-lasting, happier relationship." Here, a few "gross" things that can actually seal your bond, according to science.
1. Being Sweaty
It may seem "gross" to come home after a tough workout and marinate in your own sweat for a while. But there's a good chance the scent of your body odor is actually quite attractive to your partner.
"Humans, especially women, seem to be attracted in some way to the smell of sweat," Jonathan Bennett, relationship and dating expert at Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle. And this has a lot to do with pheromones, which emanate from sweat and play a large role in who we fall in love with.
If you think your partner smells amazing, even when they haven't showered, there's a good chance they feel the same way about you.
2. Having Morning Breath
According to recent research, "'feelings of closeness, connectedness, and bondedness in a close relationship accumulates over time and positively influences passion in a relationship," Graber says.
And that means being your truest, comfiest self is key — grubby old pajamas and all. After all, "it’s impossible to gain true intimacy without letting your partner see you in your most primal state: first thing in the morning," Graber says. "Unshowered, morning breath, sweatpants, and bed hair may not be the most enticing look, but it will build intimacy in your relationship — which leads to increased passion, according to science."
3. Peeing With The Door Open
Again, focusing on building intimacy in a relationship, is there really any better way to do it than peeing with the bathroom door open? While it may take a while to get to a point in your relationship, doing so can bring you closer together — in it's own, weird way.
"While many people consider the bathroom to be the ultimate private sanctuary, couples may benefit [from] keeping the door open," Samantha Morrison, health and wellness expert at Glacier Wellness, tells Bustle. "If your partner is comfortable enough to bathe or go to the bathroom with the door open or even just unlocked, it signifies a profound sense of trust and security, which can only boost their unwavering attraction and dedication."
4. Having Garlic Breath
Kissing your partner with garlic breath can be a way to build intimacy and trust. Because who better to love you anyway — and see past the smell — than them?
But the very act of smelling garlic can also create a feeling of attraction, even if it wasn't planned. "One study showed that garlic’s influence on body smell is actually attractive," Bennett says. "So, enjoy a few pieces of garlic bread the night before your date." And you might end up getting closer.
5. Coughing & Sneezing
Research has shown that there are two important traits for a healthy relationship: kindness and compassion. And what better time to show them off than when one of you is sick?
If one of you is coughing and sneezing, feeling nauseated, or struggling with allergies, how you react can say a lot. "Do you support each other, make soup, and offer to walk the dog? Or does one party peace out for three days until you recover? Getting sick is a make-or-break stage of a relationship," Graber says. "It’s going to be gross, but if you support each other it will only lead to increased feelings of safety and security in your relationship." And what could be more attractive than that?
6. Burping & Farting
Every couple is different in terms of how open they want to be about burps and farts. But if you and your partner are down to share them openly, that can be a good thing.
"Not only do you show that you're completely relaxed and comfortable with your partner, you're showing that you're comfortable with yourself," writer and sexpert Kayla Lords, tells Butle. "For many of us, the idea of being heard farting or belching (especially letting a big one rip) is mortifying. But being able to do so proves that you've grown closer and that the attraction you feel for each other isn't superficial. It's another layer of intimacy that you have as a couple."
7. Going To Town On Some Pizza
Forget table manners. Nothing's more attractive than a person who is happily and comfortably eating in front of their partner — even if it's truly messy.
While you may want to be polite on a first date, getting to the point where you both can eat like real human beings shows, again, that you have a close level of intimacy and comfort. But some people also find it sexy when people eat messy foods, regardless of the comfort factor.
Of course, everyone's different when it comes to what they find attractive. And it's up to you and your partner to figure out where to draw that line in your relationship. Do, however, take comfort in the fact that many people find these "gross" habits attractive, mostly because they show the real you.