Relationships: How Soon Is Too Soon

We all know the beginning of a relationship is a time for easing our significant other into our secrets, habits, and lives. A time for sweetness and cuddling and going the extra mile. A time for chocolates, dressing up, and nights on the town. And without a doubt, a time for pretending we don’t have bodily functions, hang-ups, or deep, dark secrets.

But sooner or later, the niceties give way to the nasties. Who doesn’t remember (maybe with a little chagrin) the first time they farted in front of their significant other? Or left the door open to pee? Or had a long conversation about periods?

We all do it … but do we all do it within the same time frames? How soon is too soon to burp out loud, cry in front of your girlfriend, or kiss your boyfriend when he’s sick? And are there any across-the-board deal breakers – things we should never do in front of our partners?

We asked over 2,000 people to tell all: How soon do they stop shaving, call someone a pet name, or talk about bodily functions? And how soon (if ever) should we all get to that “special” level of intimacy with our partners? Here’s what we discovered.

At What Point Is It OK To …

We asked our survey respondents when it was OK to start doing private, gross, or vulnerable things in front of a new partner. Is it acceptable to let one loose on date three or pee with the door open on month two?

The results might surprise you. The most common time frame for burping in front of your partner, not shaving your legs, talking about exes or menstrual cycles, and even bringing up your body odor? Less than three months.

On the other hand, calling someone a pet name, ugly-crying in front of them, or unloading an epic fart without fleeing to the bathroom first – that all needs to wait until the three-month mark. And peeing with the door open? You’ll have to wait six months for that one.

The Good, the Bad, and the … Truly Nasty?

We also asked people what you should never ever do in front of your significant other. Unsurprisingly, the top results were pretty crazy: 73 percent said blowing your nose in the bed sheets was a definite no-no, and 69 percent said it was totally unacceptable to pick your partner’s nose.

Other high-scoring taboos included peeing in the shower together, cutting your fingernails in the bed, and sharing a toothbrush.

Only 52 percent of those surveyed said pooping in front of each other is a deal breaker. Even more incredible, 26 percent said you should never have morning breath in front of your partner. (So set that alarm early, sneak to the bathroom for a brush and rinse, and pretend you just woke up that way – for the rest of your life.)

Intimate Activities That Are Never OK

Finally, when we asked our participants about getting down and dirty with their significant other, some things were completely off limits. While going au naturel can be liberating, it can also easily be a turn-off for your partner – 39.43 percent of respondents said it was never OK to be unclean before oral sex. And when it came to period sex, 29.56 percent of survey takers were totally fine with passing up the opportunity.

Even more, 16.43 percent of those surveyed were totally against masturbating in front of their significant other, while 14.58 percent believed watching porn should be a solo activity. Perhaps it’s just different strokes for different folks.

Maintaining Your Love Life … And Your Dignity

The trick to keeping the romance (and your dignity) alive is to take the personal, vulnerable, and – let’s be honest – epically gross stuff slow. Start with the true courtship: the candy and the sweet talk. Then ease into the naked time and PDA. (Oh, and that first time you don’t shave your legs or your crotch.)

Once you’ve built a little trust, crying, pet names, farting, and scratching yourself are fine. But moderation is always key. And once you’ve hit that coveted one-year mark, almost anything goes.

It makes sense. Because we all know that as we build trust, love, and comfort, the not-so-sexy stuff becomes less important or even, crazily enough, somewhat (oddly) sexy. After all, crying, choosing pet names, and even farting shows that we are human, and that can bring us closer.

Of course, still don’t ever poop with the door open, blow your nose on the bed sheets, or pick your partner’s nose.


We surveyed 2,000 residents of the United States using Amazon Mechanical Turk workers. hosted the survey questions.

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