Farts are pretty natural…right? According to BuzzFeed, the average person passes about half a liter of gas a day. All that gas needs to go somewhere. But here’s the problem: Cracking one at book club, yoga class, or in a work meeting isn’t all that socially acceptable.
So unless you really can’t hold it, you kind of have to do it at home.
And you kind of have to do it around your spouse.
Anyone in a long-term relationship has been faced with the fart conundrum, but according to a 2016 survey by Mic, breaking the fart barrier is actually a critical step in making that transition from like to love. Mic surveyed more than 125 people in their 20s and 30s to find out when most couples break the fart barrier. What they found was that “most wait between two and six months into a relationship, which also happens to be prime ‘I love you’ time.”
So let’s put that into perspective. Right around the time couples go from “I like you” to “I love you,” they begin to break the fart barrier. I don’t know if anyone will find this surprising. Most of the time, people begin to relax around the ‘I love you’ stage, after all.
In fact, I can’t remember when my wife, Mel, and I broke the fart barrier. We’ve been together for going on 13 years, and it seems like farts have become the backdrop of our marriage at this point. Not that we take pride in them or anything. We aren’t teenage boys in a locker room talking about how big and nasty our farts are. It’s more that they just happen.
Sometimes we are in the family van, and I roll the down all the windows and turn on the air, randomly. Mel doesn’t even ask what’s going on anymore. She knows. Sometimes Mel is in the kitchen, and I hear a little something from the living room. We exchange a glance, she gives me a half smile, and looks down. Then we both laugh.
We are comfortable enough to share a bodily function with each other that we don’t share with anyone else. I’ve outgrown the “farts are funny” phase in life — for the most part. Mel never went through it, so for her to feel comfortable farting around me says a lot about where we are as a couple. We are at that stage where we are comfortable enough to fart and then move on with our day, both of us laboring under the idea that it’s a normal bodily function. It’s going to happen sometimes.
The stinky reality is, if you are comfortable enough to fart around each other, that’s a good thing. Jamie Hergenrader, at the New York Post, thinks so. She had this to say about the Mic study: “Just let it go, physically and figuratively. If you’re building a relationship, it can actually strengthen your bond.” And Arnold Brantley from the Daily Plug advises couples to “build and keep a solid foundation. This includes farting in front of your partner. It’s just a sign of your close and intimate connection.”
Now let’s keep in mind that some respondents to the Mic study claimed to have never farted around a significant other, and vowed to never do so — 7% to be exact. Kate Hakala of Mic had this to say about those people: “The […] respondents who claimed that they will never, ever fart in front of their significant other might be better off if they just politely cut one. Most happy couples agree that the moment you get gross with someone is when your relationship can truly begin.”
Don’t get me wrong. The last thing I want anyone reading this to think is that because you fart around each other, your relationship is rock solid and suddenly that significant person in your life can forgo buying you flowers and candy and instead serenade you with their butt trumpet.
But what I do want you to realize is that according to this small study, once you fall in love, you start to fully accept each other, inside and out. That means you feel comfortable letting gas exit your body. And while it’s a nasty truth, there is some beauty in that fact, somewhere. So tonight, when the lights are low, and the kids are all tucked away, feel comfortable to…well…you know. Because you love each other.
If you enjoyed this article, head on over to like our new Facebook Page, It’s Personal, an all-inclusive space to discuss marriage, divorce, sex, dating, and friendship.