For people with traits of perfectionism that borders on OCD

For those of us with traits of perfectionism that borders on OCD, the daily struggle for order and organization can be very real: you wake up in the morning and the first thing that comes to your mind is the state of the apartment.

While other sane individuals can afford to keep the bed unmade all day and allow the dust particles rest in peace on the sofa, your case is truly different: the bed has to be ALWAYS made, with the edges in total symmetry and alignment. As for the dust particles, what are they doing there?

The floor has to be swept so clean that not even an errant grain of sand is found anywhere; the kitchen sink has to be empty AT ALL TIMES; the toilet? Well, you could probably have a meal in there any time of the day.

Problem, however, usually starts when you get into a relationship with a scatter lout.


That’s when you behold the semblance of perfection you’ve built around you start to crumble before your very eyes:

While you arrange and try to create order, they revel in chaos and disorganization;

While you manage to clear the kitchen sink from one end, they fill it up from the other end;

While you try to neatly fold and keep the clothes in the wardrobe where they truly belong, they ensure a sizable amount, including errant underwear, are littered around;

While you neatly press the toothpaste from the bottom up as normal humans should do, they leave a mangled wreck in their wake each time they use it;

While you ensure the toilet lid is down at all times, they don’t give a rat’s ass if it’s up or down.

At this point, you’re literally losing control of your world, and your mind.

Now, two things are involved here: it’s either you reach for a compromise, adjust to the new reality and suck it up or you knock yourself out, literally.

While some perfectionists, like me, manage to adjust and accommodate the new reality, occasionally quietly cleaning after messy partners without raising a fuss, the majority end up losing their sanity, and either lash out at the slightest indiscretion or retreat into their shell and allow all Hell to break loose around them while they quietly sulk at the unfolding dystopia.

Dad, for example, belonged to the second category, intrinsically unable to stomach any act of disorganization in his existence. When it became obvious he was outnumbered and a lone voice in the order wilderness, he slowly crept back into his shell and let things be. I’m not sure if he was ever truly happy afterward, though, what with all the craziness going on all around him.

Now, back to us: For those with traits of perfectionism, have you ever been in a relationship with someone with a polar view of what constitutes domestic order? How did you keep your sanity and the relationship?

For others not so afflicted with the curse of perfectionism, have you ever been in a relationship with someone so pedantic and attentive to domestic detail, they drove you nuts? How did you handle them and the relationship?

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