The 'Bathroom Boundary': Are You Getting Too Comfortable In Your Relationship?

A major sign you're into someone is that you try to impress them. In the early stages, we do this because we want to attract the person and ensure they continue to see us. But, as time passes and things become more stable in a relationship, our efforts say something deeper. How we present ourselves has less to do with luring in our significant other and more to do with how we believe they deserve to be treated. Yet, to deepen your relationship, you must show them your flaws and let them see the good and the bad, the awkward and the elegant.

At a certain point, though, the line between comfortable and disrespectful can get blurry. Many of us find ourselves asking, how comfortable is too comfortable in a relationship? And thus, long-term couples are confronted with a dilemma as old as time — the bathroom boundary. Some may decide to relieve themselves side by side, others may opt to lock the door and run the water. Whatever your choice, there are a few factors you'll want to consider to make sure it's a healthy one for your relationship.

When crossing the 'bathroom boundary' could be a good thing

In Western culture, a bathroom is a private place. Using the bathroom in public is even considered illegal and indecent in the United States. However, many people feel comfortable doing it in front of family and close friends. And while you're close to your partner, it might feel different. A foundational element of your relationship is attraction, and for most people, not all, excretion isn't exactly sexy.

Nonetheless, we don't always have to be sexy. Sociologist and clinical sexologist Sarah Melancon Ph.D., explained to SheKnows, "Keeping the door open for our beloved can feel intimate, like pulling back the curtains to see behind the stage." While talking with SheKnows, dating expert Chris Pleines even went as far as saying that it could be a sign you're relationship is on the right track. "Couples who have achieved this certain comfort with each other are most likely to stay together. These kinds of relationships are based on love and trust, with a generous sprinkle of unconditional acceptance." However, experts also warn that this isn't always the case.

When 'bathroom boundary' should be enforced

Relationship expert April Masini told Elite Daily that you must be aware of your and your partner's perception of using the bathroom. Some families treat it casually, while others instill that it is a sign of disrespect. Masini said, "The most negative things that can occur when you pee with the door open is that you may offend a partner." In this case, it's not a question of closeness but personal custom.

In addition, you'll want to consider where your relationship is at. Using the restroom is an intimate experience, and if you're opening up that door (literally and figuratively) too early, it could signal you're jumping to a level of closeness you haven't reached yet. It's not as much of a red flag as saying I love you too soon, but it's still up there in terms of intimacy. Masini added, "Early in the relationship, err on the side of conservatism. It's a lot easier to regroup from that stance than it is to come back from going too far and freaking out a partner."

As with all boundaries in a relationship, setting them is a matter of communication. If things are unclear to you, bringing up the conversation about the "bathroom boundary" could be beneficial. Sure, it could be a little awkward, but that momentary discomfort will be worth the long-term understanding.